Elle Severe Presents

What It’s Like To Quit Drinking, Too

In Authors, Life, Musings, One Beer In, Past Loves on August 22, 2014 by Pabby MFNP


Last August I celebrated my 10th anniversary of sobriety. The year before that I had a nice question and answer session with myself about my sobriety. It was something of a hit, relatively speaking. If you have not read it, please feel free to read it here before you read this.

Q: Well, congratulations on 11 years. How has it been going since we last spoke?
A: They say the 10th year is the hardest but I got through it okay. Just kidding. The first year was the hardest and without a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done, but then after that, I would have to say that it got progressively easier. For the most part.

Q: The ten year anniversary was kind of a big deal as it was a full decade and represented over 25% of your life. But I would imagine that 11 is not a big deal after you’ve knocked down 10.
A: Yes, it’s not really a big deal now. I try not to think about it too much. I used to have nightmares that I slipped and then I’d have to start the count all over again. I used to celebrate every anniversary and spend the whole day doing anything and everything that I wanted to do. Gambling, Six Flags, pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Basically spending it like it was like my last day on Earth.  I’d even celebrate it like girls in their 20’s celebrate their birthday months.  But now that I’m almost 40, just like them, “I can’t even.”  Also,I eventually started dedicating my weekends to my kids and I would start to feel guilty leaving them behind. Then they’d find out I was doing fun stuff and get pissed. On another note, in the beginning, I expected some kind of parade to be thrown in my honor which never came. But now I treat it like birthdays; if cake is involved and even if I buy and eat said cake by myself while crying, that is good enough for me.

Q: Oh God, I love cake. Thank God you don’t have to quit that. Did you have any setbacks or did you come close to having a drink at all?
A: No, not really. During the Superbowl two years ago, I was in Vegas and I paid like $100 for an all you can eat, all you can drink Superbowl party. There was a long line for the food and then once you got through, it wasn’t even all that good. We also got there too late to get a good seat near a TV and we had to sit on chairs that were these big saddles like they were on a horse. The cheap bastard in me came out and I said this is a GD rip off. Then the cheap bastard in me thought “if you still drank, you could get your money’s worth”. But I didn’t really consider it because I have come too f’ing far to stop now. But my mind wandered: What if I did drink one more time? Who would know? Couldn’t I just stop all over again like I did last time? But I would know, and I have a very good feeling that if I were ever to start drinking again, everyone would know and it would be even harder to quit.

Q: This reminds me of when you quit smoking in the early 90’s.
A: Yes, it was exactly like that. One day, I got fed up with smoking and realized it was terrible for me so I up and quit. I went several months without it. Then one day I got bored and said, “Well I quit before so I’ll be able to quit again.”
Q: Except the next time you went to quit, it was much harder right?
A: Yes, much harder. I ended up wishing I had never started up again. It took becoming super broke in college and having to choose between food and cigarettes and anything else I needed. Food won.

Q: Wow, you quit drinking and smoking? You have a lot of will power for someone who is always putting up Facebook posts from the Wendy’s Late Night drive thru window.
A: Hahahahaha. I’m human, alright? In any case, whenever I have been tasked with quitting something, it always seems to be the exact right time. I would stumble and stumble and never learn from my mistakes until one day I would finally wake up and say, “You know what, jackass? It’s about time you quit.”

Q: Logic rarely comes into play in situations like this. Is it true that admitting you have a problem is the first step?
A: For me being open to the idea that I might have a problem was the first step. I had spent so long telling myself that nothing was wrong because I always handled my business and I never put myself or others in danger but then the blackouts became more frequent and that was that.

Q: I remember blackouts. Those could be scary.
A: Yes, for sure. But part of me really enjoyed hearing about my adventures the next day. I’d always be terrified at first but then it would be exciting. I’d hear things and be like, “Oh wow, I did that? I said that? Oh man, I am one funny, fascinating, crazy motherfucker!”. Oddly enough, even though they were bad for me, I miss those kinds of experiences. Sure, knowing where you’re going to sleep and where you’re going to wake up certainly has its merits but there is something to be said for handing over the keys to someone else.

