Two years ago today, I was giddy. It was my birthday and the Reds were in the playoffs. Both my mother and my boyfriend had bought me Reds hoodies as presents, which was perfect, because it meant I could wear a Reds sweatshirt non-stop, and still not have to do laundry more than once a month. I happened to be on my way to visit him in Michigan, which was doubly plus good, as being in a long distance relationship tends to mean you don’t always get to celebrate holidays or birthdays with your loved one. But this birthday was going to be different.
The day was a seamless perfection of absolute joy.
(cue dramatic music)
BY NIGHTFALL, THAT JOY WAS ALL IN ASHES.
Seriously, though, that was a bad night. I mean, it was a really bad night. We had gone to a fantastic beer bar that was also inexplicably a massive fraternity hangout. Of course, as the night went on, I became less and less aware of the people I was surrounded by, due to a steady decrease in personal sobriety. The outs ticked by, and so did the empty mugs.
I’m not generally one to drink my sorrows away, but this was something of a special case. The earlier happiness had strung me even higher than usual, and the misery was just relentless. Every 20 minutes, there were three more Redleg outs. By the seventh inning, I was sneaking beer from my boyfriend’s glass, in what my inebriated brain conceived as an attempt to make it seem like I was drinking less than I really was. Of course, drunk people aren’t known for being sneaky, and I’m not particularly smooth on my best days.
My lovely, wise, significant other, who was patiently trying not to notice me stealing half of his beer, did eventually cut me off, but by that time there was enough beer in my stomach to keep me increasingly drunk for at least another half-hour. When the game ended, we left the bar, and I took off into a neighborhood, running and crying and yelling at the world, because dammit,why? Finally, I fell over, and my boyfriend dragged me home to throw up.
Let me be clear: as this illustrates, I am not much of a binge drinker. I like beer, but I rarely have more than a couple drinks. This is almost certainly the worst drunken moment in my life, and one that does not reflect my position on drunken catastrophe in general (Not in favor). But it happened, and it happened because after years of caring and cheering and loving and waiting for something good to come out of a Cincinnati Reds baseball season, seeing it crushed so prematurely was bound to leave scars.
So today, I am happy and excited for the prospect of playoff baseball – both for the Reds and my now-fiance’s Tigers, but the joy of birthday-playoff-baseball is tainted for me. With fear. And vomit. So, today, Cincinnati Reds, I have a list of birthday wishes for you to fulfill.