We went to Reed and Liv’s for happy hour to meet Reed’s family who are in town from Des Moines. I had a tennis lesson, so Charlie and the boys went ahead of me and when I drove up, Kelly and Joel’s SUV was parked in front of their house. I yanked my little tennis skirt down and walked in. Kelly eyed me up and down. The strain between us is palpable. Reed poured me a LaCroix and I sipped fizzy water while everyone else had cocktails. Reed’s mother, Celeste, eyed my water.
“You don’t drink?” she asked.
“I quit four months ago,” I answered. “I decided to take a break.”
“I quit for a year,” Celeste said.
“My friends said I couldn’t do it, but I did. Lost a lot of weight, too.”
“But you decided to drink again,” I said, nodding toward her martini. I was instantly filled with hope that I might successfully enjoy a martini a year from now.
“I started drinking white wine spritzers,” Celeste said. “I just wanted a little something. I started drinking them a month ago. But I decided to have a martini tonight.”
A lot of people at meetings talk about how they controlled their drinking after a relapse, but then their alcoholic pattern kicked in and cranked up.
Reed’s grandmother sat next to Celeste and sipped her martini. “Liv tap danced for us last night,” she said. “She’s very good. Have you seen her?”
“Yes,” I said and smiled.
I walked into the kitchen and refilled my glass with sparkling water. Reed was at the counter refreshing drinks and Liv walked in and stood next to him.
“Will you put some music on for me?” she asked. “Your grandma wants me to tap dance.”
Reed stared at her, a very pissed-off look on his face, and said, “No.”
“Because your tap dancing really bums me out.”