Ambien and alcohol. Do.Not.Mix.
It says so, right on the bottle. Do not drink alcoholic beverages when taking this medication. My favorite bedtime snack also comes with this warning: Use extreme care while driving a car. Really? Ya think! That is why this weekend, under the influence of Ambien, I headed out the door to meet my co-workers at the bar. My friend Flo was in town for the weekend and I thought how lame it would be to miss out on a chance to see her just because I was a little tired. So I put on my big girl panties, ditched the pj’s and against my better judgement, out I went. With the right proportion of “H20 to margarita” I survived.
That’s the trouble with me, sometimes. I use things like better judgement. Now. In the past, not so much. Which puts me somewhere, in between, and not really feeling like I belong, well, anywhere. Not quite young enough for a majority of my social circle, and not old enough to socialize with those on the fringes of the circle. I don’t belong to either group. I’m somewhere, in between.
Evidence of my social standing was never more glaring than at a birthday party for a coworker last night. The younger bunch co-mingled while the upper management bunch banded together. I found myself kind of wondering, where the fuck do I fit in in all of this? I mean, I have a kid not much younger than some of these people! Yikes! I have nothing in common with any of these people, accept work. And the fact that I love them! Some more than others. They are my family.
Anyway, my good friend Geoff, managed to single-handedly make me feel like crap. As he made plans for the party after the party it seemed like he went to great lengths to exclude me. You, you, you, uhh not you… you, and you.. we’re all going somewhere. I’m watching him pointing to people at the table, purposely skipping over me, and I’m like, really? What am I? A pariah? I called him on it. Like a good friend would. After which he took great pains in assuring me I’m part of “the gang.”
Oh, and this little gem of awkwardness.. And no, this isn’t me reading too much into something.. I’ve come to accept, and quite honestly expect, Geoff’s meaningless outward shows of affection… We’re sitting at the table, surrounded by our co-workers… yacking it up… and Geoff extends his hand to me. Not a big deal. We do this often. I put my hand on top of his hand. He will usually tickle my palm or some other shenanigans. Not this time. He takes my hand in his, and is holding my hand, resting it on my leg. WTF? It wouldn’t have bothered me at all, if it hadn’t been longer than a nanosecond. But it did, and that fell out of my comfort zone. It took me a moment to realize it. But, in the moment that we were sitting there, my hand in his, all was right with the world. It has been so long since I’ve had that kind of physical connection with someone that I forgot what it felt like. It was bliss. It’s amazing what a simple touch can do. I long for it. Then, my moment of bliss ended. I felt like people, aka coworkers, were watching and thinking, WTF? It was no longer innocent, friendly hand-holding. It was a tangled mess. And I couldn’t escape it fast enough. I don’t love Geoff the way I did a few months ago. I do still love him. But I’m starting to see him in a different light. Blinders off. Eyes wide open. The love I have for him now is more of a “I’m glad you’re in my life” kind of love. No one is ever as perfect as you think they are. Again, it’s a love that’s somewhere, in between.
– J. Ela