It’s a blustery day here in South Texas. The wind is whipping down my fire place and tree branches are flying across my roof, scraping as they go. The dogs are freaking out and the cat refuses to go outside. I don’t blame them.
Tonight was supposed to be our anniversary dinner, but once again, we’ve had to reschedule. Ron forgot we were going tonight and ate lunch. This is a huge no-no when going to a churrascaria for dinner. As in Rome, one must assure that one’s stomach is completely empty before entering the establishment.
I was greatly looking forward to recording Aubrey flying, as she bought a new (used) Samsung HMX-E10 camcorder. She tried it out a few days ago and the quality is definitely better than our old Flip. She didn’t want to take my tripod, but with the way this thing is shaped, you can’t just set it down like you can with a Flip (so sad that Flip is gone 😦 ). Ever the MacGuyverette, she grabbed her table top mic stand and some rubber bands, and came up with this:
Unfortunately, since she didn’t have someone to angle the camera for her, it is a whole lot of very little. Besides, having the camera inside the wine wall means that the view is of her front, not her side. It’s still pretty cool to watch her flip around (especially now that she does this crazy thing where she grabs her feet behind her back and does a vertical spin), but it’s not the best angle. We keep meaning to go in before work one day so we can have the tripod set up and there won’t be any customers or Gauchos walking around. Maybe now that we have a decent HD camera, we’ll get around to it.
All of that gossipy bit aside, this is actually a serious post. Now that my kids are grown and I am only here for advice, not for orders, I am ever more impressed with how well they have turned out. While Matt still asks for my advice on stuff, Aubrey tends to make her own decisions (for good or bad); although she does listen, she doesn’t always follow. Apparently she listens more closely than I give her credit for…
Many years ago when I was taking classes towards becoming a licensed chemical dependency counselor, I started hammering the idea of responsible drinking into both my kids. They both are well aware of how long it takes to metabolize alcohol (approximately one hour per one ounce of alcohol), that doing shots means you will become more intoxicated as time passes, and that no matter where or when or what they’ve been doing, I will ALWAYS come get them, whether it is because the person they went with is drunk, or because they are too intoxicated to drive. Matt’s called that one in a couple of times, but since Aubrey’s not currently hanging out with boozy teenage college students, and because she doesn’t really like the taste of alcohol, the only time she ever had anything to drink was with me. They both had to wait until they were 18 before I would buy them any alcoholic beverages, but I strongly believe that if an 18 year old is old enough to die for their country, they are old enough to have a beer (or in Aub’s case, a margarita).
Saturday night, she went to a co-worker’s birthday party that was held at the co-worker’s friend’s house. Aubrey didn’t know the friend, but she likes her co-worker and a bunch of other people from work were going to be there. Since she was off on Sunday, she figured she could stay out later than usual. After work, she came home, changed clothes into one of her Goth-like outfits, snuggled Amy for a minute, then left for the party around 11pm. She was meeting her friend L. there, so they were in two separate cars.
Around 1 am or so, I texted her to see what time she was coming home, and if she thought she’d need a ride. I didn’t want to take my sleep meds if I would have to drive. She said she was fine, but she was waiting for L. It got to be 2am, and I hadn’t heard from her. I texted her again and she said she had taken away L.’s keys and was going to give her a ride home. At 3am, I texted her again, and she said L. wouldn’t get in the car and was insisting that she was fine to drive. Aubrey still didn’t give her the keys. Instead of texting me back, she called to ask if it was okay for L. to spend the night at our house, which I was perfectly fine with. By 4am, I was starting to get irritated because I didn’t want to go to bed until I knew she was home safely. I wasn’t 100% sure that she was being honest about being sober, so I stayed up. I texted her again and she said other people were trying to help her get L. in the car. Finally at 5am, right as I was texting her again, they walked in the door.
Aubrey was absolutely right. She was sober, but her friend was waaaay past being able to drive. I didn’t know that the party was at a stranger’s house, so I asked Aub why she didn’t just let her sleep it off there. She said she didn’t trust L. not to try to drive home. She was also concerned about leaving her attractive and very drunk friend alone in a house with a bunch of drunk guys that neither of them knew, especially since most everyone they knew from work had already gone home.
I was really proud of her. First of all, she drank very little, and she stopped drinking two hours before she planned to leave. She stood up to her friend (who is much larger than Aubrey is) without concern for pissing L. off, because she saw that L. was still drinking right up until she was about to leave. She protected L. from who knows what by not leaving her in the care of strangers, particularly male strangers. While she might have been perfectly safe, Aub wasn’t about to take that chance.
Aubrey did everything that I would want her to do in that situation. As I often tell my kids, I’m not worried about my being injured in an accident, I’m worried about injuring someone else. Aubrey wasn’t going to risk having L. get in an accident, or worse, causing an accident and killing someone just because no one else cared enough to say, “Hey, you’re drunk, give me your keys and I’ll drive you home.”
While we’ll never know if L. would have made it home just fine, or would have died or killed others in a fiery car crash, the point is that we’ll never know because not only was Aubrey there, she was strong willed enough to be the bitch who took away the keys.
Remember that drunk driving isn’t something that only happens on holidays. It occurs every night of the week. If you find yourself in the situation to save someone from doing something really stupid, do it. You will never have to regret knowing you could have done something but didn’t.