John Ore: Oh, Jolie! I just had the strangest dream! And you were there and everyone here and…Kurt Loder?…And I remember that some of it wasn’t very nice… but most of it was beautiful. But just the same, all I kept saying to everybody was, I want to go home. And they sent me home.
Jolie Kerr: Well you know what they say—there’s no place like etc.! So hey, old friend, it feels like it’s been years. Where ya been? How ya been? (Oh God, my head hurts so badly.)
John: Oh, you know, the usual: celebrating my wife’s birthday with drinks at the Waldorf, celebrating the Giants’ Super Bowl victory with a growler of Barrier Imposter Pils. No big deal.
Fitting end to Our Little Ordeal. My Last Temptation Of Drynuary consisted of mixing drinks for my wife on the eve of her birthday. (She tapped out 24 hours before me, deservedly so, but still logged 31 days). Toughest job I ever loved: at one point, I spilled rye on my fingers, and instead of treating it like a dripping ice cream cone, I WASHED IT OFF IN THE SINK. I felt like I was handling nuclear material.
Jolie: I don’t even understand why you decided to go the extra day. OH WAIT. I bet it’s so that you can feel EXTRA smug when we tally things up. In which case, I’m going to tell you that you (and plenty of other people) took a terrible drubbing at the hands of some friends of mine who think it PATENTLY ABSURD that you all denied me my O’Doul’s but let me knock off of Drynuary on the 27th.
Of course I didn’t exactly ask your permission to duck out early, now did I? Because I’m not that concerned with being liked. Please. We should discuss reentry. How did you break the fast and how did you feel during and after?
John: Hey, I explicitly gave you a pass on Luger’s from the get-go. That, coupled with extending my Drynuary into overtime, allows me to win the oh-so-important Smug Battle. That’s all that matters to me in the minds of “your friends.”
But! We’re all back on a level playing field now. We walked over the coals together, did the Trust Fall, signed each others’ yearbooks. (I was voted Most Likely to Lord Things Over You).
I like that we both ended Drynuary by making it an occasion, rather than cracking open a beer and watching reruns of “House.” For you, it was a martini at Peter Luger’s. For me, it was a Brooklyn at Blue Hill for my wife’s birthday: I’d been fixated on having a rye whiskey drink to break the fast. Watching the bartender make it was like foreplay. OMFG, it was the most delicious thing ever. I swear, after two sips I was concerned that I’d done irreparable damage to my tolerance, and would be curled up under the table by the time the appetizers were cleared. A couple of glasses of wine later (not to mention hitting two more bars after dinner!), I found my groove. No hangover on Saturday morning either! It’s a Drynuary Miracle!
So take us through that first martini at Luger’s.
Jolie: Actually, I broke with a glass of pinot grigio. I know! So unlike me. But our timing got a little thrown off and we ended up meeting for cocktails before Luger’s so I went for the grape juice and let me tell you, I was sucking it down like my life depended on it. Nothing has ever tasted so good. It was, quite frankly, embarrassing. I could hear myself slurping and my glass was noticeably draining faster than those of my companions. One of whom was my mother.
And then. Then! That Luger’s martini, oh man, it was so good. Just delicious and purely alcoholic and salty and alahsflkahdlkhsdg as our Higher Power would say. I sipped it, thank God, and then had one more glass of wine with dinner before heading home. Of course, once we got home we proceeded to DRINK ALL THE WINE AND SMOKE ALL THE CIGARETTES and oh ouch did I ever hurt the next day. As punishment I washed the floors at 8 a.m.
John: Yeah, I got a little cocky after Friday night. My tolerance hasn’t kept up with my appetite, and 7 a.m. Sunday morning wakeups were easier in Drynuary. The weekend was full of occasions to celebrate, but I’m looking forward to dialing it back during the week. Part of my promise to bring a little bit of Drynuary with me through the year. I’m sure that will last past, say, tonight!
Jolie: Speaking of keeping Drynuary with us, I do have some sad news to report: the return to the drink has not particularly agreed with me. I’ve had some jitters and some anxiety and have found that even one drink can mean I’m in for a world of hurt the next day. So I need to watch it, like, seriously. Which is the worst thing ever and I blame you entirely. WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME??
John: I think there’s a bug going around. It’s called Getting Older.
Jolie: I’ll buy that for a dollar. Shall we leaderboard?
John: LOL, “leaderboard”!
Jolie: More like “loserboard”.
Week Five, Post-Drynuary
Alcohol Consumed (units) Since End Of
Jolie: 1 vodka martini extra extra dirty, 1 manhattan with extra extra cherries, 2 bourbons on the rocks, 2 coffees with bourbon, 4 mimosas, 14 Blue Moons, ALL THE WINE
Days Without Booze During Drynuary
Jolie: 26 (January 1-27)
John: 32 (January 2-February 3)
Jolie: A little a’fuss
Irritability (scale of 0-10)
Jolie: Oh dear.
John: Moderating moderation.
Jolie: A little bit maybe?
John: Not stirred.
Smugness (scale of 0-10)
Jolie: 0, I’ve been lying in a heap since falling off the wagon, not much here to feel smug about
John: 1, until my tolerance comes back, gonna have to ride my 32-day-smugness until it runs dry
Jolie: I woke up in the middle of the night and announced that “the f@&#ing moon is staring at me.”
John: Nope, that ship has sailed. Ugh.
Jolie: Who needs activities??
John: Finding something else to write about!
John: So, what have we learned? Was this whole thing “a teachable moment”?
Jolie: Yes it was. AND NOT IN THE GOOD WAY. I swear to God, John, if you’ve put me off the sauce….
John:Wait, you signed the waiver, right? I’m absolved of any loss or damage you might experience in Drynuary.
Jolie: You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.
John: Looking forward to it. We’ll meet over drinks.