Several weekends ago, I was having a very bad day. A number of personal & professional disappointments had coincidentally arrived all at once, it was raining heavily, I was feeling discouraged, my partner was also depressed. I wanted to drink.
Of course I wanted to drink! It had worked to help me through days like this before, and it promised to help the time pass. I never thought drinking cured anything, but it made bad days feel a little more removed, let me feel like I had a solution for crummy days. A day like this was perfect for grabbing a twelve-pack, turning on the television, and doing my best to switch my brain off.
I was sitting on the couch, with the rain hammering on the windows, the house becoming gloomier by the second, wishing I could drink. My partner jumped to his feet, insisting that we had to go out. We went out. We ran through the rain, shocked by its coldness, to eat a hasty snack at a terrible fast food restaurant, and we started laughing at the idea that this was somehow better than sitting in our warm, snug house. We splashed over to the discount movie theater for $2 tickets to a movie that would be released on DVD within the month, bright-eyed and grinning at each other. It wasn’t the most special of days, but it was one of those times where you feel suddenly great as a couple, like it was us against the world, a reminder that we’re good friends who laugh at the same dumb stuff. And if I’d been drinking, I would have missed the whole thing.
Maybe next time I’ll be the one who jumps up and insists that we run headfirst into the rain. This time around, I’m okay with being the one who is working on some hard changes and sometimes needs an extra nudge. The laughter, greasy food, wet feet, and hope are things we can share between us.