Just finished reading Vodka by Boris Starling. What an education. I started to salivate by page two and was compelled to buy a bottle of Stoly Crystal halfway down page six.
I adore Vodka. I adore its purity, gravitas and the warmth that blossoms in your tummy making Cossack dancing a breeze. I have found, however, that it can have some interesting contraindications. Several weekend’s ago I had a very old friend, *Anna, staying who had just married a man thirty years older than she is. Sadly, she has turned into beige, floral dress wearing, finger-wagger at 37.
I unconsciously rebelled at this and became a total asshole after several shots and began conducting the Berlin Philharmonic performing the Four Seasons as if I were born to it. I had no idea that I was sobbing in a violently Russian way and had been ‘conducting’ for over an hour and 10 minutes.
Anna was amused at first then faintly horrified, slipping effortlessly into mortified.
She informed me the next day that the vestiges of eccentricity I normally displayed, like strange badges, were becoming more marked over time. I asked her to give me an example of this behaviour over the weekend.
‘Put it this way, I can’t think of one non-eccentric display of behaviour this weekend’.
It was even commented on that I had drunk nearly a whole bottle of wine one evening. This from the woman who used to masquerade as a fake Russian countess, wear vintage clothing, no knickers and was the role model for most of the Tequila Girls in London.
And so it became starkly obvious. The gulf that separates friends when one turns into an OAP before her time. What was hilariously funny, acceptable and encouraged when Anna was knickerless in 1950’s Dior is now alarming, childish and rather distressing.
Now, I appreciate that we all have to grow up and resist that extra bottle of wine and lengthy episodes of shadow conducting, take on our responsibilities with relish, and even sacrifice late nights for early mornings making marmite on toast for our beautiful children.
However, the Wrinkle Brigade have abducted my beautiful, intelligent, slutty, hard-drinking friend. Please give her back one-day. Even if it’s just for 24 hours, I promise to return her intact. Mostly.
* Names have been changed for obvious reasons