Q: That was a poor choice of words if I ever saw it.
A: Not literally. Except for about three early exceptions in my early 20’s, I never allowed myself near keys if I knew I was going to get drunk. Getting f’d up was something I planned way in advance. The extent to which I would plan things makes me think that perhaps I could have worked for NASA.

Q: Hahahahahaha. Oh. You were serious. Well, while you’re on the subject, what else do you miss about drinking?
A: I miss the feeling of waking up and going through the day knowing that there is going to be a reward later involving alcohol. I miss the 4th and 5th gears of having fun. I miss the simple act of unpacking a case of beer and loading it into the fridge one by one, lining it up perfectly then sitting back and admiring the view.

Q: But then eventually the beers would be taken out and the beautiful view would be gone.
A: That is just like you to bring up something like that, but yes, that is one thing that I don’t miss. Eventually the beers would go one by one and no matter how many you buy, it never seems to be enough.

Q: That is sad. Take me through becoming open to the idea that you might have a problem. Who did you discuss this with?
A: I talked it over with a good friend who was about to get her PhD and she was super helpful. She asked me a bunch of questions and challenged me to question my beliefs and my priorities. At the end of the conversation, she let me know her verdict and it was just like the scene in the Matrix when Neo met the Oracle to find out from her if he was “The One.” But instead of being told I was not the One, she confirmed that I had a drinking problem. Also, she never said, “I’m sorry, kiddo, I really am. You have a good soul and I hate giving good people bad news”, but I always wished she did. I think it would have helped.

Q: I guess I should have known you would sneak the Matrix into this. So then what happened?
A: Then I started the long arduous task of retraining my mind and changing all of my habits. When I think back to how I was and how I am now, it feels like two completely different lives. I feel like two completely different people. Sadly, I like the other person much more and he really was a funny bastard. But in this life, I have so many more opportunities than I did in the other one and I don’t make my family and friends worry about me which may be the best thing you can give someone with the exception of cannoli from Mike’s Pastry.

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A Little Taste of Masshole

In Bitch Please, Life, Musings, Random, Rants on April 6, 2013 by Elle Severe

There’s a writer on Gawker.com named Hamilton Nolan who absolutely hates Boston.  He hates Boston like I hate rats – with the passion and fury of a thousand suns.  He hates Boston the way I hated the Yankees prior to October of 2004.  He hates Boston so much that every time he writes about Boston it’s so angry that it borders on the absurd.  It’s become comical.  I can’t even begin to try to understand having so much hatred for a city that has done nothing to you.  I’m trying to think if there is a city I hate…I do hate Providence a little bit.  But that’s more my fault than Providence’s fault.  I mistakenly bought a home across the street from drug dealers.  I have to believe if I had bought a home elsewhere I wouldn’t have such terrible memories of Providence.  And in fairness, Providence has fantastic food. And Pauly D.  So Providence isn’t all bad.  I certainly don’t hate it enough that if I were a blogger I would devote more than maybe passing mention of my dislike for Providence, unlike Mr. Nolan who spends wayyyyy too much time badmouthing my beloved little seaside city.  HamNo’s hatred of Boston leads me to believe that at some point in life Boston somehow broke his little heart.  Maybe he and Boston were dating and Boston slept with his best friend? It’s certainly possible, Boston IS a sassy little minx.  Whatever the issue, he claims that all people from Boston are jerks.  Obviously I disagree.  I’m from Boston and I’m not a jerk.  My friends are from Boston and I’m not typically friends with jerks, so again, I have to disagree.  Also worth noting is that Mr. Nolan is from the Florida panhandle.  I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means but it sounds poor.  I could take 10 minutes and Wiki it, gain some knowledge, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered.  Maybe that makes me a Boston jerk.  All I know for certain is that anyone from the Florida panhandle (is panhandle supposed to be capitalized?) needs to relax a little bit about Boston.  Moreover, HamNo lives in NYC and writes for Gawker now, so congrats! Leave Boston alone and enjoy your hipster self.  Why am I writing about this you ask? I’ll tell ya why: because last Sunday I had a little taste of Nolan’s Boston Jerks.  And it really bummed me out.

