In years past, girls' night out always meant drinking. We typically had it on a weekend night so we didn't have to worry about hangovers in the morning. As we got older, we began rotating designated drivers so one person didn't always get stuck having to stay sober. I took my turn like everyone else, all the while saying "I don't HAVE to drink. I can still have a good time." Bullshit.
Needless to say, I haven't done many GNO's since I got sober. In fact, I've avoided them altogether (with the possible exception of the Twilight Saga premiers - because some things are just sacred that's all) .
I get invited to things and I usually accept, only to make some lame ass excuse and bow out later. In the beginning of my sober days it was because I didn't want to be around the wine (there is ALWAYS wine), but lately it's just because I've become a homebody...or maybe a recluse...depends on how you look at it.
Anyway, my BFF emailed me last week and asked me to go to one of those "bring your own wine and we'll teach you to paint" classes. At first I said no, then, because it's her, I relented.
All week I tried to think of reasons not to go, "I'm not an artist," "I don't want to make a fool of myself"...whatever. But (and this is a big BUT), I just couldn't disappoint her. She's my bestie, she loves to do stuff like this and she had a really crappy week so I said WTF, I'll go. How bad can it be?
The picture above is the result. I think it's pretty good for a TOTAL amateur.
And the most important thing? I HAD A BLAST!!! We had a great time! It didn't bother me a bit that some of the women were drinking wine. We laughed and painted and just plain had fun. At one point I turned to her and said, "I was wondering what normal people do to have fun...this must be it!" I mean really? Who knew?
So I started making plans...once a month we're going to do something like this! We can take a jewelry making class, or flower arranging, we can come back and paint the one of the bike on the beach or the bridge, or we can paint pottery next time! I was like a kid on Christmas! (You can tell by the overuse of the exclamation point.)
Then, as I started thinking about it, I realized that the reason I thought I didn't like this kind of stuff, was that although I had tried things like this before, I had never really experienced them. Whenever I did something like this in my drinking days, all I could think about was where the next glass of wine was coming from, or how much everyone else was drinking of the paltry two bottles we bought and was there going to be enough. Or, more importantly and more likely, if no wine was served during the event, when could we get the hell out of here and get on with the drinking part of the evening.
Even group mani-pedi's left me inpatient for the polish to dry so we could get going to the fun part. The part with the booze.
I never stopped and just enjoyed the activity. I never savored the pampering, or artistic outlet, or hell - just being with a group of women who loved me. I participated...but not really. What a shame.
I remember going on a murder mystery weekend once in a beautiful old inn in Virginia. We spent so much time drinking I never really experienced the small town we were in or the inn or even the murder mystery. It was just about how drunk we could all get in the shortest amount of time. I said I had fun but did I really? Now I'm not so sure. How sad that is. (And let's face it, I don't actually remember most of it.)
Well I can tell you this...I'm going to be painting a lot more "stuff" and doing a lot more things sober than I ever did while I was drinking and this time I'm not only going to remember it, I'm going to enjoy it in the moment.
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it ~ Anais Nin