A year ago... one of my good friends got married. A year ago... I met all her amazing friends at the bachelorette party. A year ago... we partied like rockstars in Vegas for the bachelorette. A year ago... we then met again for the wedding a few weeks later. A year ago...
A year later... I met with this group for sushi and sake. Having given up alcohol, it was just sushi for me and many many questions.
"So are you really Mormon now?" "How did you pick that religion?" "Why is it such a strict religion?" "Can you just be a jack Mormon?" "Can you marry a non-Mormon?"
Despite the millions of questions thrown at me, the many discussions of how, why and would this really last?... it was exactly what I needed. Not only did I get challenged for my new faith, but throughout it all, I recognized how strong my faith really is.
We reminisced about the bachelorette party a year ago... our mimosas at breakfast, our uninhibited dancing in the pool and the apple bottom jeans JEANS... boots with the fur... WITH THE FUR dancing in the limo and our drunken escapades all weekend long in Vegas. I can't deny .. it was definitely fun, but part of that fun was just the open and welcoming personalities of these girls, with or without alcohol. I sat there, enjoying our conversations about surburbia versus the city, raising kids in today's world, handling finances with your husband, relationships and men, and the difficulties and joys that come along with marriage. As we sprinted through the chuckles and crazy girl moments with movies on in the background (Devil Wears Prada, Bend it Like Beckham and Bride Wars --yes, we went through three movies) , the question would often arise as the girls sipped on sake and beer and became increasingly more drunk of "Can you really give this up? But you're a drinker and it's ingrained in you!"
YUP! I know it's still early.. it's only been a couple of months, but the strength I have now is much more powerful and unique than wanting to detox from alcohol for health reasons.
Even better, the night, filled with its challenges of the opposition, reinforced the fact that I would stilll be the same despite having a new faith. As I bounced around the house, the girls reminded me that I was the same super ADD and eccentrically energetic girl they had met a year ago. True, my past helps define who I am, but my present and future do as well. True, I know the difference between an Irish car bomb and a flaming Dr. Pepper shot and have witnessed many man shots (snort the salt, take the Tequila shot and squirt the lime in your eye!), but that knowledge doesn't mean I am sad to not be partaking in such drinks anymore.
Our friendship was not based on alcohol. In fact, I remember precisely the moment I realized, I loved these girls who I barely knew and had just met. That moment was in the car on the way to Vegas as we scarfed down flaming hot cheetos and fruit and talked about life. In fact, as I was driving over to my friend's house last night, I actually thought .... I wonder if there will be flaming hot cheetos tonight!
Friendship should not be based on alcohol. Sure it helps to loosen many people and contributes to their friendliness, their ability to make others laugh and the propensity for crazy moments to happen... but if your personality is great... none of that matters. Chemistry is chemistry with or without alcohol.