Friday, January 1, 2010

Blame it on the 'Kokol.

Every time I wake up from a night of hard drinking and partying, I tell myself; 'No more. You will never again drink that much in your life!' Of course, I never respect my temporary wisdom, as a few weeks later, I find myself tip toeing back to my apartment, lying my head on my pillow and hoping the room would stop spinning long enough for me to fall asleep.
Alcohol is ingrained in my culture; I'm Polish and we, right next to Russians, are known to be heavy drinkers. Since I've been a little girl there has always been an alcohol bottle lying around somewhere in the house and if somehow that bottle was empty, it was only because the fridge was empty as well.
Three years ago, I went to the Kaszuby, a Polish region situated next to the sea. I was accompanied by my family and some friends, the weather was awful; it was always raining, we never got the chance to swim in the sea. Of course, we made the best out of our stay; my mother and aunts decided to brave the rain and take a walk in the forest. They came back, drenched and instead of fixing themselves a hot cup of cocoa or tea, my aunt eagerly stated; "I'm heating up the beer, anybody wants some?"

My family and drinking partners; Aunts, sister and baby cousin.

When I was in Poland, I drank with my family every single night. I'm not a big fan of hard liquor, I enjoy wine and beer or softer drinks like Baileys and Amarula. There were always plenty at my aunt's house. I must note here that drinking with your parents, is like a 'coming of age' ritual. Before I go any farther; drinking regularly and alcoholism are two different things. My grand father was an alcoholic, he was a soldier, a quiet man with a quick temper, a man that internalized his emotions and never spoke about them. For over two decades, he abused his body and let alcohol rule his life. My grand mother stuck by him, until finally, he healed. When I was born, my grand father was already sober. I never saw him as anyone but a great man I will always love and respect. My grand mother, my Babcia, has an aversion to alcohol. She knows what it can do; if you bury your emotions in a bottle of vodka, it will eventually bury you. She doesn't like when we drink around her, her bright blue eyes crease with worry.

Moderately, alcohol 'Kokol' adds fun to an evening, or if you're an avid wine drinker, it can complement a meal and give it more flavor. Last night, as we celebrated the New Year at my friends' Sulli and Yannick's house, we witnessed many sides of alcohol.
An argument erupted, and because both parties were intoxicated, it took a bigger connotation than it would have if same words were spoken when sober. In fact, these words would have never been spoken if alcohol didn't lower every body's inhibitions.
Overall, alcohol added fun to our night; we had Wii tournaments (I got my butt kicked in boxing, but I won a tennis match. ha), we had chicha, good food, good music and most importantly good company. I shouldn't have mixed my drinks so much, I did get teary towards the end of the night when I decided to smooth things over with my ex-lover; we have friends in common and although we decided previously (for the sake of our future relationships) to no longer keep contact, we bump into each other sometimes. I wanted to start my year with a clean slate, and although I didn't get to the bottom of everything that happened between us, I am willing to accept that I will never get my answers. I don't think he has them, and I no longer feel they are important to me.

I can't believe it but I can (finally) say this; My heart and my mind are at ease. They aren't longing for a lost love or a past life...I am so excited about this New Year. Big things popping ;-)

I'm starting out my New Year Resolution. While on my way to work (Yes, I work today, until 9 pm) I realized that doing something creative, greener, compassionate once a day isn"t as easy as I first thought it would be. I mean, I brought my coffee thermos to work today, therefore, I will not use any paper cups, but does this really qualify as 'greening' my life? I don't think so.
I will start with a small step; today, I will write my post, edit my short story 'Wives and Lovers', and I will make my first Indian Chai tea, the 'proper' way with Cardamom pods and Ginger root.
Snall steps ;-)


Lion-ess said...

Happy New Year!

Looking forward to your 365.

I love chai tea.
10years ago, I had a hang over and since then, I've only drank alcohol about 5 times.

Alcohol (strong rum) is big in my culture as well.

latree said...

thank God I never tried alcohol. I think I won't, it sounds so difficult to get away from :D

happy new year
good luck for your resolutions
and I have a wish on one of it: reading your story ;)

floreta said...

happy new year, hon! you seem to have such an interesting life :) and i agree every day drinker is way different than an alcoholic!

Retromus-ik said...

I'm glad you've come to peace with what happened with you and your k. 2010 will be your year:)

Nana said...

@ Lioness; I am definitely going to limit my alcohol for the new year, and I"m a big fan of Chai tea as well.
@Latree; I can't believe you never tasted alcohol. That is amazing, I really respect your discipline and your strong values.
@Floreta; my life could be more interesting ;-)
@Retro; I'm glad too. I can breathe much easier now.