Splish Splash I’m costing you a shit-ton!

My four year old son is obsessed with the Duckboats.  We actually live in Boston so whenever we’re out and about, we see them and he goes bananas.  We’ve been wanting to take him on a Duckboat for a while now, but those bitches are pricey.  $33 for adults, $22 for kids 3 to 11 and $10 for 3 and under.  These people are not kidding around.  For my family, that’s going to cost $98 for 80 minutes of entertainment.  That’s a lot.  We’re in a recession.  And sure I spend $98 on stuff all the time.  You could argue that I can drop $98 inside of 8 minutes, nevermind 80, in a Christmas Tree Shop.  You would be right.  But I would respond to your argument by politely explaining that I will be using those frames and plastic flowers and paper goods and candles and mason jars to make fun things for the family.  Thus my dropping $98 on crap is entertainment far beyond an 80 minute history lesson that I can repeat verbatim in my sleep at this point.  When you live in the city of Boston, the cheapest, easiest “field trip” your grammar school can afford is putting you on the Red Line, trotting you downtown and taking you on the Freedom Trail.

5th grade field trip. Hahahahaha, you don’t know which one I am!

Therefore I know my Boston history already, thanks.  Combine that with my innate cheapness, the Duckboats are not happening.  That is until last Friday when Living Social offered a sweet little deal that I quickly snapped up.  I was so excited.  I couldn’t wait to tell this kid that we were going on the Duckboats,  I just knew he was going to shit his little pants.  As an aside, my kids make me nuts, but there is nothing more satisfying in the world than making them happy.   I love when they get excited, it gets me excited.  So I bought the reduced tickets (take that Duckboat mafia),  and then I pulled two rookie parenting maneuvers back to back:  that Saturday after baking cupcakes and decorating eggs, I told the kids we had a surprise for them (wrong number 1) BEFORE reading the fine print on the tickets (wrong number 2).  Parents are already groaning because they know exactly what I did wrong.  For those of you who are not parents yet, allow me to explain this major parenting faux pas:

NO.

1.  I told the kids that we had a surprise for them. When pressed, I caved and told them it was the Duckboats.  This got them excited.  The first rule of Parent Club is that you do NOT EVER, UNDER any circumstance, EVER, tell your kids about an event until you’re pulling up in the parking lot of said event.  Even DisneyWorld.  Don’t tell those kids you’re going to DisneyWorld until you have your  new sneakers on and your fannypack strapped tight and it’s chock full of Magic Kingdom passes and Mickey dollars.  Seriously.  Tell them you’re going to visit a sick relative or something.  It’s too long to get into the ‘why nots’ of it, just please trust me on this one, for the love of God.

2.  I didn’t read the fine print.  Every idiot on the planet knows that when you get something on Groupon or Living Social or Eversave, you need to read the flippin’ fine print.  Chances are your 72% reduced mani/pedi/laser bikini line hair removal is good only on Tuesdays at midnight when the moon is full.  And yet, I didn’t read the fine print.  The fine print where it said “…excluding Saturdays…”.  I am what the French call Les Incompetent.  Or what my mother would call a moron.

So I got the kids all jacked up and then immediately deflated inside of 15 minutes.  That’s not good parenting.  Not because you’re torturing them, no…because you’re torturing yourself.  I now have to make good on that somehow, some way and immediately.  Kids are not stupid and they have nothing else to think about except what’s happening to them in that very moment so they are obsessive by nature.  Believe that.   To right this horrific wrong I perpetrated on my beloved children, I set it up for the next day, Easter Sunday.  We would have brunch with the family in Cambridge and then head to the Duckboats at the Museum of Science.  Win win.  Wrong wrong.

ROAR, you’re about to go on a nightmare ride, ROARRRR!

