On Ballet (sort of)! – The Importance of Counting
All jokes about dancers not being able to count higher than eight aside, there are some very good reasons to count things.
Like, for example, alcoholic beverages.
Historically, I have been one of those people who have a couple of drinks perhaps six times a year (mostly on trips to visit family and friends, who — I am convinced — enjoy plying our naive systems with alcohol and watching us get tipsy). Various influences (read: somehow, we have suddenly developed a non-bike related, non-ballet related Social Life o.O) have conspired to knock out three of those drinking occasions in the past three weekends.
Friday night we went out for dinner with Kelly. It was the best kind of dinner: grazing at table for something like three hours without overeating, then enjoying coffee and affogati by a really cool fire pit.
Not content to stop there, we dropped in on ironically-named Bardstown Road hot spot “Big Bar,” which is really a lovely little venue, after which we went dancing at NoWhere, another Bardstown Road venue with lasers, DJs, and enough room on their dance floor for me to actually dance! …Which is to say that I danced for like 2.5 hours while Kelly and Denis intermittently danced and chatted. We packed it back home at 12:30 and were in bed by roughly 1 AM.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. However, I made a serious mistake: I completely failed to count how many alcoholic beverages I had enjoyed. I’m still not really sure. That’s not a good thing. If you can’t account for all of it, you have definitely had way too much.
Needless to say, I remain quite a lightweight. I don’t think I went Full FratBoy on this excursion, but I do know I more than found my limit. I wasn’t exactly incoherent, but I was hammered and I knew it.
I wasn’t “drinking to get drunk,” either — just kept trying different things because they tasted good, and quickly lost track of how many good-tasting things I’d tried. So, evidently, it is quite easy to vastly overdo it without trying. It was very much like the, “Petit fours? Don’t mind if I do!” sort of thing that can happen at catered events where endless plates of new and different little hors d’ouevres and desserts circulate.
The end result was a jammed left knee, one heck of an abdominal workout (derived from about two hours of early-morning hurling), a wickedly sore throat that persists to some extent today (cinnamon infused whiskey is lovely going down and hellish coming back up), and no ballet class on Saturday. I think I probably would’ve forced myself to get up and go if it weren’t for the knee thing, but the knee was definitely a problem. I am guessing I jammed it on the dance floor and failed utterly to notice until I woke up at 5 AM.
So, in all, a distinctly self-punishing experience … and I think maybe I’ve reached a point in my life at which I’m smart enough to learn from my mistakes. At least, this mistake.
The lesson? I can handle two to three drinks in the course of a night out, depending on how long the night out in question is. That’s all. No more. More than that, and I begin making poor decisions, like, “Sure, coffee with creme de cacao sounds delicious!” and “I can have one more shot of that cinnamon stuff, that was delicious!”
In case you’re wondering, “delicious” is not a good reason to miss ballet class.
Ballet class is more important than Trying All The Drinks, even if they’re tasty. Also, it’s hard to enjoy dancing at a club* as much as I normally do when you’re as hammered as I was on Friday ._.
It is nice having a kind of straight razor in your life that helps you make decisions.
“Will this interfere with the ballet? Yes? Then I’m not doing it. End of sentence.”
Denis kept telling me this would happen: “Some day you’ll find that one thing that you feel passionate enough about to put everything else down.” I don’t think I quite believed him, but ballet is the only thing that has ever made me willing to change the way I ride my bike and, yes, even give up Strava (at least for now, until I learn how to ride in a way that doesn’t directly conflict with my ballet goals). I am an Endomondo boy for the foreseeable future.
Easter seems as good a day as any for clarity of thought, revelations, and renewals — so I will consider this a lesson and a renewal. The occasional night of wild culinary excess is no big deal because I am skilled in the art of enjoying small portions and tend not to overeat to the point of imminent explosion, but there will be no further nights of wild alcoholic excess. Two or three drinks is my maximum, end of sentence … and I probably ought to stay away from the ones that combine alcohol and coffee, because alcohol + caffeine = 32 flavors of Asher Being Stupid.
So that’s it. Class notes will resume on Monday.
*I realize this is the opposite of how many people feel. For me, alcohol-induced clumsiness interferes with freedom of movement, and the high you get from dancing itself is much better without alcohol.