I love time travel stories and sci-fi in general, and have a tendency when looking at old pictures to imagine the present-time me arriving at the place that past-time me is and giving them a heads-up about what’s around the corner. “Lisa, don’t do this, that, and definitely not THAT!” Then again, as any good sci-fi fan knows, we are not to show up where we’re already at or catastrophic events may occur. But if I chose to disregard that little nugget of wisdom and the present-time me arrived at the moment the above picture was taken, it would find me amidst my forty-something buddies, having an enjoyable girl’s-day-out lunch; good food, good drinks, lots of laughs, good fun. And past Lisa would be slightly horrified by present Lisa. 8 years from mid-forties are kind of like dog years in a way (time has a way of marching all over your goods faster with each passing year) so past Lisa may have been alarmed by the lesser-than hair and breasts, but mollified by the bigger biceps and leaner body. But one thing would threaten her undoing and that would be the announcement that in present day she’s not drinking. Alcohol. At all. Even when her husband pulls an incident of cocky-shitheadedness that leaves her wanting to explode. Even when her son’s autism is causing yet another hurtful reality that she just can’t bear to sit in the pain of un-numbed. Even when she has something to celebrate. Even when she has something to grieve. Even when she knows it’s not physically possible to crawl out of her own skin and disappear, yet she doesn’t know what the hell to do if she has to feel the weight of a physical body another second during those moments when she wants to fly. Even when she has to let go of that which she knows is necessary to let go of, but doesn’t want to. Even when, and especially when she feels so homesick for depth and understanding that she begins to doubt that they exist anywhere other than in her dreams. Even when… yep, you get what I’m saying: ALL OF IT. Past Lisa would feel betrayed by this non-drinking decision. She has stated on many occasions, as well as advised others (past Lisa is big on advising others 😉 ) not to make a formal announcement if you decide not to drink because then you’re stuck with it and it makes a statement. Whereas, if you just think to yourself, “hmmm, I think maybe i’d better get myself lined up here for a bit.” you are free to lube up and dry out at your own discretion. As need be, as it were. So past Lisa would worry that present Lisa is a tight ass. That the girl who was once accused of “trying to turn everything into a party” (which was an actual statement not intended in the complimentary sense, said about past Lisa by a friend to another friend who was kind enough to inform her of it) has become a party pooper; past Lisa’s worst fear. But she needn’t worry- past Lisa of saucy40mom fame has not lost her sauce. Alcohol may have appeared to liven up the show, but it was never more than a manipulative prop she used to lean on when the story appeared too dull, or frightening, or strenuous, or raw for anybody’s liking. But the prop eventually interfered with the storyline and it was time to put it away. Because you see, present Lisa was able to recognize that she no longer needed props to go on with the show. She’d lose part of the audience, but she would come to recognize this was as the universe intended. Those who stayed for the second act were there for a reason.