I have a chosen few. I keep them very close. I check in and I remember and I follow up. And they do the same.
But sometimes, even though I love them and they love me and we have a deep and shared history, this Not Drinking thing feels like it creates a chasm.
We went out tonight. Everyone wearing perfume, expensive denim jeans, chunky necklaces. We sat in a lovely restaurant and shared hummus and crusty bread and warm chocolate cake.
I drank cranberry sodas. They drank martinis and wine. We ordered a second round.
I guess the change happened slowly, but my recognition of it was sudden.
We were discussing husbands or boyfriends or children. As we always do. The conversation could have been, and has been, had over coffee or water or nothing. It was not an unusual moment. Until it was. And then they were laughing (too?) loudly and talking over each other (or just me?) and not finishing one thought before moving on to another.
They were buzzed.
And that was totally normal. Because we were, as I stated, OUT. And they were, as I stated, DRINKING.
But I’m not.
And so a shared evening suddenly did not feel shared. I felt separated and different.
At them? At me?