Thoughtful Thursday: Wild

February 28, 2013

Thoughtful ThursdayAmong the consequences of my new disease is that I am forbidden from ever drinking again, since one of my medications in combination with alcohol can cause major liver damage. This is not that big a deal to me since I almost never drink — entire years go by in which I don’t drink at all; on the rare occasion that I do imbibe, it’s probably one or two drinks; I’ve had a lot to drink probably half a dozen times in my life; I’ve never had a hangover. Even so, it marks the end of an era.

One of the places I recently went in my mind’s eye was to the last night I spent in Tokyo. I blogged a couple of photos from that trip at the time, 4.5 years ago, but the side of Tokyo I’ll show you now is very different. On our last night, we met up with some expat friends-of-friends, along with an expat friend of theirs (friend-of-friends-of-friends). First, we had a truly beautiful 12-course vegetarian meal.



One of my best meals of all time. Accompanying one of the courses was a tiny cup of blueberry wine. “Okay, can’t turn that down, fine. Just one little cup of wine. Mmm, delicious.”

Then we went to an expat bar, by and for expats from the home country of the friend-of-friends-of-friends. It’s a beer-oriented bar (and country), but I don’t drink beer. We ordered beer, beer, beer, beer, and nothing. The barkeep would have none of that, so a shot of apple liqueur suddenly appeared before me. “Okay, not going to refuse when the man standing in front of me personally brought the bottle halfway around the world. Hmm, pretty tasty. Okay, no big deal. I’ve only ingested a couple of thimblefuls of booze.”

Not beer

And then we moved on to a specialized Japanese bar. Things in Japan can be oddly specialized. The night before, we went to a restaurant that centers each dish around a different breed of rice. Everything in this particular bar was icy blue: the lighting; the tables; the art; whatever the hell was in my glass. “Can’t say no to this; it’s a cultural experience. Oh. Wow. That is strong. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like it. Oh. Ohhhh. Why was my glass so big?”

And then, karaoke. With or without alcohol, karaoke in Tokyo is pretty wild. But there was in fact alcohol. My first and only experience with fluorescent blue alcohol. A little went a long way. “Oh boy. Aw yeah.”


At 4 a.m. we migrated to a fast food place, where I abstained for vegetarian reasons. Eventually DH and I found a taxi and headed home while the rest of the group went back for more karaoke. A couple of hours later, we were on our way to the airport. No hangover, but plenty of jetlag.

That was my last wild night — last meaning most recent, and, I now realize, last meaning final. I can participate in nights that are wild for others (and I have, not that long ago) but that night in Tokyo was my last truly wild night. It’s for the best; I don’t think I could ever top it.

What was your last wild night? How long ago was it? Are there any more wild nights in your future?

14 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Wild”

  1. St. Elsewhere Says:

    It was light years ago. Since that time, I have been part of evenings that were brilliant in their own shades, but there is this time that was spectacular.

    It was a friend’s birthday, and we had an off because it was the run-up to the semester exams that were about to come.

    My parents were not home, and my aunt was there at home.

    – I and Le group spent noon-on at a groupmate’s flat.
    – I am not a beer fan, but downed two and a half bottles of it.
    – I got drunk, and had a pee-athon (I am glad that there were no Late Night Mistakes kind of websites then).
    – There was a lot of laughter and conversation and food and banter, and I have very little sense of how the noon became night.
    – I missed calling my aunt, that I was going to be late.
    – Two of my friends decided that I needed coffee before I could be dropped off home.
    – At the coffee shop, I insisted that I needed to pee for the millionth time, and it was verrrry urgent.
    – One of the guys accompanied me to the loo, and well, there is some setting about where we went to find the loo (there was no loo at the coffee shop). He was permanently embarrassed by it.
    – I was dropped home sober, and I still remember that I understood Financial Management better than most other times I had attempted to understand it.
    – My aunt was mad at me, and I couldn’t care any less about it then.

