I think it’s a good sign that I’m starting to lose track of what day I’m on.
Today is day 21. Three weeks.
I had the day off from work on Friday, and a friend came over and we watched the first three episodes of Pride & Prejudice — the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth version. I had seen it before, but he hadn’t, and he had just read the novel last year and then watched the Kiera Knightly adaptation. I like that one too, but I think the BBC/A&E version is more true to the spirit of Jane Austen — it’s more satirical, sharper in its depiction of the “comic relief” characters like Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennett. The Keira Knightly version humanized these characters, made them more sympathetic and likable. This is normally a good thing, but it served to reduce the feeling of isolation for Jane and Elizabeth, the loneliness of being the only “normal” people in their sphere. I think this is important, because that loneliness serves as a proxy for the true desperation of their situation — the fact that they are two “gentlewomen” with no dowries and low connections and almost zero prospect of marrying well. And it makes their determination not to marry for material considerations truly honorable and admirable.
Can you tell I was an English major? 🙂
Anyway, this friend, J, was also my only drinking buddy. Not that I never drank with any other friends, but with him I was able to reveal how much I drank and how I used alcohol to cope — and this is because he was doing the same thing. A few years ago he and his boyfriend of ten years broke up, and in the wake of that his drinking picked up considerably. Recently, in our once-monthly happy hour get togethers we were splitting a bottle of wine and talking about how we wanted to cut down on our drinking.
J is glad for me that I quit drinking — in fact he’s excited because now when he and I hang out it will automatically make that a “non drinking” day for him. Yes, he’s still trying to “cut down,” and it’s not for me to say whether that will succeed or not. I just know that for me, that’s not an option. I tried that too many times, and succeeded for awhile each time, until I got complacent and my drinking crept up again.
So, J was really good to talk to. Because he knew about my drinking before (and because of his own experiences), he totally “got it” why I want to stop. I was able to tell him about the day without feeling ashamed, and we were even able to laugh about it together. And we’ll still meet for happy hour once a month — for coffee.