Even though we are literally down the street from the Museum of Science, we’re late to the Duckboats.  I guess they ask you to arrive 30 minutes before departure time.  Not sure why, but I’m sure it’s in the fine print.  My husband drops us off so he can go park and I take the kids and get in line.  We’re the last people in line.  This does not bode well.  A family arrives behind us.  I’m psyched because this means that we’re not going to get the bad seats up front.  Nope, these poor losers behind me are getting them.  And they are all tall so they are going to be cramped and miserable, yay! Just kidding, that’s Boston Jerky of me.

Here’s where I blow it AGAIN.  While in line, anxiously waiting for my husband and busy trying to keep my kids from doing something dangerous and/or stupid, I spy what I think is a check-in area.  I panic.  I proceed to have a full blown argument in my head with myself.  It goes like this:

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Elfie Update

In Baby Nonsense, Life, Random on December 7, 2012 by Elle Severe

Elfie hits Vegas on his way back to the North Pole.

This guy has an insane commute and comes home to this? Not right.

Ruh-Roh…

 

Elfie hits the spa with his bestie.

 

Sleepover!


Ermagherd Errernds

In Life, Random, Rants, The Exchange on December 7, 2012 by Elle Severe

Elle: Who wants to run errands??!! First stop, UPS store that makes Pabby Crazy.  Second stop: CVS to spend ExtraBucks.  Third stop: Subway for cheap ass sub. Who’s in? I’ll buy treats!

Pabby: Ermagherd!  I hate that UPS store.   I hate everything about that store:  (Reminds me of the Henry Winkler scene in Waterboy where he’s wearing red high heels and talking on the phone that is not actually plugged in.  “I hate him Grandma. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!”

1)       Crossing the street at an angle in traffic and you get stuck in that big yellow no man’s land in the middle wondering if you’ve drawn your last breath and you have to fight the urge to grab the hand of the person you’re walking with like they’re your kids and you don’t want them to get smooshed like it was a game of frogger.

2)      The UPS store itself.  I object to any place that charges more for stamps than what they ordinarily cost.  Perhaps having stamps is a courtesy and saves people from having to go to the post office with all the people working there and waiting lines, just waiting to die.

3)      Someone is always up to some sh*t with a weird mailing situation.  I always assume at least one person is mailing out body parts.  (Perhaps someone they murdered and they don’t want all of the body parts in one place, maybe?)

4)      I hate the sh*tty board that has sh*tty advertisements on it.  “Need sowing?  Call 617-424-5542.”

5)      I hate how messy the store is.

6)      I hate that Elle gets constantly gets herself in this situations where she always has to spend a fortune at this place to the point where I consider her as someone who needs to be saved like the girl in the “Let her cry” Hootie song.  There are some times when she has a pre-paid shipping label and on these days, I consider it a Christmas came early situation.

And as far as CVS goes, using ExtraBucks is NOT extreme couponing no matter how much you “save”.

So ya.  I’ll go.

The End


Elf on the Loose

In Baby Nonsense, Elle Severe, Life, Random on December 5, 2012 by Elle Severe

This Elf on a Shelf nonsense is super annoying.  Everyone knows about this ridiculous Elf situation at this point so I’m not going to detail but basically I have to move this guy every single night from one spot to another so my kids don’t figure out that he’s not real.  Guess what kids? He’s not real. Nobody is reporting on you to Santa, and no matter how bad you are, and you guys are pretty bad (no you’re not, I love you), I’m still going to buy you those foolish effing Stompeez and about another $300 (each) worth of sh!t that I’m going to have to clear off the floor every night.  Why? Because I grew up with not so much and so I like to overcompensate by spoiling you little ungrateful sh!ts rotten, that’s why.   I love my kids like crazy.  Anyway, since I’m roped into dealing with this Elf crap, I figured I’d make it a little fun for myself. Why not enjoy this? Elfie’s arrival this year coincided with my sister cleaning out the attic of my childhood home.  What does this have to do with Elfie? One word: Barbies.  Lots of them.  Along with furniture and clothes.  Some of this stuff is over 30 years old.  For your viewing pleasure:

“…speak now or forever hold your peace…”…put your hand down Elfie, now. Put. It. Down.