  2. Sara Says:

    I enjoy good wine and beer, and maybe a shot or two of something stronger, but I don’t tend to indulge. The only really and truly wild night I’ve ever had was my bachelorette party, where a bunch of friends took me out to a cocktail bar. We were the only ones upstairs, and I went into it intending to make a fool of myself. We got there around 8:00pm and my friends had to walk me home by 11:30pm, since I had had three cocktails plus a champagne + lemonade. Luckily, my man-of-honor, Phil, had experience with overindulgence and make me drink a bunch of water before putting me to bed. I think I threw up a very little bit post-water, pre-bed, but woke up the next morning perfectly capable of making my 10:00am shift at the library.

    But now that I think about it, I did have something that sort of counted as a “wild night” (in comparison to my usual nights) recently. The first weekend of January I stepped down from a high-profile, high-traveling position in my medieval re-enactment society that I’d been in for the previous 9 months. We had also just moved from the Netherlands to Germany the day before, and so Friday night, knowing that I had a short meeting Saturday morning and then I was free, I had Joel crack open the beer soon upon arrival and I kept it going all night long. I then stayed up way too late hanging out with friends, and was thoroughly irresponsible. (Thank goodness Gwen sleeps well and once she was out for the night I didn’t worry about leaving her in our room alone!). It was the right way to cap a successful stint, and a successful move.

  3. Mina Says:

    I cannot remember when it was the last wild night. It might have been four or five years ago, we used to have friends over for a movie, we would choose a movie, had finger foods and drinks, and I think we stayed up quite late that time, until 3-4 in the morning. There was no hangover, but the ron añejo was gone. 🙂
    Coming to think about it, it wasn’t even wild, we just stayed up and had adult beverages, feeling very grown up.
    Hmm, so maybe last time I had a wild night was even before that, it might have been when I turned 30 and I celebrated with a friend who shared my birthday. We rented a bar and had a band and a huge cake – the other friend was a boy, so when we went to pick up the three tired cake, the lady congratulated us on our wedding. Ha. We had 150 people to feed, what were we supposed to have, 300 cupcakes?! Anyway, that was wild. There was dancing on the tables. The band played for four hours, even though we paid just for two. Coming back home, a friend called me and shared how grateful she was that they invented the driving while sitting down, because there was no way she could have done it standing up. Oh, there was karaoke as well, and YMCA was played too many times. And Fever. God, I almost have forgotten all about it! It might very well be the very last wild night I had. Seven and a half years ago… I am old.

  4. Mel Says:

    I went to an MFA program, therefore, I had many many many many many wild nights. We also had many wild days. We sometimes had on-going wild days that turned into wild nights and continued after we collapsed somewhere for a few hours into another wild day. There are pictures that were snapped at some of them that are in my basement. I should probably destroy them. They make me giggle at your wild night. We called a night like that “Thursday.” 🙂

    Now I was very young during graduate school. I went straight from undergrad. But a lot of my classmates, the ones who threw these parties or attended them, were much older than I was. They were even older than I am now. Some had kids. I cannot imagine behaving as I did back then at this age with these responsibilities. That is the sort of thing I wonder about more than my tameness in adulthood. How did those people function? How did they get up the next morning when the kids wanted cornflakes?

    I had a concentrated wild period where I used up a lifetime of wildness all in small, compact time period.

  5. Elana Kahn Says:

    I’m so boring. I’ve never had a “wild night” really. I’ve never had more than 1 drink, but it’s usually half a drink, because I don’t want to get drunk or hungover or anything like that. I had fun going to Mohegan Sun with my mom and my kids’ nanny, though. The nanny and I shared a rum juice (oh Lordy it was good…) and then went gambling. WOOOO! But now being pregnant and then nursing means I won’t be drinking again for quite a while. I don’t drink so much, but I like to have a tiny sip of wine for Shabbat. Oh well!

  6. Ana Says:

    Hmm. I’ve definitely had my share of wild nights in college/med school; most weekends and a lot of weeknights were like that. Pre-kids, G & I would have fun nights like that with friends every couple of months or so. They are few and far between now, but I don’t think they are completely behind me. The last wild night was about 2 years ago when my oldest was 9 months old and I went out with some work friends for a “happy hour” that didn’t end until midnight (and several drinks). I just really really needed to tap into that side of myself after a rough rough few years (the IF, the pregnancy, the colic-y first 6 months of B’s life). I had a horrid hang-over, and vowed never again, and I haven’t yet again. But maybe one day….
    I do love my good beer & wine…I’d probably have a bit of a hard time giving it up forever. But I’m sure I’d get used to it, and develop some other little vice/treat.
    As for you—not drinking doesn’t mean the possibilities for wild nights are behind you if you so desire them. Its all about the feeling…the freedom, the lack of inhibition…you can totally do karaoke or go dancing sans alcohol!

