Sure. Easy for you to say, Ms. I'm Still Typing On A Typewriter. Golly, you have a job and probably a really swell Sweetheart, too.

Lorna’s life and appearance has changed. She’s single, slimming down, wearing clothes no longer appropriate for farming or mechanical work, sporting sassy-short hair, and wondering about her future now that she’s a graduate with no job and no future husband.

Surprise 4: My favorite professor offered me a summer job as a Research Assistant on her grant. As one of her “best and brightest” students, she hand-picked me to work with her team that summer. Like everyone else in my life except my ex-boyfriend and my dog, my new boss had no idea the wiz-kid she hired drank vodka straight out of a bottle to avoid the annoyance of continually pouring the stuff in a glass.

In the mornings we Research Assistants entered data; in the afternoons we proofread our morning’s work. These were mind-numbing tasks. Like Privates at Boot Camp, we all needed something to help easy our mutual pain. Nothing spelled “relief” like “Happy Hour.” Our favorite haunt had “Happy Hour” from 5-7:00 pm. We could get 2-for-the-price-of-1 drinks. I drank Black Russians–usually 4, but sometimes 6. They served free cheese and crackers, so it’s not like I drank on an empty stomach.

Uh, not the kind of Black Russian I was talking about...And 3 wouldn't have been enough for me.

I’m not clear on what happened after “Happy Hour.” We never dined there. I pretty sure I never dined anywhere. I must’ve gotten to my 3rd floor apartment and walked my dog–no small feat since he was huge and enthusiastic after being cooped up for 12 hours, and we had to navigate down very steep, narrow stairs. Neither of us broke our necks, so I qualified as a responsible dog owner. Amazingly, I was always clear-headed and early for work the next day. I can’t say the same for the others.

I'd like to think we both looked a bit more civilized on our evening walks, but I'm pretty sure this is a fair representation of me (except I wore shorts). Humphrey, being an Old English Sheepdog, was fluffier, but as exuberant.

Surprise 5:I didn’t require much food. This discovery was a lifesaver because: I was poor so what little money I had for food went to dogfood and alcohol; and meal preparation seemed futile. Getting and staying drunk is time-consuming. I had to eat simple food: lettuce sandwiches (iceberg lettuce, Miracle Whip, 2 slices of white bread), popcorn, and Granny Smith Apples. I didn’t have a FDA Food pyramid handy, but this diet seemed to cover most essential food groups. Although I wouldn’t recommend trying this if you want to shimmy into your prom dress or bathing suit, I lost a lot of weight on my drink-yourself-silly diet.

I know this looks tempting and you may feel the need to make yourself one, but please, finish reading before you succumb to your craving for this epicurean delight.

Surprise 6:For the first time, I was drinking in public and not to prepare myself for sex. Except for the after-work “Happy Hour” extravaganzas, I never drank more than a couple of drinks in public. I had an image to uphold to my friends and family who believed in me as The Good Girl. Pre-drinking became my habit. I’d go out drinking with my friends and already be drunk. Brilliant! I saved money and my reputation remained untarnished.

When I was little, I longed to be an actress. My stage was small, but I deserved an Oscar for my performance. I fooled everyone…well, I’m sure my dog knew, but he didn’t even tell me that I was an alcoholic.

Sometimes my sister would indulge me in my Actress Fantasy. And don't believe for a minute that was tea or juice in my cup...

I was Funny-Vivacious-Social-Drinker Lorna. When the music was good, I was Exotic-Dancer Lorna. Dancing got me noticed and being noticed was everything.

See? I told you I would get noticed when the music moved me...

What comes next is a phase in Lorna’s life that could be called “wild.” Fasten your seatbelts…