 

Baby Mama Drama: 3 kids and pregnant, Barbie is in no mood when Elfie tells her that he spent the night in the North Pole. He gets the couch.

 

Elfie and Cinderella dance the night away at the Ball. They do not leave room for the Holy Ghost.

 

Elfie kicks it in Malibu.

 

New Neighbors: When newlyweds Jeanette and Diane move into the neighborhood, Elfie buys binoculars.

 

Elfie will try anything once…

 

I’ll add more as this Elf business marches on to December 24th.  At which point we’ll all be sick of him.


Past Loves of My Life, Part III: The Wonder Years, 1984 – 1987

In Life, Past Loves, TV Addict on September 25, 2012 by Elle Severe

 

Alright, alright, all 6 of my fans have spoken, so, back by popular demand: Past Loves, Part 3, The Wonder Years.  I’m doing my best to keep this chronological but be aware that the latter part of the 80’s is a hazy blur of pot smoke and raging hormones, so it might get messy.  Also, please note that this is just part 1 of Part III – I was very, very busy in the late 80’s.

Let’s just jump right in: Don Johnson.  Okay, that’s it.  Done.  No? You need me to expound? Welllll, if you insist:

Do not make direct eye contact or your pants will fall off.

This guy….man oh man, this guy…I cannot tell you what he did to me.  He made me ache down there.  The stubble, the Versace, the come-f*ck-me eyes, the ex girlfriends, the children out of wedlock, the drinking problem…all combined to make the most sexy piece of ass to ever come out of Wichita, Kansas.   I love, love, LOVED this guy.  Want to know a secret? I still do.

 

Sleeveless pastel t-shirt? Yes please.

1984 saw the rise of a little show set in Miami called Miami Vice.  The show had a pulsating soundtrack that was rhythmically linked to my hormones; the second the opening notes of the theme music began throbbing, so did my lady flower.  This show was edgy, had hot music, crime lords, drug cartels and sexy cops.  It was considered to be a ground-breaking show.  It heavily utilized the colors aqua and pink and caused common-folk to know how to properly pronounce Versace.  Don Johnson starred as scruffy-but-sexy, emotionally damaged Sonny Crockett and he set me on fire.  No matter where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with, I was home on Friday night by 10pm to watch this show.  I didn’t care if people thought I wasn’t cool.  Those idiots didn’t even know what cool was.   Cool was Sonny F*cking Crockett.  Who knows, Miami Vice may have saved me from being on an 80’s version of this show:

 

Thank you Sexy Late 80’s Don Johnson.

My walls were plastered with Miami Vice posters.

Find me something sexier. Go ahead, I officially challenge you.

He made smoking seem sexy.

This on the wall opposite my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night…sigh…

His character had a pet alligator named Elvis.  I had a pet goldfish named Elvis. See how connected we were?

Don just oozed sexuality out of every pore of his beautiful body.  I used to wonder if I produced enough saliva to lick his entire body.  I think I could have done it.  I loved his gravelly voice and the way he spoke, his eyes, his lips…I loved every inch of him…what I didn’t love was when he released a single called “Heartbeat”, it was pretty awful.  A touch embarrassing for everyone involved.  The video was even more upsetting; I actually don’t want to talk about this anymore…let’s just focus on the positive! Don Johnson is a sexy mothereffer.  And I maintain that he still is to this day.  I’m so happy that he is enjoying a resurgence.  He’s actually a fairly decent actor.  Have you ever seen The Long Hot Summer? Watch both the original with Paul Newman or the remake with Donnie, either way you can’t go wrong.

Rumor has it that he is packing some serious heat.

