How Dry I Am

on October 11, 2010 in Misc

I just realized that I spent this last summer in a completely dry state.  I mean dry as in I never went swimming and I don’t remember having a single glass of wine.

Obviously, I didn’t have enough fun.

I’ll tell you about my failure to swim tomorrow.  Today I’m going to tell you about my miserable failure to imbibe.  You see, my problem is I’m the world’s pickiest eater.  This means my very narrow-minded taste buds don’t appreciate most alcoholic drinks, hence I don’t much care about drinking.  Sure, I like red wine with some meals, and if I go to certain places with friends I’ll have wine or beer.  But for whatever odd reason I didn’t go to these places much from June through most of September.  So not until a couple weeks ago did I realize that I’ve been a boring, friggin’ teetotaler.  That’s when my theater sister visited from Santa Fe and she and I went with a couple of her theater friends to a play (the fantastic 39 Steps, so very funny) and afterwards to a swank night spot.

Being thirsty and having per usual only a few bucks on me, I had lemonade.

My sister and her friends, who know how to seriously drink and put on a show because they’re theater people, ordered all kinds of exotic cocktails and other frothy concoctions in fancy glasses, which they dutifully reviewed while adding lots of dramatic gestures for emphasis.  They were fun to be with.

Me, I just sat there with my nerdy lemonade.

I’ve never really thought about Layla’s drinking habits.  I’ve just always assumed that she drinks more than I do because 1) she can afford to buy all the wine she wants, and 2) she lives in Dublin, which means she and her friends can meet up at their favorite pubs and have a pint while discussing books (the Irish are voracious readers).  I figure she isn’t like James Bond with his shaken-not-stirred martinis, or like tough, hard-drinking action guys or gals in books or movies or TV shows who drink hard liquor because they’re hard and tough and their missions are hard and tough.  Layla doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.

On the other hand, I sure as hell don’t want Layla to have my persnickety taste buds.  So yes, I think she should occasionally order an exotic cocktail, and if you put her behind a bar she can whip up fancy, lethal concoctions.  In this respect she’s like Nora in those wonderful old Thin Man movies – elegant, witty, and able to hold her liquor while the men around her are falling down.

And like Nora, when Layla has a hangover she still looks really good 

6 Responses to “How Dry I Am”

  1. ann says:

    Theater folks just know how to have fun…both tipsy and sober. Its hard to believe a whole summer has slipped by without brats and beer or lasagna and a glass of vino. Of course, you lived on pain killers for awhile last spring. Does that count?

  2. Hart says:

    Well I’m all for an experimental drink phase on Layla’s behalf for you… I figure a spy needs to be able to hold her own, as there will be too many times where it would be obvious if she WEREN’T partaking, and be seen suspiciously. At the same time, she has a vested interest in having her wits about her at all times.

    I have a spy in one of my books who has bribed the bartender: he has a fifth of gin just for her, so when he brings her fancy gin and tonics, there is not actually any gin in them. She sometimes has a glass of Chardonnay, but most of her drinking is for show.

  3. Helena says:

    Hart – LOVE the idea of your spy having a secret arrangement with the bartender! And since Layla has more tolerant taste buds than I do, she should also be able to hold her liquor pretty well.

    And you know, she could also PRACTICE for a drinking show.

  4. Helena says:

    Ann — Yes, I am indeed happily well acquainted with the alternate consciousness that medication can offer. What’s dangerous is that such medication also makes me think I’m perfectly lucid.

  5. Rickie G says:

    Personally, I think she should be able to drink and hold her liquor well (shich takes at least somewhat regular social drinking or else 1 drink will put her under and at a decided disadvantage). After all, her antagonist may well offer her drinks in come scenarios and she wouldn’t want to fall under the table after just 1 simple glass. I would propose that she drink something like Irish Creme in her coffee or a particular french red wine (a glass a day). It’s that or she should find some clever way to ditch a drink undetectably.

  6. Helena says:

    Ricki – Layla can definitely hold her liquor better than I can. One thing about The Compass Master — all the action takes place in a few days so she has no time to slow down and have a drink. But I figure at the end of the story she can drink as much as she wants and not care.