Tuesday, June 5

First Challenge: A Party

I'm an advisor to a group of teenagers involved in a legislative program, and today was their end-of-session party. An ice cream party. With a birthday cake, to boot.

Guess who provided the cake? And guess who has been ice-cream addicted since her unfortunate bout of teenaged employment at Baskin-Robbins?

Yeah, this was going to be a problem.

I was about to know first-hand what alcoholics have to live with. Now I'm not a drinker. In fact, I've never even tasted alcohol. And I don't do coffee, don't even drink Coke. So in my 53 years of hard partying, turning down drinks has never given me pause. I just don't drink, it's not an option, I'm not even tempted.

This, though, was going to be my AA moment. I was going to a party where my own addiction was being served. Chocolate frosting. Aaaaahhhh. Ice cream sundaes. With toppings. Ohhhhh. And there were no carrot sticks on offer to give me an alternative. And I'd just spent an hour in the swimming pool, and was very hungry.

What did I do?

I'll admit it. I tried to think of ways to justify eating just one serving. "It's a party. The kids will be disappointed if I don't join in. I haven't eaten anything bad in almost a week. I did just exercise, so that pretty much compensates for the calories. I haven't eaten hardly anything today."

In the end, though, I couldn't fool myself. One misplaced foot, one toe down the path of self-justification, and it was over. So I slapped myself, hard, went to the other side of the room, far from the cake and ice cream, and found a way to distract myself. I texted. I talked to teenagers. I took photos of the kids and posted to Facebook. And a little while later, it was all over. The cake was gory looking, the ice cream was melted. And I wasn't "drunk." I even managed to drive the remaining cake over to the house of a teen who'd missed the party, and hand it over without clutching it to my chest.

It's nice to be able to lie down at night with a clear conscience. Very, very nice.

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