It Was All in the Genes and the Jeans, Part 1
Lorna’s coming-of-age exploits continue. How does she maintain her Good-Girl reputation among adults, get and keep attention from boys, stay at the top of her academic game, and cope with her fears of damnation should she fail at anything?
I didn’t know it then, but I came from a family who liked to booze it up. You’d think I’d have noticed something was different from Beaver Cleaver’s family or the Waltons. None of them served little kids wine at Sunday meals or cured a cold with shots of brandy. I don’t remember Mr. Cleaver sharing a cold Topper beer with the Beav like my step-grandfather regularly did with me. And that was just the obvious drinking. My mom spiked her fruited Jello salads to “preserve the freshness of the fruit.” Who knows where else liquor appeared in my weekly diet.
Alcohol fed the roots of both sides of my family tree. Alcoholics didn’t exist back then. “Drunks” were disliked or lower class people and “drinkers” were respected members of society, whether you liked them or not. My dad, who couldn’t keep any job long enough to have a real career before he killed himself, was a “drunk.” His dad was a church-going, family-abusing dentist. He was a “drinker.”
My mother’s mother was Finnish, a people known for three things: drinking, stoicism and dancing. These traits kind of feed into each other during cold, dark days. How? I’m not sure, but somebody should be studying them to find out. And my mom’s real father was French. Need I say more?
I, like my ancestors, took to alcohol like a weed to Miracle-Gro. No one knew because I’m Scorpio and Scorpios are legendary for being secretive. My family knew I drank the wine, brandy or beer easily; they just didn’t know how much I enjoyed my little-girl buzz.
I was about 10 when I got my first cravings. Opportunities to satisfy my alcohol-tooth came on weekends. When I started dating my second boyfriend at 16, my drinking ratcheted up dramatically. They discovered alcoholism by the early 1970s. That’s when my career as bon a fide alcoholic began.
I had a lot of pressure to deal with; alcohol was my liquid mini-vacation. My sisters had their own pressures, but they never lusted after alcohol like I did. They didn’t have light blonde hair like I did, either. I was sure there was a connection. Someone should study that, too.
I blame sex for my wanton drunkenness. It comes down to scientific equations:
Boyfriend (intending to get into my jeans) + Good Girl (intending to stay in my jeans) = Celibate/Sad Boyfriend
Boyfriend (same intent) + Alcohol + Drunk Good Girl (whoo-hoo!) = Happy/Satisfied Boyfriend
The only way I could bring myself out of my jeans was to get good and hammered (admittedly, a poor choice of words). I’m told I was a very hot date. Too bad I wasn’t there to enjoy it.
How long could Lorna cope with living a lie? You’d be surprised…