My seven-year-old woke me up.
“Why are you waking me up in the middle of the night?” I asked.
“It’s the morning, Mommy.” she said.
So it was.
My body was 3am-tired and my head was muddled. I couldn’t remember what I had been dreaming, but I halfway remembered getting really silly the night before.
“Silly?” I asked myself. “Why would I get silly?”
After I was dressed and had a cup of coffee, I went online and saw it: Facebook activity. Tons of it. Right around midnight the night before. The coffee helped me wake up and piece together what happened.
This is the 40-something Mom version of Girls Gone Wild.
The party started in my bed. I was sitting up in my bed, typing on my laptop. I was alone. I was drinking.
I was drinking Deep Eddy’s Sweet Tea Vodka with water over ice. This is my favorite drink for after the kids are in bed. I usually have just one. Sometimes I have two. I remembered thinking, “Wouldn’t it be silly if I had three?”
I’m not sure if this makes me the most pathetic party girl or the smartest. If you think about it, I didn’t have to get dressed up, the drinks didn’t cost much and I didn’t have to find a safe ride home. Seriously, when it was time to call it a night, I was already in my bed.
What does a party girl do for fun while in her bed typing on her laptop? Silly. Drunk. Facebook. Messaging. That’s what.
In my younger days, when I drank outside of my bedroom and with friends, I made drunk phone calls. There had been consequences.
“Oh, no. What did I say?” I wondered.
I messaged people to tell them about the Advanced Storytelling Workshop I’m teaching. The workshop was in one week and there was only one person registered. There would be two teachers. That is just awkward. My enthusiasm propelled me to message most of my Facebook friends with a personal invitation. I’m OK with this. This is pretty productive work for a silly drunk.
Then I sent a message to Darin Murphy. Hmmm. Darin Murphy and his sister, Trish Murphy, both of Trish and Darin, were my most serious music crush of all time. I was such a committed and passionate fan that I’m sure I worried them at times. For example, I accidentally rented a house on the same block as their house in Houston, where there were one million blocks to choose from. Seriously. What did I drunk message to Darin Murphy around midnight?
I invited him to my storytelling class, of course.
Then I saw a return message from Ruth Pennebaker. She said:
“What a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much for letting me know.”
“Oh, my,” I thought. Because I don’t know Ruth Pennebaker.
I know of Ruth Pennebaker. I read her blog, The Fabulous GeezerSisters and I saw her speak on a panel at a Texas Writer’s League event. Her book, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, is on my nightstand now. She’s super smart and funny. Also, I sense a deep kindness in her.
Then I learned about her husband, James Pennebaker. He wrote Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions. He made the case that sharing your true, personal stories promotes mental and physical healing. I’m a writer and performer of true, personal stories and I know he is right. His research and advocacy makes him a Neil Armstrong for storytelling. Seriously.
But what did I say? Did I invite these two world-famous authors to my storytelling class? Did I really?
No, I didn’t. Thank goodness.
My silly, drunk self wrote them a Thank You note.
I told Ruth Pennebaker I was her biggest fan. I used the word “amazing” to describe her and her husband about five times. I told them I liked them better than Taylor Swift, which means a lot, because I sing and dance to Taylor Swift all the time.
It was all true, every word. My spelling and grammar were reasonable, which is important to me. And Ruth Pennebaker didn’t seem to mind.
I decided no harm was done. There were no messages to old boyfriends, no inappropriate confessions shared with the public and no sexting that would prevent me from running for office later. I got off easy this time.
As I started getting breakfast for the girls, I decided that I should stay away from that third drink. In general, I don’t like to forget what I say and do. But the random and sincere “Thank You” note? Maybe I’ll do that again. Seriously.
(Note: The Advanced Storytelling Workshop is Saturday, 5/23, in Austin, Texas and there are a few spots left!)
Carol Ramsey has a lifetime license from the FCC to operate a radiotelephone, but instead she writes, performs and teaches the true, personal story. She builds community at Austin Storytelling and shares her journey at Carol M Ramsey.