As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered the joys of combining alcohol with activities I once hated, such as camping, sports, weddings, and now, socializing with my parents. If it is at all possible for you, I recommend getting to the point where you can get blasted with the people who made you.
I’d like to share a particularly successful example of this — if success means seeing your Dad so shitballed he can’t form sentences. This story takes place at a wedding.
After the ceremony in the blazing hot sun, we slowly meandered to our seating arrangements to await dinner. My brother, Zach, my parents, and I sat at table #19, along with two couples about my parents’ ages. Highlights of our experience with that table include: deciding we were the best table ever, inventing the table 19 salute (two middle fingers), throwing the centerpiece like a frisbee. stealing unopened wine bottles from other tables, sneaking tips to our servers (it wasn’t allowed), acquiring an extra champagne bottle from our server (and dispensing more illegal tips), and shouting. This is just the beginning of the night.
I did have a little champagne, but cut myself off as I was designated driver. Why was I designated driver? Because my mother bribed me to be for $50. By the end of the actual wedding, my drunken family had also managed to dance together like crazy kooks, Zach ran through the clover field, and I made lizard nooses for children. It was discovered that we were intentionally placed with the couples at table #19, who were also rowdy, though we could not ascertain if our location at the edge of the area was also purposeful.
After the ceremony, I drove my inebriated parents and brother to the house of the bride’s parents (my dad’s best friend from childhood is the bride’s dad). Already falling asleep, I crept off to one of the back bedrooms. I passed a bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold on the counter.
Somewhere in the midst of my slumber, my mother came into the room. “Can I please lie down next to you? Please? Sami?” She giggled as she crawled into the bed. She had no pants on and her hair was wet. I didn’t ask questions and fell back asleep.
The woman of the house woke us up to regretfully inform us she had no room for us to spend the night. It was never our intention to do so, so we understood. My brother popped into the room and escorted Mom out the back door to the car. She still could not locate her pants and was in no condition to try. They would be sent by post in a few weeks when they were discovered on the lawn.
My brother and I had to find my dad. My brother was much inebriated. He congratulated the mother of the bride. I left him and decided to check the pool. With trepidation, I approached the dark, gated swimming hole. I was prepared to jump in and rescue my dad if necessary. I looked all around the edge of the pool – it was large – and found various discarded clothes-things, none of which belonged to my family. Finally, I came up the other side and noticed a lump on the steps. It was my dad, underneath a towel. Completely naked.
I fearfully shook his shoulder. He better not be dead, goddammit. “Muh?” Though he could not speak english, he was thankfully alive.
“Dad. Dad. We’re leaving. Let’s go”.
“Mah? Emurfagaf? Ebbluffin.. Yeah. Mkay..”. He then rolled back over and rested his head back onto his ‘pillow’ (pile of rocks). I heard my brother nearby, and called out to him. He had a bag, and in it were a pair of my dad’s shorts.
He convinced dad to put the shorts on. “Hey. Hey dad. Put these shorts on so I don’t have to look at your balls anymore.”
Somehow he also managed to get my dad upright. “Hey, don’t be a pussy. Get up. Let’s go.”
We did our best to help our dad “walk,” which could be described as “falling forward.” He zombie lurched across the lawn to the car. My brother coaxed him into the backseat. My mother was in the passenger seat, her legs folded underneath her arms. She seemed aware that she was mostly naked, her lips in a firm straight line approaching shame. We went back to the house to say our goodbyes. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother. I had a discussion with the bridal party about designated driving. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother. I said goodbye to the bride’s mother. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother, and asked if she’d be there at his wedding. He finished the Cuervo bottle.
When we got back to the car, my dad was very concerned about the location of his wallet. He needed to see it to be happy. We found the wallet, and he put it between his knees. Then I started us for my grampa’s house, down a dark mountainous 1-lane road. My mother was very helpful. “Brakes. Brights on. Brights off. Gas. Brakes.” I looked in the rearview mirror. My dad’s head rested on my brother’s lap. He was snoring.
When we arrived at my grandpa’s house, my mother helped my dad out of the car. He followed me up the stairs with a mischievous grin, lunging as he tried to remain upright.