The Midwest knows how to do Oktoberfest. Specifically, the German villages in the Amana Colonies, where I celebrated this weekend. (If you’re curious, you can read about them here.) Due to misreading the information on my Yelp events page (I thought I was going to a small gathering where I would meet up with people I knew), I ended up at a giant function by myself. I’m fairly independent, but when I end up at events where there’s a huge crowd and not an easy to way to strike up a conversation with strangers, I tend to go the food and alcohol route. It keeps you busy, gives you something to do–it’s a safety net. So I got myself the small size beer stein and some tasty food.
The problem is that I am a terrible drinker. “Lightweight” is the understatement of the century…one glass of anything and I’m done. Even with that delicious food to soak up the alcohol, I still needed to park it on a bench and sober myself up before the thirty minute drive home. Who drinks 16.5 oz by themselves and needs to sober up on a bench?!
I’ve always been this way. I went to exactly one high school party and in my mind I felt like this guy. It took me awhile to work up to drinking in college, but by my junior year it was a little bit more like this. (Ok, not really, but close.) I’ve certainly regretted a phone call or text or two. Especially since I quickly turn into a brazen soap character who uses phrases I would normally never use, like “no strings attached”. (Cringe.) And there was the time I was so nervous on a date that I pounded my beer and then attempted to play pool. Somehow my skills didn’t impress my date, mostly because I just kept chalking up my pool stick and trying to strike a seductive pose with my chin resting on it. My date eventually pointed out that I had blue chalk all over my face.
I built up a small tolerance throughout my 20’s, but with the start of your 30’s, your body decides it no longer likes to stay up late and have one more. My 31st birthday ended with me hugging a toilet and promising myself I would never drink again if I could just get through the night. I made that promise again at 34, after hosting a wine and cheese party that started out with the fancy stuff and ended in a dozen bottles of cheap Yellowtail.
Now I just get really talkative and super tired, all in the span of 30 minutes from my first sip. And if tequila is involved and my “one drink” happens to be a margarita, it can go down more like this. (When I lived in Austin this was a problem, as weekly margaritas are a city requirement.)
I think my tolerance is pretty set at this point. I’m always going to get a quick buzz and I may have to learn to truly sip. Because I really don’t want to end up on a bench again in the middle of the day, surrounded by pumpkins and families dressed in lederhosen.