It’s interesting to be on the opposite side of something you’re more or less accustomed to by now. You see things in a different, less hazy light. You begin to appreciate certain things more, in most cases anyway.
Recently, during yet another summertime wedding, I designated myself as the driver for friends who would be drinking at said wedding. We were to camp in the woods about 20 minutes away from the reception on the South Shore, so I wanted to make sure we got there in one piece while everyone else could drink to their liver’s content.
It started off smoothly, as I enjoyed a glass of wine early on in the evening along with a few sips of Sam Adams. The wedding was short and sweet, so it wasn’t long before cocktail hour and dinner.
I have to admit, dinner was the first rough spot. I was agitated and jealous of everyone’s liquid courage. Intense conversations broke out and a full beverage was knocked out of a hand.
All I kept thinking was, "This is the rest of the night."
But after some talking and another glass of water, I decided to stop being so angry and see how much of the night I could still enjoy sober. And, I thought, since everyone’s nearly to their drunky-pants state, I can pretty much do/say anything weird and it will likely be forgotten by the morning.
Not that I did anything super weird, but I put my dancing flip-flops on and headed to the bar with everyone, where friends had created some great playlists and there were delicious pastries everywhere.
But, as per any wedding, everyone drinks a bit too much and it was time to depart for our awesome campsite.
This was probably the roughest part of the sober journey: Getting everyone’s stuff together and getting into the vehicle. After about an hour (and we’re heading toward 3 a.m. now), I grumpily corralled everyone into the car and drove the 20 minute nearly silent ride back to the campsite.
All was not lost, however! We built an amazing fire (despite my initial protests) and drank some wine in the middle of the night, in the middle of a campground. It was a Thursday, so we had no neighboring sites. It was a nice closing to an annoying, but 99 percent fun evening.
Despite the roller coaster of emotion one has as a first-time-in-a-long-time designated driver, I had a wonderful time celebrating two amazing people with friends and their family. Being the DD allowed me to witness the funnier, quirkier side of my friends and see them in a light that I normally am under, too.
I’m glad to have been the one to drive my friends back to bed for a few reasons, and one of them is that I knew for a fact we were all safe at the end of the night. Another is I knew they all had fun at this amazing wedding, just in a different way than I did. And thirdly, because I have some ridiculous and embarrassing stories in my back pocket to bring up down the road.