A Drynuary Diary: Week Three, The Bargaining

A Drynuary Diary

Week Three: The Bargaining

by Jolie Kerr and John Ore

Jolie Kerr: Merry Everythingisterriblenuary, John! Three weeks in. Are you as despondent as I am?

John Ore: It’s the Doldrums of Drynuary. Adrift in the middle of the month, coping mechanisms running low, no land in sight, wind out of your sails. Brings up all sorts of existential questions. Also, I keep seeing an albatross for some reason.

Jolie: Week Three is basically the March of Drynuary. Oh but! Speaking of coping mechanisms, I have a question for you: why do I feel like bringing O’Doul’s to a party is cheating? Rationally I know it’s not, but I feel like it is? #feeeeelings

John: (My birthday is in March, so tread lightly.) See? Existential questions. The answer is: because there’s actually a little bit of booze in it? LIKE COOKING WITH WINE (ahem)?!?!?

Jolie: That’s not even remotely cheating, the alcohol cooks off entirely. (I also cooked with sherry the other night and I don’t want to hear a thing about it. I DID NOT QUAFF FROM THE BOTTLE OKAY.) So you’re saying no to the O’Doul’s? Aw man.

John: I’m saying NO to the O’Doul’s. Your tolerance is so low now that you’d get a buzz from it! It’s 0.4% alcohol! You might as well do a body shot.

Jolie: Damn it. I was really looking forward to the visual of showing up at YM Shabbos with O’Doul’s.

John: Show up with it as a prop. Don’t drink it. It tastes like ass anyway, and you don’t like beer?

Jolie: I don’t love beer, no, though I’ve developed more of a taste for it in recent months? And I mean, I drink junk beer like Bud Light, so? BUT FINE. And no, I’m not going to spend money on a prop for crying out loud.

John: You’ve developed a taste for sudsy water? We need to talk, young lady.

Jolie: I’m a Clean Person, I like the taste of suds. I NOW APPEAL TO A HIGHER AUTHORITY FOR A VERDICT.

John: Looks like we’ve entered the Bargaining stage!

Jolie: “I have never been so low as I was on the day I bargained for O’Doul’s.”

Choire: Hello! O’Doul’s is not allowed, sorry.

Jolie: DAMN IT.

Choire: There’s of course some division on this topic among non-drinkers. I do not judge, technically. (The O’Doul’s crowd is like “BUT THERE’S SMALL AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL IN FRUIT AND STUFF TOOOOO” basically.) But yeah no.

Jolie: Aleeeeeex. Choire & John told me I’m not allowed to drink O’Douls during Drynuary. And Carrie is being a puss and won’t weigh in. But she does want to know what you’d say, so this is me, bracing for whatever insult will be flung in response to this question.

Balk BTW: This is of course your alcohol fast so you do whatever you want, but if I had to make a ruling I would come down on the side of no O’Doul’s, because there is still a trace amount of alcohol in it. Sorry!

Balk BTW: Also, obviously, the vomit O’Doul’s factor, but that is more of an aesthetic thing.

Jolie: I’m absolutely crushed. Man, now I really want an etc.


John: It’s unanimous.

Jolie: Yes, I unanimously hate everyone. Should we just take this straight to the leaderboard? I’m too depressed to keep chatting.

Week Three

Alcohol Consumed (units)
Jolie: 0
John: 0

Days Without Booze
Jolie: 19
John: 18 (start on January 2)

Jolie: Despondent
John: Autopilot

Irritability (scale of 0–10)
Jolie: 4
John: 4

Jolie: Everything is terrible and I want to die.
John: Hey, I’m getting thinner! It’s one of the benefits of Drynuary. Either that or I ran over a gypsy with my (non-existent) car.

Jolie: Wracked with sobs.
John: My fist at the cruel heavens.

Smugness (scale of 0–10)
Jolie: 0, too depressed to feel anything other than sadness.
John: 2, Lording this over my daughter is losing its novelty.

Sounder Sleeping
Jolie: Not as well as Week One, not as anxiety dream-y as Week Two.
John: Better, actually.

Substitute Activities
Jolie: Cursing Alex Balk. Moping. Gently weeping.
John: Coffee. Words With Friends. Hockey. Peppering speech with religious allusions (uh oh!).

John: Looking on the bright side, I really am feeling a bit thinner these days, which is a bonus. Dads, vanity, etc. So I’m looking at this like the Glass Is Half-Full. Half full of fake wine, but still. It’s not all sackcloth and ashes, is it?

Jolie: I’ll admit that your Thinner reference did make me smile. And fine, while I’m admitting things I’ll confess that I’m actually not that despondent. Mostly because when I caught myself working into a major funk over a personal choice I’ve made and have complete control over, I gave myself a stern talking-to about my bad attitude. Which is, really, the thing about Drynuary — it’s all in the attitude. Working yourself into a “THIS IS HORRIBLE WHY-EEEEE” frenzy doesn’t do any good at all. So basically now I just mutter to myself in a Fred Gwynne voice, “Sometimes sobah is bettah.”

John: I’ll admit that I approached the long weekend with a bit of dread: the first weekend of Drynuary was a bite in the ass, so I expected a long weekend full of NFL playoffs to escalate the tension. But it was all good. Made some spaetzle, flexed my handyman muscles around the house, watched some football, did some writing, bought shoes, went to the movies. It was downright productive. I feel like I’m getting my second wind.

Jolie: I was kind of the opposite of productive, but yes the long weekend was all good for me too, once the stern talking to set in. Of course “the opposite of productive” for me still involved a lot of home cooking, hand laundering, column writing, bathtub scrubbing… so I don’t even know who I’m trying to fool with this. Basically I didn’t wear anything with underwire for three days, that’s what I’m trying to get at. Alllll good.

John: Yeah, I kind of feel like I can do this standing on my head now. Does the Twitterperverse agree?

Dry-nuary: How to survive a month without drinking: tinyurl.com/82b2ajx

— Kurt Loder (@kurt_loder) January 18, 2012

You know, I saw him at Balthazar once.

Jolie: Dude. I was his intern once. Merry Everythingisawesomenuary!

So here we are, two olden folks who are (carbon) dating themselves by being publicly excited that Kurt Loder is tweeting about them… what about the rest of you? Anyone else still up on this wagon? “Tell us in the etc.!”

Previously: Week Two; Week One.

Jolie Kerr is prone to melodrama. John Ore agrees.