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Grapevine : August 2010
S itting in group at sunset on the beau- tiful island of Anti- gua, the small bunch of us were telling our life stories. We were in treatment for alcoholism and wanted so much to get our lives in order and return to our friends and families. As I read mine, the group laughed, which puzzled me. They said, "Why don't you write a book and call it 'Betty's Crocked'?" I grew up in a remarkable al- coholic family. We were Irish and had the "curse." I never drank be- cause I did not want to lose control or smell or fall down, as members of my large family often did. How- ever, on the night I graduated from high school, I succumbed to peer pressure and drank hot wine, warm beer and vodka during the never- ending round of parties. I stumbled a lot, got sick and passed out. When I came to, I thought, Wow, that was great; let's do it again. I felt pretty, witty and knew I was a fabulous Half-baked There was nothing sweet about this relapse that started with vanilla extract dancer, though I had more than two left feet. I couldn't wait to repeat it. And upon leaving home for college, I did, for four long years. I justified my behavior because I attended a big party school. I still felt pretty, witty and just knew I could dance. I also fell down a lot, even out of cars a few times. I became adept at throwing fabulous keg parties and could even roll them and tap them myself. Kids would drive 50 miles if they knew of a party at our apartment. I naturally didn't do too well in my classes and was summoned home to finish college in my hometown. I picked up right where I left off and partied all the time, but for some reason managed to get good grades in my education classes at the Uni- versity of Miami. I didn't feel pretty, witty or even like a good dancer any more, but I had to drink. Eventu- ally, I did so almost every day. I ran around with my sorority friends, frat boys and surfers and, though I kept my morals intact, I was obviously a certified drunk. We hung out at the beach or danced at the local bars and PHOTO BY BAY 40 August 2010