Friday, October 19, 2007

We Should All Be So Lucky

Today I wrestled with a woman who was twice my age. And I’d love to say that I use the term “wrestle” to imply some sort of mental struggle, a methodical, philosophical, debate that we engaged in over differing view points. But no. I’m talkin’ hand-to-hand, physical confrontation. The lady tried to take me down.

We had our company picnic today. An annual party put on by management to thank us worker bees for a job well done. It was fun. Well, it was fun until one worker bee partook in a teensy bit too much honey. Eh, who am I kidding, this chick got wasted. And when management (and others) told her she was cut off from the Merlot, well, let’s just say that she was none too pleased with that decision. In fact, she may or may not have called our boss in his office and thrown a few swear words in his direction. Ugly.

The obvious general consensus was that there was NO WAY we (me, mangement, her friends, anyone standing within 400 feet of her) were letting this woman drive herself home. So I took her keys. Well, if she was a touch upset about being cutoff from the vino, let’s just say that she was downright LIVID that I would take her keys.

Now I need to stop the story here for a minute to say that I’m all for taking advantage of free beer and wine. Especially when the boss-man is paying. And I know that most all of us have had one too many a time or two in our pasts. We’ve gotten drunk. We’ve said stupid things. We’ve fallen down. We’ve made perfect asses of ourselves. It happens. I get it. And I also know that this woman is going through some pretty rough stuff at home right now and that she started this particular day a bit closer to the emotion edge than she normally might have… so it probably didn’t take more than a couple glasses to push her over. So I’m not even beginning to judge her for getting (more than) a little tipsy. It’s probably not the best move career-wise, but hey, it’s none of my business. Bottoms up, lady!

What I don’t get is the adamant refusal to accept the gracious offers from friends and co-workers for a ride home. Think about it. People care enough about you to go totally and completely out of their way to make sure that little old you gets home safe and sound. That’s huge! Feel grateful! Sure, no one likes to admit that they need a helping hand here and there. We all want to feel like we can make it on our own. But you know what? We can’t. We’re social creatures. We need each other. Accept that. Accept the hand of someone reaching out to you and be thankful that it was there.

Instead of being (embarrassed, yes, that she’d obviously over indulged, but also) grateful to be surrounded by people who care about her (and other drivers on the road, frankly), this woman got angry and attempted to convince me of her sobriety by shouting obscenities at me and then brawling with me to get her keys back. Note to the internet: this is a terrible way to convince someone that you are sober. Trust me. Also, comments to effect of “But I always drive like this” will not help your cause. Ever. Instead just sit down, shut-up, quit making a scene, have another glass of wine (or better yet, a glass of water), and realize that you are lucky as hell to have people in your life who would rather be wrestled to the ground than let your risk doing harm to yourself or others.


In the end, I drove her (and her car) home. Another co-worker followed us and then gave me a ride back to my own car. It was an inconvenience, yes, but nothing compared to what might have otherwise happened.

*Note: I exagerate the "brawling". Mostly she just grabbed my wrists and tried to force her keys out of my hands. I ran away from her, because I'm a lover not fighter... and because I'm pretty weak so she probably could have taken me.

Also, I wasn't alone in my "thou shalt not drive home" stance. If I hadn't taken her keys, someone else definitely would have. And mangament was there too to make sure she was ok.