  7. a Says:

    I did all my drinking in my first 2 years of college. But I’ve had a few wild nights since then. Not many…and, so, when we went out for a friend’s birthday last November, I had 3-4 drinks and was totally hung over the next morning. Of course, I should remember that for me, between 3 and 20 drinks is all the same (2 drinks and I’m slightly buzzed, 20+ drinks and I’m throwing up). But we (a girl in her early 30s, 2 girls in their late 30s and me at 43) went out, had a nice dinner and some wine, and then somehow ended up at a bar with all the college kids, dancing directly in front of the dj booth. Eh, I’m too old for that stuff, but we had a good time anyway.

  8. Shelby Says:

    My last wild night was when my kid was practically a newborn (I did not breastfeed). It was a girl’s night out and was oh so needed. I never imagined that I would have one so soon after his birth. It was just three of us and the pretty flowers that came in the drinks kept us coming back for more. Oh, the blackmail pictures. They shall (hopefully) forever be locked in a vault. Three married thirty-somethings giggling like high schoolers. Good times. I see more wild nights in my future (no alcohol would be a bigger deal for me), but I swear my body can’t nearly tolerate it as I used to, so they’re definitely few and far between.

    I did not drink in college (and definitely not high school). I studied and pretty much did nothing else, so sometimes I feel like I’m making up for lost time-ha!

    Love the pics. Looks like it was a great time!

  9. strongblonde Says:

    growing up where i did i had too many wild nights as a high-schooler. a HIGH-SCHOOLER!!! and then into college as well. the wildest may have been a string of nights together in november when the last of my roommates turned 21. She turned 21 on a monday, so we went out on sunday night at midnight. then on monday night. then on tuesday night. then on wednesday night. then, thursday night we found ourselves at a bar that served $1 long islands for a period of time. we bought round after round. i got up to go to the bathroom and ran into another friend who was out for a birthday. i bought shots for us, went to the bathroom, then went back to the table. it is unclear how many i actually consumed. what i do know is that my contacts had to be removed by one of my roommates that night. and i had the “intelligence” to try to give myself a gastric lavage to “rinse out” the remaining alcohol in my stomach. whoa boy.

    as an adult i’m pretty tame. we did drink several bottles of wine at supper club. and we’re currently in DC where i have consumed alcohol every night. but then i go long spells with nothing.

    and, on a side note, i’ve never officially done kerioke. the thought of it terrifies me. even with alcohol on board, so good for you!! 🙂

  10. strongblonde Says:

    gah. karaoke!

  11. Your story and the photos have me cracking up — both times I savored this post!

    I have been tamed. Though I have a glass of wine a night (like my coffee in the morning), I know through-and-through that wildness hurts the next day.

  12. I think I can count my wild nights on one hand. The last one was when we were leaving the US and moving to France. We held a party together with another colleague who was starting film school… The cab driver on the way back had to go past the car wash before picking up new customers (although only for the outside)… As long as I have kids that still wake up during the night and are wide awake at 7 am my wild nights will be pretty tame – we have a monthly girls night out with a few friends, which includes mojitos, but I always head back home after dinner (when some of the others continue to a bar for after-dinner drinks).

  13. Well, I have NEVER had a wild night if we’re talking strictly drinking. I’m Mormon, so ya know. No drinking going on over here. But, I’ve had plenty of wild nights if you’re talking being up all night long due to 3 crazy kids that don’t like to sleep. 🙂

  14. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Oh, and I just wanted to add that I am not really a boozer. I can count on my fingers the numbers of times I have brushed against a tipple.

    But 2009 on, after I began Met.formin, I began to notice a crazy reaction right after I had consumed anything with alcohol. I love me some vodka, and my cheeks would swell and the swelling would go down on its own after a couple of days.

    Then, pregnancy. Then, pregnancy. Then. Well, I am about to start Metformin again, and I am sure I am still not going to experiment with some vodka anytime soon.

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