At a family gathering in Kildare last weekend, a 42 year old mother of four forgot to stop drinking. In her defence she maintained there were numerous factors at play. “It was a lovely day and who doesn’t like a glass of something cold on a sunny day. Also I’d had nothing to eat since 10am. Stupid, I know.”
Drinking on an empty stomach is not the way to go. “There was even food at the communion.” Sheila went on. “Lovely chicken curry with rice, salads and desserts. Banoffi I think and definitely a strawberry meringue. But I’m not fond of either. I did have a bit of curry though.”
Sheila said time got away on her. She enjoyed herself immensely, chatting with other people. She has a vague memory of a conversation with another woman outlining the benefits of sending your child to an Irish school or it could have been about shoes. “I recall telling the other lady the owners of the shop were “shoe bastards.” Sheila rolled her eyes in mortification. “I shouldn’t be let out really. And I think that’s largely the problem; I’ve got four young kids and I hardly ever get to socialise. So when I do, I tend to lose the run of myself.”
The celebrations were great craic, Sheila remembers that much. Then it was time to go home. “All of a sudden it was after 10pm. We’d been there since four o’clock. One of my boys was hanging out of me with the tiredness so we had to leave. My husband was dragging me out and to the car.”
The drive home was a blur. Literally. “Even if I had the common sense to ask my husband to pull over, it wouldn’t have been in time. Before I knew it, I was sick on the floor of the car. Can you imagine? My lovely frock caught most of it though.”
Sheila carried her shame and embarrassment into the next morning. Things were to get worse, however.
Sheila’s youngest was, typically, the only one awake in the car the previous night. Sitting behind her, he had a cinematic view of her being sick.
Not one to forget, he innocently told his granddad how, “Mammy was sick all over the car and into her shoes last night.” Other relatives got a similar variation. “Mammy drank too much wine and couldn’t walk into the house. Daddy had to drag her.”
“He’s a holy terror.” Sheila admits. “You’d have no secrets with that lad around. He won’t be coming to the next get together, I can tell you.”
In finishing Sheila would like to pass on some sober words of advice. “Pacing yourself is so important at these things. You’d also do well to have a decent sandwich or something beforehand, for soakage, you know. My poor fake Louboutins. I’ll never get the smell out of them.”