Friday, 16 December 2011

The demon bottle

Being pregnant is basically like being a triathlete.

Mine and OH's worlds have collided and we are now living one mirrored co-existence. Let me hit you with the evidence:
  • I have to watch what I eat (brie, I love you and miss you every single day). OH watches everything he eats to make sure no one steals it (think Joey and his food sharing issues).
  • I can't drink (chilled champagne is on my rider for the delivery room). OH has self imposed sobriety.
  • My body has changed shape beyond all recognition (oh, toes, to see you again). OH bulks up at the gym in the winter ("guess how much I can bench press?")
  • I have acquired a whole load of pricey equipment (yes, a glow in the dark colour change room thermometer is an absolute essential). OH's eyes light up when we talk about the P5.
  • My life seems to now be a single one-way track to a specified date in the future (I'll give you a clue, it's not my birthday). OH - when is that qualification race again?
See? See how similar they are? To be honest, I don't know how OH has dealt with this kind of life all along. The worst, of course, is the no drinking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an alchy, just your regular binge drinker - but by God I miss the bubbles. Especially at events. Like weddings. Without the honey-coloured reception-drink-induced haze, weddings are a whole different ball game. Clearly the ceremony is pretty much the same for the Sobers and the Non-Sobers (I've never turned up fully drunk to a wedding ceremony so far), and the bit for photos, just the same. The minute you rock up to the reception however, it's like a new world of weddings opens up. As soon as those lovely silver trays laden with drinkies appear, floating along and mingling invitingly with the guests as if by magic, the wedding becomes something else altogether for the Sober.

Firstly, that slightly awkward bit before the food where you're not yet drunk but you have to talk to people you don't know for the sake of being sociable. This becomes like a team building event you might get forced to do at work. Comments are no longer throw away, disappearing on the breeze like they do when everyone is a teensy bit tiddly and giddy on the fumes of the afternoon Pimms. You can't fill the void of the empty rumbling stomach (empty because OH has hoovered up all the canapes before you could even get a look in) with beer - you are just plain starving. As everyone else starts to get that tell-tale tingly feeling behind the eyes indicating that they are on the super highway to Wrecksville, you have to take joy from the beauty of the flower arrangements and the artisanal hand crafted place settings.

I'm aware that I sound like a raving drunk. I'm also aware that people will think I'm one of those who can't "have a good time" without being drunk. But for a Cripplingly Shy like myself, a little of the good stuff does help to lube up proceedings. When are you ever so hilarious and such great company than after a few glasses of vino? Never before has the dancefloor witnessed such spectacular moves! Never again will you moan about your life because it is AMAZING! You know the drill.

Anyway, the upshot is that weddings are actually quite hard when you are pretty much the only Sober. You become aware of how stupid people are when they are drunk; how much conversational drivel gets spoken; how terrible the dancing is. Of course I am bitter! I want to be under the illusion that I am a charismatic comedy genius with all the moves. I am not. And with the Sober God as my witness, it turns out that none of us are.

Also, please don't go away with the impression that I am at all miserable about not drinking - I am utterly delighted and excited about the impending birth of our child and would do nothing to risk it. I'm merely pointing out that I've had the realisation that all of those nights where OH has resisted the bottle for the sake of a race can't have been that great. He must be really committed...

So, rant over and onto other matters. To keep the record up to date (ah, the irony), triathlon is in its underground phase at the moment - all of those miles in the cold dark garage on the turbo will hopefully bear fruit later in the new year. Flights and villa booked for a "cycling training camp holiday" in Majorca at Easter with some dear (and possibly slightly deranged) friends - all being well The Baby will be about 7 weeks old - and I wonder what on earth we are getting ourselves into. But I suppose It (and by It, I mean The Baby - I can't say he or she, we don't know the flavour) will need to get used to the other members of our family (and by that, I mean triathlon). We have yet to see how the battle for supremacy between The Baby and triathlon will go. But let's just say that it cost us more to book a space on the plane for the bike than it did for the baby.

Right, enough for today. I have to log off to go and see which of my party dresses I can squeeze myself into without bosting the zip. It's the work Christmas party later on tonight. It's on a boat. Great. All I need is to be the only Sober with no escape route. I've already selected a book to take with me so at least I can keep busy until we dock.

But anyway. Happy Christmas everyone! Have a drink for me...

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