You know when you’re so tired that your eyes burn? And you feel like someone plucked out your brain and replaced it with Styrofoam? And you just want to crawl into a hole and cry? This, along with being abnormally sweaty, is how I’ve felt all day.
I wish I could say that my condition is due to being out all night at an amazing party with rich and famous people. Sadly, it was my almost two year old daughter that decided to include me in her solo party girl antics for the better part of last night. She got just under three hours of sleep and is all ridiculously bubbly and precious today. That girl can par-tayyyy. I don’t even want to think about what shenanigans she’ll get into when she’s a teenager…
My late night rager with my daughter has gotten me all nostalgic for the carefree, alcohol soaked nights of my youth.
Actually, I should use the term “nights” loosely…
Tonight, I’d like to share another one of my favourite losing stories that I have ever entered in a writing contest.
If you’re a fan of drinking, hockey and shenaniganizing, then I think you’ll enjoy this non-fiction anecdote. And if you don’t like those things, read my story anyways because I used the word foodstuffs.
One of the best days of my life started with a craft fair and ended with my best friend heckling the captain of the Ottawa Senators.
Sallie and I have known each other for well over a decade. She is a world traveller, a teacher and a magnificent knitter. Sadly, Sallie is vertically challenged. Standing at only four-foot-ten, she compensates for her lack of height with an abundance of personality. She makes her presence known and is not one to shy away from voicing her opinion. She’s also witty, sassy and all around awesome.
For one magical year and a half, Sallie ignored her itchy feet and made Ottawa her home. Sunday was our day of the week. We dubbed it Skiddy Sunday because just like Mary’s little lamb, everywhere we went, beer seemed to follow. If we went for a walk downtown, we’d end up in a pub. If we went shopping, we’d break for lunch, and beer. We even mastered the art of knitting and drinking simultaneously.
The most legendary of Skiddy Sundays began in a rather sophisticated manner. A craft sale was being held at Landsdown Park. Being crafty nerds, Sallie and I eagerly attended. The best part of the sale was the free sampling of various foodstuffs. Unfortunately, there was nothing available at the venue to wash down the tasty treats. Luckily for us, Bank Street was lined with pubs.
Two pitchers of beer later, Sallie and I rolled out of an Irish pub with full bellies and light heads. It was early spring and a perfect afternoon for a stroll in the Glebe. We giddily held hands and perused shops. We even stopped in at a yarn store and asked the elderly proprietor several knitting questions. I’ve since wondered if she knew of our inebriation.
We continued on our walk, chatting and giggling as drunk best friends do. Bank Street was a sea of red, black and white. The Ottawa Senators had made the Stanley Cup Playoffs that year and the city was engrossed in complete hockey madness. I’m not a hockey fan myself, but I’m married to one. My husband was constantly hijacking our TV to watch his beloved Sens. Some hockey knowledge must have seeped into my noggin during those endless televised games because I instantly recognized Daniel Alfredsson as he walked past Sallie and I. He was wearing shorts and pushing a child in a stroller. His shaggy red hair flowed in the breeze. In my drunken state, I called out to him, “you’re doing a great job”! He turned and smiled. I giggled like a school girl with a crush and grabbed Sallie excitedly.
“Who was that?” she asked. Sallie was probably the only person living in Ottawa who didn’t know that he was the captain of the Senators. When I divulged this information, she stopped, turned around and without hesitation yelled, “GO LEAFS GO” as loud as her little frame would allow. Sallie has done many things to shock me during our friendship; extreme haircuts, random piercings, sudden plans to travel to far away countries. To say that I was shocked by her hurling an insult at someone whom she has never met, would be an understatement. Sallie is a person with no enemies. To know her is to love her. She’s kind and smiley and gentle and compassionate. She’s a vegetarian, for crying out loud! It was completely bewildering behaviour. You think you know someone inside and out, and then they heckle a professional hockey player and blow all your preconceived notions about them to bits.
I’m not sure if Daniel Alfredsson heard Sallie’s harsh words, but I wasn’t going to stick around to find out. Being a life long Ottawa resident, I knew how passionate hockey folk could get about their hatred of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I feared that Sallie’s loose lips would garner us some negative attention. My alcohol muddled brain made me certain that some random Senators hockey fan was going to beat us up. My fight or flight instincts kicked in as I grabbed Sallie’s hand and forced her to start running. Up Bank Street we went, running wildly. We must have looked like total maniacs. Finally feeling confident that we were out of harm’s way, we stopped. We slowly caught our breath and then we laughed. We laughed so hard that our insides ached. It was the kind of laughter that is impossible to control. The kind that makes your eyes water and your nose run. I believe I snorted several times. When we finally spoke, our conversation went something like this;
Me – What the hell were you thinking?
Sallie – I don’t know!
Me – I can’t believe you just did that! You’re a total jerk!
Sallie – I am? It wasn’t that bad, was it?
Me – Umm…yes ! You just insulted Daniel Alfredsson. What did he ever do to you?
We stood in silence for a moment and then we laughed all over again.
Some might think that I would have been angry at Sallie for her actions that day. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I admired her moxie, even if it was alcohol induced. She momentarily got swept up in hockey fever and heckled someone famous. Someone who was probably more than twice her size. No big deal. I wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed of my best friend. I was ecstatic to discover another trait in Sallie that further emphasized her awesomeness. And the fact that I’m willing to defend her behaviour is a testament to our friendship. I will always have her back, even when she makes terrible, drunken decisions.
Sadly, Skiddy Sundays are long gone. Sallie and I may not live in the same city anymore, but our friendship is as solid as ever. Since that epic Sunday, Sallie and I have enjoyed both craft fairs and beer, just not on the same day. Daniel Alfredsson is still the captain of the Ottawa Senators and my husband still hogs the TV on game nights. I can’t help but feel awkward whenever I catch a glimpse of Mr. Alfredsson on the tube. I get a small twinge of guilt and feel like maybe he hates my best friend.
Maybe Sallie does have one enemy after all.