Dating while sober
Yes to this party I don't want to go to, yes to this person I don't want to date, yes to this assignment I'm afraid to botch, because saying yes was the path to a remarkable life.
I needed to say yes, because I needed to push myself off the couch and into the swift-moving stream of hurt and jubilation.
I felt so sexy in those moments; it only followed I must have looked that way.
Now I realized what a sadistic game drinking played. We both baby-stepped toward each other, one refusal to lie at a time.
My only directions involved taking a glass of wine to my lips and letting the sweet release show me the way. It was the fate of all single women in their late thirties to stare down a personal profile, and as far as punishments go, this was fairly benign. It allowed me to inch toward intimacy with built-in distance. I understood that not drinking—and not drinking to such an extent that it was the first detail I shared about myself—would turn off certain guys. Those bearded eccentrics with their fluency in HBO shows and single-malt Scotch.
I was starting to learn one of the most important lessons of online dating: the wisdom of saying no. I was shy and ambitious, a terrible mix, and so I tried to dismantle my isolationist tendencies.Back when I was dating my college boyfriend Patrick, who was sober, he would pull away from me when I was buzzed and handsy."You smell like a brewery," he'd say, and I didn't get it.I'd had quiet sex, and giggling sex, and sex so delicate it was like a soap bubble perched on the tip of my finger. I didn't want to watch some guy's face fall when I ordered a Diet Coke and then endure the pecks of his curiosity.I knew such joy could exist between two people, but I had no clue how to get to it anymore. So my "About Me" statement began "I used to drink, but I don't anymore." I've had stronger openings, but this one was good for now.