Before I got pregnant, I heard all the beer stories. You know the ones. The ones where women say “Oh, when I got pregnant, I didn’t even want beer.” Or “When I was pregnant, just the thought of beer or wine would make me nauseous.” “You won’t even want it, so you won’t miss it at all.”
Perhaps these women were not pregnant during baseball season. Perhaps they didn’t have a bunch of lushes for friends and co-workers. Perhaps they just want to trick everyone into their little cabal of breeders. At any rate, I most certainly do miss beer. And wine. And bourbon. In the last week I have been in numerous situations where a beer (or 6) would have been lovely. Joe and I went to visit our friend in Iowa, and really what else is there to do in Iowa? I ended up designated driver for a carload of drunks all weekend, feeling queasy from the greasy hangover food that we ate at lunch rather than from the actual hangover. Tip — greasy hangover food really is not as tasty without a hangover. There was also a minor league baseball game involved, which didn’t help matters. Watching baseball without drinking a beer is downright un-American.
And then this week, there was yet another baseball game — this one paid for by work, where they rented a sky box at Sox Park. All you can eat, all you can drink. Or all you can watch people drink, as the case may be. I made the hostess bring me a 6-pack of Sharps. But, as everyone around me grew more and more hilarious in their witticisms (at least they thought so), and the shots came out of the cupboard, I became more and more bitter. I know it’s small, and petty, but I just couldn’t be around a bunch of happy drunks while I was drinking my near beer. I mean, it’s not like I’m an alcoholic or anything (one hopes), but a nice 3-beer happy place on a beautiful afternoon in a fancy pants skybox while the White Sox are losing and people are making stupid jokes would sure be nice. Instead, I took out my gluttony on the dessert cart. Helmet sundae! Bulk bag of Whoppers! Peanut butter cookie! Iced brownie! Bring it on!
From there, I went to yet another bar that night, to hear another friend sing with her cabaret class from the Old Town School of Folk Music. I didn’t stay for the karaoke afterwards, because much like baseball, karaoke without beer is kind of boring. Last night I went to a fundraiser for AIDS awareness at a club, where again, there were light appetizers, and and open bar. Sigh. Again, I was the first to leave. Every time I leave someplace, people say “Kelli, it’s so great that you’re a cool pregnant lady who still goes out and doesn’t just sit at home.” Um, I guess. But really, if the measure of lameness is if I sit at home watching TiVo and never leave the house, that’s a pretty drastic measuring stick. The fact that I leave at 9:00 pm to go home is also kind of, well, un-cool, to say the least. Especially when I leave saying things like “I have to get out of the smoke. It’s just not good for me, I think.” And look longingly at the glowing cigarette and bottle of beer before heading home to soy milk and prenatal vitamins.
In a way, I think that more than the actually drinking, I miss myself 10 years ago. The silly drunken escapades, the drunk flirtations, the carefree lifestyle that can only be lived when you don’t have a mortgage and live in an apartment with 3 friends and bad carpeting. I know those days won’t ever come back. I will NEVER again be able to stay out drinking until 2am and still come to work the next day on time, and actually get work done. I will never again think that the lead singer in that band really likes me from across the room. I will never again be a size 8. And before I got pregnant, at least I could fantasize that I might, this weekend, find my inner co-ed, now I look forward to a future of planning outings 4 months in advance so I can line up a sitter, never coming home drunk because I might drop the baby, and worrying that my breastmilk will send the kid to AA. I’m glad I enjoyed it while I could, however, it sure would be nice to be 25 again, wishing I could be 35 and have a loving husband, life all figured out (ha!), and a baby on the way. Sigh. I guess the grass is always greener, and the beer is always colder, on the other side.