Let’s take a quick break here and cool off.  Or maybe not…I’d like to treat you, my faithful readers, to a little somethin’ somethin’ I like to call:

Fifty Shades of Pastel

I was 17 and I lived in Coral Gables, Florida, skinny and blonde, of course.  Just a nice, normal, sweet neighbor kid hired by the actor Don Johnson to be a nanny to his son Jesse for the summer.  I would spend the hot, humid, long days in days in  my red bikini or my white cover up tending to little Jesse.  I was endearing and young and unintentionally sexy as only an innocent 17 year old girl can be.  Unbeknownst to me, Don would watch me from time to time and over the course of that lazy, hazy, long, hot summer he fell in love in with me…but our love was forbidden because I was 17 and he was 38, so he did nothing.  And then one day I could feel him watching me, and I turned and saw him and even though in real life it would be creepy, in fake life it was super sexy and in his eyes I saw all I needed to know, and so in slow motion I moved toward him, and as I walked I slowly began removing my bikini and as I got closer I started to speak but he put his finger to my lips and whispered “shhhhhh” and thus began our Summer of Forbidden Love.  We touched and teased and tempted one another.  We fell deeply in love and even deeper in lust.  Like all things, it had to end.  I had been accepted to Harvard and was leaving in early September to start my new life in Cambridge. The thought of leaving him was unbearable…from the moment I stepped on that plane I knew my life was over.  I ached for him.  Nothing would ever be the same.  When my new roommate asked me how I spent my summer I couldn’t answer her, I choked on my tears and I said “I just nannied, what’d you do” and drifted off into fantasy land as she prattled on about summer on Nantucket and getting groped by some Kennedy cousin.  My classmates seemed so young and naive to me; after all, I was a woman, I was no typical freshman.  I had been taught in the fine art of love making by a skilled master.  Standing at a kegger with Harvard blueblood frat boys seemed so vapid to me.   I missed him fiercely but we ceased all communication.  He wanted me to “move on”, to “experience college” and “have a real boyfriend”…but every once in a while, usually around the exact time when my heart couldn’t take another second without him, an envelop would arrive in the mail…and I would stand there in the foyer of my dorm, suddenly shivering and chilled by both the Winter air and the promise of what was inside that envelop…I would hold that envelop in my mitten-ed hands as long as I could stand it…shaking, knowing…my roommate would call to me “Elle, Elle, are you okay”, but she would sound distant and lost to me and I would mumble, “Yeah” and then I would take off my mittens and I would fumble to open the envelop, scared to read it and scared not to read it, knowing all the while that whatever it said was going to ruin me for the foreseeable future…and it would always be the same; one line meant to invoke that summer, that time, those feelings, those touches, those private, dark, beautiful intimate moments between us…”I miss the evening sun glowing on your naked body” or “I can still smell you” or “I remember I licked my finger and ran it down your spine and you trembled”,  “Your wet body shimmered in the pool that night” or “how do I stop thinking about you, do you ever think about me?”…and in that moment, I shake from head to toe, both from the memories of the ecstasy, to the pain of the loss.  Then I run out of my dorm and into the Yard and I sink into the snow knees first and then I collapse…I roll around and I make a snow angel and all the while I’m laughing and crying and hysterical and in pain because for those 3 short months, I loved him, deeply; I lived him, but oh how I loved him…Oh Donnie, I miss you so…

Take that EL James, you friggin “cheeky” fraud.  You’re not the only one who can write shitty high school porn.  Moving on.

Whenever I see a pic of DJ I want to send him a letter:

Dear Don,

Do you like pina coladas? The dunes on the Cape? Do you like makin’ love at midnight? Gettin’ caught in the rain? Me too. Call me.

Love you!

Elle

Like a fine wine, he is aging beautifully.

He recently showed up on my most favorite show ever, Eastbound and Down, and  I almost fell out of my chair.  It reminded me how much I missed him. Oh my God.  He is still a tasty treat, albeit an older tasty treat, but a tasty treat nonetheless.

Hi Baby, You still look so good to me.

Speaking of Eastbound and Down, I am embarrassed to say that I would totally do it with Kenny Powers, even though I think we all know he’s lousy in bed.  I wouldn’t tell anyone I had done it with him and if asked, I would deny.

Best Kenny Powers quote: “Work drugs”. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had that very same thought.

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