Spring 2006 was a crazy time for me. I’d just been universally rejected from graduate programs. I’d just decided to take on a full-time job for student housing, but only do it part-time while trying to execute a research project in my other part-time. There was an insane heat wave that summer, and the bizarre circulation in the building resulted in my office being 10 degrees hotter than the outdoor temperature. It also made the residents complain to me incessantly, despite the fact that I had no power to install air conditioning – if I did, I certainly would have approved such measures, beginning with my own work space. I was bitter. I was stressed. I was sweaty. So I did what any woman on the edge might do. I started drinking. Heavily. Daily.
When I got home, I would pull frosty chunks of ice from a plastic bag in the freezer, and slam them against the bottom of the blender. I would extract some of the smallest pieces and drop them into a cup. I would douse the ice with margarita mix, and dash some triple sec into the blender as well as my cup. I would fill the glass halfway with orange juice, and then give two generous pours of tequila into my drink as well as the blender. Then I would sip my OJ tequila while I blended.
To clarify, I would make a drink to tide me over while I prepared my real drink.
Spring 2009, I had my choice of graduate programs. I had a national fellowship to use at any university of my choice. I was getting married to my best friend in the world.
Three years earlier I had been trapped behind a series of glass walls keeping me from my future. Admissions. Terrible jobs. Self-doubt. Fear. Suddenly I was empowered, as if I had taken a bat to each obstacle, shattered it thoroughly, and stepped through to the other side.
This was also an era of heavy margarita consumption, but the nature of the beast had changed. My drinking was largely celebratory, and I ordered them at bars with friends instead of alone in my apartment.
Tequila: cures what ailes ye.