We had a blizzard here on the east coast a few weeks back. Feet of snow. They closed down my day job for the day, which never happens. It convinced me the world was ending. (The world did not end and we had oddly warm days following the blizzard so most of the snow piles are gone.)
Mr. McKay and I took the opportunity of being snowed in together and watched some movies we'd been saving. We had just finished some drinks and were queuing up a second movie when I heard our neighbor out front shoveling the path.
We live in a townhouse so we share a porch and a sidewalk with our next door neighbor. They just moved in this past summer and this was the first snowfall we had to contend with. Earlier in the day, I had cracked the door open to inform him that the landscaping crew normally comes around to dig us out. I didn't want our new neighbor to think we were being lazy or not pulling our weight. Well, we were being a little lazy. I'll stay snowed in until someone else comes to dig me out.
So now it was night, the snow was not letting up and our new neighbor was outside shoveling for at least the fourth time that day.
Fearful that our relationship with our new neighbors would end up like our relationship with our old neighbors (she didn't even make eye contact with us anymore by the time she moved out), I urged Mr. McKay into his winter things and got some beers from the fridge.
"We're helping him shovel?" Mr. McKay asks, eyeing me skeptically.
"No, no. We're going to persuade him to stop." I hold up the beers and wrap my scarf tighter around me.
Our peace offering and thank you gift of one beer on the porch in the blizzard, turned into several. Our neighbor's girlfriend came outside in her pajamas and drank a bottle of wine. We stood outside, in the falling snow, draining beers and chucking them into the snow mound beside us.
Remember, we had been drinking before we even went outside... things devolved quickly. We ended up inside our neighbors' house (which satisfied so much curiosity in me as I have been trying to figure out the layout of their house since day one). We talked, we drank, we played a board game (?). I took it as our cue to leave when, at least two bottles of wine in, the female half of our new neighbor couple laid down in the middle of the kitchen. "At least she hasn't taken her pants off yet," her boyfriend helpfully supplied.
That last comment made me feel like I found a kindred spirit. Sometimes you just have to get drunk and take your pants off. It happens.
We stumbled back home and only then realized how drunk we were.
Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up feeling sick. Cursing myself for getting a hangover, I bolted to the bathroom only to meet Mr. McKay in the hallway who staggered into the wall. "I think I'm still drunk," he commented as I whizzed past him in just enough time to retch into the toilet.
Later in the day, once the incessant pounding in my head stopped, we assessed our night. "You invited them to our St. Patrick's Day party," Mr. McKay informed me.
I nod, remembering that bit of the evening. Also, I get super friendly when I am drinking and invite people to hang out with us all the time. So if we ever meet in a bar, buy me a drink, you can come party at our place!
The night is a blur, we pieced most of our conversations back together. But it turns out, aside from being around the same age, we have almost nothing in common. There was a conversation where female neighbor was bemoaning the fact that everyone in the world seems to be pressuring them to get married. I piled on with how everyone in the world seems to think it is vitally important for me to produce offspring right at this very second. I guess societal pressures like that are pretty universal and they make everyone who is feeling pressured completely miserable. We bonded over that and had ourselves another drink.
"She was laying on the floor when we left."
"Yeah, she was way drunker than you," Mr. McKay concedes.
"Win!" I throw my hands up in the air. I am always the drunkest person at the party, mini victories.
"You tried to recruit her to your roller derby team."
"I try to recruit everyone to my roller derby team." It's true. Derby gives me life and I can't understand why every person in the world is not playing it! She probably just thinks I was recruiting her to join some kind of cult with the way I was going on and on.
Something flits through the fuzziness of my memories and I grab my phone to confirm. "We traded phone numbers," I say, scrolling through the drunk texts from the night before.
I think my exact words to her were, "You know, if you ever need anyone to get a package from your porch, or to tell you when your house catches on fire." True story, one of my number one fears is my house burning down with my cats still inside—there is a morbid person hidden under this ray of sunshine.
I don't think we will ever be close friends with them. Our interactions have gotten supremely more awkward. I told Mr. McKay that it feels like we had a one night stand with the neighbors. Like when you would get drunk in college and make out with your friend's boyfriend's roommate and then you didn't know how to act casual when you saw him in the cafeteria the next day. No? Just me then. But you get the picture.
Our crowning achievement from the night of the drunk blizzard?
Mr. McKay pointed out, "Hey, as drunk as we were we didn't tell them that you write smut, or that we publish it."
Win! Maybe we came off more normal than we actually are.