On the evening of Saturday, July 24th, Alan, Reed (our youngest), and I sat at the dining table of my brothers-in-law, David and Russell, feasting on a "summer supper." I love that phrase: summer supper. When he extended the invitation, David said that they would prepare a summer supper for us. David and Russell are foodies. I knew that hot dogs and chips would absolutely not be on the menu.
We began the evening with small flutes of prosecco. I usually do not have wine with dinner - sparkling or otherwise. I prefer a well-brewed iced tea garnished with fresh mint and a juicy slice of lime.
The prosecco was light, crisp, and sweet. I had a second glass "but just to here." The bubbly was followed by an appetizer of David's Famous Deviled Eggs. A bit of red wine was poured, and I took a few small, polite sips as we sat and chatted while enjoying servings of savory macaroni and cheese flanked by an ever-so-tender butter lettuce salad. I had just finished dessert - Basalmic Strawberries with Whipped Cream - and reached for my wine glass.
That is the exact moment in time I should have written the time on my wrist with a ballpoint pen. The millisecond my hand would not respond to my brain's request for one more sip of wine would several hours later become the hot topic of the day. On the flip side of my wrist I would have served myself well if I had written what time it would be in four hours. That's the most important time. After that four-hour mark, a person may begin seeing exit signs for the Forest of No Return.
I first reached for my wine glass very casually, as one does. One quick glance at the "target," and then the hand does its job. My hand wasn't having it. I stared as it struggled to "straddle" the stem of the glass. Once I successfully felt the stem cradled between my thumb and pointer, I struggled to convince my other fingers to curl around the stem ready to lift the glass to my lips.
"Oh, My Gosh!" I thought as embarrassment crept through my mind. "I have gone and had too much wine!" I left the wine glass sitting by my plate and waited while the others finished eating.
After dinner as I walked over to a comfortable chair in the living room, I tripped over my own feet.
My friends and loved ones will tell you that I generally do not enjoy wine with dinner.
I prefer the flavor of well-brewed iced tea.
Needless to say, it doesn't take much for sips of wine to go to my head.
That's why I'm very, very careful.
"Oh, man! That prosecco got the best of me. I'm feeling a bit tipsy" I said in an effort to let everyone know that I was totally aware of my altered state. Alan made some statement substantiating my being a "lightweight" in the Dinner Wine Drinkers category of people across the globe. We visited a bit longer before heading back to our hotel.
When I stepped out of the Uber, I had trouble navigating a couple of the steps leading to the entrance of our hotel. I took Alan's arm as we traversed the lobby towards the elevators. I didn't want to be "that guy" stumbling in from a night out on the town. My goal was to blend in with the hoi polloi lingering in the lobby. Nothing to see here, folks.
In the privacy of our hotel room, I began to get ready for bed. Standing at the sink, I stared at my reflection in the mirror feeling embarrassed for getting "sloppy" at a summer supper with dear family members. My self-flagellation was interrupted with a couple of odd sensations. The tips of the fingers on my right hand were beginning to tingle. My Sonicaire toothbrush would not allow me to clasp its handle. I noticed that the right side of my lower lip felt like Novocaine from a trip to the dentist was just wearing off. Numbish. Tingling.
My eyes widened. Something wasn't right. And, it was all going wrong on my right side. I walked towards the bed to tell the already snoozing Alan that I felt weird, and my right leg refused to cooperate. I stumbled several times. I was so afraid. "Alan, something is wrong with me!"
After a bit of discussion and some googling, Alan did the smartest thing. He called 911.
Turns out it wasn't the prosecco.
Today's Lesson: Note the EXACT TIME that you begin to feel any numbness, tingling and/or lack of coordination! I'm not kidding when I urge you to write that "official time" in ink on your body. Little pieces of paper and memory tend to get lost in the shuffle.