Monday, July 05, 2004

Bar brawl

On Friday I did two very stupid things.

Firstly, I got paralytically drunk. This is not like me, and is especially not like me over the last year, when I have been, shall we say, mindful of moderating my alcohol intake. But I went straight from work on an empty stomach to a party. There I was plied with fizzy wine and more fizzy wine and then some red and on to the pub where I found myself imbibing vodka. Vodka! I swiftly crossed over from that feeling of being pleasantly merry to becoming quite plastered in very little time.

Somehow I managed to extract myself from that party before it got too silly, and go off to another one which had been scheduled the same night. Unfortunate. I usually avoid such things, but it was on the way home. So off I went, swaying and hiccuping mightily. As I was walking, I realised I was seeing double. S'blurry. Oops. Hic.

Arrived at the next party and attempted to sober up a bit. Difficult when bottles of chilled drinks are being placed in front of me. But I did my best, and managed to get it together somewhat.

One of the people at the gathering was a woman who I had worked with a couple years ago. She was presently on maternity leave, and so there was the inevitable cooing over the pictures of the bouncing ball of beautiful baby she had produced. I didn't mind that so much. But when I said wistfully (or slurred wistfully) that we had been trying unsuccesfully, the response was:

"Oh, I know. It took us two years. You know what the answer is...just chill. Stop writing things down."

At that point I took a renewed interest in the bottom of my bottle of alcopop. She proceeded to talk for the next half an hour about giving birth. By the time she finished rambling on about how the pain of breastfeeding was worse than her back labour, I was totally sozzled again .

For the rest of the night, when anyone asked me how I was, I replied "Infertile. And you?" This mightn't have been so bad, but it was several people from work, all of whom looked mildly horrified.

Finally, I spied a guy whom we shall call Craig. At this point I began the second stupid thing I would do this evening.

Rumour has it that Craig experienced some born-again type Road- to- Damascus conversion a year or so ago, and is now on the God Squad in a big way. I began asking him what, in retrospective, were a series of very intrusive questions about his faith.

So I quickly managed to ascertain that in Craig's world, things like infertility and cancer are caused by "sin". Hearing this, in my inebriated state was incitement to an intellectual bar brawl. Whose sin, I demanded to know? Are you implying that I am infertile because I have done something wrong?

No, according to Craig- it was because of the sin of the world. We now live in a fallen world tainted by the effects of sin. Things like infertility is one result of the human race's rebellion against God.

Riiiiight, so the world is a fucked up place, people are cruel, intolerant, and unkind. So that makes me, personally, unable to have children? That makes people get cancer?

It's all part of God's plan.

Was it God's plan to make you an asshole? Because that's what you sound like to me when you talk about attributing medical conditions to some amorphous notion of good and evil, to the idea that bad things happen to people as part of some grand design.

Well, in the afterlife, there will be no illness, no infertility- we will all live like happy bunnies in God's garden.

Great, so I can get pregnant when I am dead?

At that point I decided a little boogie break was in order- when reason fails, try disco. That was the end of my conversation on religion and infertility. The rest of the evening carried on rather uneventfully, apart from the fact I somehow ended up in the chippie eating a smoked sausage supper at one in the morning, but that's par for the course when you go on a bender here in Scotland.

Now, I should add a little postcript to this story. The first is that I appreciate religion is a "complicated issue". And I shouldn't lump people who subscribe to a belief system into one category. In some ways, it was inappropriate for me to accost Craig for his views on the matter. I didn't like what he had to say, but I aggressively initiated the conversation. In my dumb, drunk, hurting way, this was a form of lashing out. So, note to self, stay away from the booze at future work parties.

And this morning I learned that Craig's father died of cancer yesterday. If Craig can take some comfort in the idea that it was God's plan for that to happen, well, good for him. Good for him.


At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh you very very bad girl! :).....Since you are a card carrying infertile the world is now going to be giving pardons for any behavior caused or linked to infertility...not to mention the mandatory lollipop that will be available when we get boo boos. I wrote about this just last night over at the infertile gourmets kitchen....Funny you should have done this now.

Sometimes I think we just have to break out of our routine behavior and purge the crazies that fester it really so bad to let people see how hard this internal struggle of yours is? I think not...I usually give a pardon to people for odd behavior when they are struggling. I think it is a way to share the burden with our fellow human to put up with the crazies as long as it is not a constant state of crazy

My heart goes out to you and your frustrations. If you still feel sucky my kichen is always open and I buy the good vodka!

At 6:03 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

As far as lashing out goes, well Marvy Mare, I think this was not too outlandish. I'm afraid that even sober and composed, I tend to regard the very existence of a righteous Christian as an invitation to argument. Just standing there, saying nothing, a do-gooder incites me to grill and debate relentlessly. So I know where you're coming from. You're hurting, and it was an outlet for your frustration. 'S-okay.

And as for the bender, I've been having a pretty hard time myself keeping my hands off the wine bottle recently. Just one or two drinks a night really, but pretty much every night. This is against all the rules, I know, but I'm kinda in a "fuck it" mode. All of which is to say, you'll get no judgment from me, and I think you're doing great.

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Emma Jane said...

"Infertile. And you?" I know you had a difficult evening, and may small annoying extra gods smite all those who deserve it for their insensitivity (although I feel bad too for Craig, who probably didn't merit that big of a hit)... but oh, I hope you really said that to people. 'Cause someone's got to, sometime, someplace. It's so, so true.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger getupgrrl said...

I think I love you.


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