The First Drunkest Weekend in October

A few weeks ago, I sat down and made a list of all the things I had coming up on my calendar.  Even though I forgot a couple of things, I realized that I didn’t have a free weekend until midway through November.  Since then, I’ve cancelled a few things because I am old now and can’t stay up for 20 hours at a time.  I get tired when it gets late and while I am happy to drink gallons more coffee to stay awake for your plans, I must be considerate of my own heartburn.  Which I never experienced until last year, and it’s so nauseating that I reluctantly cut back from two pots of coffee a day to just one.  Big difference, in both my awake levels and the way my body perceives itself to be incinerating to death.

On Friday, I woke up at 4:30am because I’d asked for an earlier shift at work.  Some good friends of mine were getting married and I wanted to make the church wedding, which was at five.  At least I thought it was at five.  Before going to bed the night before, I checked the invitation – the same invitation that’s been sitting next to my laptop for 6 months – and realized that the church wedding was at four.  That’s when I was supposed to be leaving work, and because no one has slipped and fallen in my bathroom thus inventing the Flux Capacitor, being at the church was now a physical impossibility.

But I did make it to the reception, where I was finally not seated at the bad kids’ table in the corner.  Looking around, I think Adrian and Angelica were very thoughtful in their seating arrangements, although it may have been foolish to seat Christy, Dave, and I together because we laughed through all the toasts.  Even at the parts that weren’t funny.  Because we’re idiots.

At one point, Graham held my hand and asked me if I wanted to dance.

“That’s it,” I said.  “We’re breaking up.”

He laughed.  “But do you want to get married?”

A few seconds later, he was sadistically giggling and profusely apologizing.  “I’m sorry, it looked like your heart paused or just stopped working altogether!”

“More like my heart fell out of my asshole.  Now we’re definitely breaking up.”

After the wedding, Graham and I went to a dive to catch the last few innings of a Giants-Braves game and marvel at how long an exposed muffin top can go undetected by its owner.  I don’t know about drunk ladies over 50, but when my shirt rides up a little bit, I shut that fucker down.  This is because I have decency and shame.  Get it together, ma’am.

The next day, I woke up with a hangover down to my shoulders.  I’ve recently started liking vodka again (“I wish I knew how to quit you”), so at the wedding I had a few several vodka tonics.  Coming from a long line of Irish alcoholics, I have a pretty high tolerance for alcohol in general.  I’m also acutely aware of the types of drunk I experience on different types of alcohol.  Beer makes me happy and sleepy.  Wine makes me warm and friendly.  Liquor makes me nothing, at least, not until I stop drinking it.  I can drink liquor all night long and feel barely anything, but the second I stop drinking is the second I’m shitfaced.  I felt a little buzzed when I left the wedding and drunk when I got home, but the next morning I felt like someone had shoved my head and neck into a trash compactor.

Because I had to be at Shannon’s house by 10am for her bachelorette party/winery tour, I gobbled my signature cocktail of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and non-drowsy allergy medication, drank a pot of coffee, and forced myself to eat a bacon and egg sandwich.  By the time I got to her house, I was like “Let’s do these motherfucking wineries like motherfucking champions.”

In general, Missouri wine is not very good.  A lot of people drink it, but a lot of people also drink Miller Lite and rail liquor.  So, you know.  We went to Hermann, which is about two hours away and quaintly historic.  It was nice to be a passenger for a change, so I stared contentedly out the window while Shannon’s to-be-mother-in-law said things like “If I eat that I’ll be shitting like a goose, and it’s way too early for diarrhea.”

The first winery was Robiller (I have excluded some umlauts because I am lazy), where one semi-dry white smelled like cat pee and tasted like metal.  I know that some whites are actually supposed to smell like cat pee, but this is not what I want in my wine.

The second winery was Oak Glenn, which has a beautiful view but the shittiest wine I have ever put in my mouth.  And, um, dudes?  I used to drink Strawberry Hill in high school.  The place was packed, too, and there were tables just covered in empty bottles.  I have no idea what these people had done to their taste buds to make that wine tolerable, but I am forced to assume that because this is Missouri, they were all incestuous cousin-fuckers who also buy strawberry-flavored meth.

The third winery was Hermanhoff, which is really popular anyway, so because of Oktoberfest, it was unbearably crowded.  Instead of jockeying for a spot among the frat guys and their date rape victims girlfriends, I bought a bottle of Chambourcin and a Riesling (probably the only decent Riesling I’ve ever tasted in this state) and we went to Adam Puchta.

Despite having a name that sounds like barf, Adam Puchta is a very good winery.  It’s not too crowded, the Seyval and the Norton are decent, and there are barn cats everywhere.  We put out our spread in the shade and stayed until closing, which is when one of Shannon’s to-be-mother-in-law’s friend started calling everyone hookers and explaining how to properly suck a dick.  She was a handful.

Last we went to Stone Hill, where the wine is meh but the view is pretty spectacular.  There are vines all down the hill and houses below, so if I ever win a multi-million dollar lottery, one of the properties I’m buying is that little ranch house with the carport and an oak tree in front.  You can all come to visit and we’ll be those people who sit out in the front yard with lawn chairs.

The two-hour ride home was enough to sober everyone up and separate the sissies from the people who needed more food and alcohol to be complete as human beings.  That said, me, the maid of honor, and Shannon went to O’Connell’s for dinner.  They wanted burgers and I just wanted a beer, but it was O’Connell’s so of course I ended up horking an entire hamburger in a matter of minutes.  Then we accidentally paid only $30 on a $50 bill, which was not our fault because the server wrote some bizarre duplicate version of the bill on the back, and we had been basically drinking outdoors for the past 11 hours so how were we supposed to know the difference?

When your bachelorette party ends with you being chased into the parking lot by a server and making change from your car, you’ve probably had a semi-decent night.



(cross-posted to

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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