Family Life, Student Life

Drunk Before Dinnertime

Last night, I had Thanksgiving with my family our our closest friends. My anxieties around being around family during the holidays heighten with each comment, and so, by getting high before the meal, I felt like I had a fool proof means to avoid the discussion of politics entirely. I’m getting exhausted with my family, a room full of liberals who’s skin crawls anytime I even mention anything with a trace of Communism associated with it, milking me for answers on how to feel with the shift in political climate. I’m tired of being the “go to” political person among my relatives, leaving me emotionally exhausted and my relatives left with a swell up chest and sense of pride for being whatever their definition of “progressive” may be.

As the night progressed, I was never caught with an empty wine glass. By the time we sat down to eat, I could feel the full weight of the booze and weed hit me all at once. I ate at the meal ravenously, not able to finish past a single plate. Between courses, I crawled on the couch and took a quick nap before proceeding with the meal. Through this whole charade of my back and forth, my relatives laughed at how tipsy I was. My mother’s close friend who’s also a physicist and I went back and forth about dark mater and black holes, cheering and drinking for various scientific achievements we thought were amazing. The best part of the whole night was that politics weren’t discussed at all, instead the room filled with laughter as I stumbled around and shoveled mashed potatoes in my mouth.

Waking up the next day, I realized the trade I made last night. In getting drunk around relatives, I realized I gave up the childish innocence most of my relatives see me in. Being grown up and openly engaged with everything going on as we talked about wine and gravitational waves, the door was opened to a new level of predatory behavior I have to experience. My mother’s older, white male friends would hit on me, grabbing too tightly at my waist whenever I gave them a hug hello and openly referring to me as sexy in front of the family. The scariest part of all of this is the fact that this occurred when I was drunk, not sober.

This morning is a mixed bag because of everything that happened last night. I can’t really look or drink wine, its smell nauseating after a night of drinking feelings away. I’ve found myself cocooned in quilt, wrapped up on the couch as I try to muster up productivity. The most worrisome thing is the fact that I feel very numb to it all. I don’t know if I’m really bothered by what happened, or if I’m still in shock from it. I don’t know how to really process the continuous disappointment I have for men, especially white men, and their ability to twist a relationship into something that causes me discomfort and disappointment.

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