Friday, July 9, 2010

Success, then Struggle

Last night was a going away party for a well-known advertising executive which means scores of advertising salespeople in suits line up to buy drinks and curry favor from the hordes of advertising agency people milling about. Although many salespeople are genuinely friends with some in the agency, there is still this dance that I find really sad. Being in the business so long I shun this breathless attempt to chat up, in an insincere Eddie Haskell way, every 23 year old media planner with millions of dollars in advertising decisions at their finger tips. I go to see friends in the agency, and former salesperson comrades. Usually, these are booze-filled nights that last until the wee hours. And back in the day I was leading this charge.

I knew I was not going to drink, but I had to load up on food anyway knowing it would be a while before I could have dinner. I popped over to Haru at 6:00 for a couple of rolls. Yeah, that is the second meal of fish this week, and white rice to boot! I think I was on autopilot and was thinking I needed to coat my stomach with some carbs before a big night out. I basically ate without really thinking.

Went to the Frying Pan, an old boat that is tethered to the pier on the west side of Manhattan. Both the Frying Pan and the pier serve as a giant outdoor bar populated by thousands. It is quite the scene!

Seeing old pals was fun, and one guy commented, "Terry looks so wrong thin." I guess that goes to the fact I established myself as a heavy-set, good time Charlie with a drink at the ready, always eager for a steak house, and always filled with stories. So, since I "look" different it must mean I "am" different, i.e. less fun. I drank seltzer all night in a cocktail glass. More than a few asked me if I was drinking again, and I assured them I was while sipping my seltzer and lime - "Good, we can hang out again!" They say in half-jest. This are friends from the industry and not close friends so I really don't care one way or the other, but I wanted to illustrate the importance of booze on our industry and how easy it was for me to swim in it for so long.

Late in the evening I ended up at P.J. Clarke's where in the midst of holding court with new friends I allowed myself a glass of rye. I really should not be rewarding myself for not drinking with a drink, but not drinking at The Frying Pan is like parachuting into the middle of D-Day and not firing your weapon. It was unprecedented. So I was one and done...or so I thought. I got a text from a friend that a great Irish singer was belting them out at Doc Watson's. So, I recruited my new friends and headed up there. However, knowing it had the potential of becoming an all night affair, I pulled the rip chord after one glass of Smithwicks and headed home leaving the party still rollicking at 1 AM.

OK, so, those sushi rolls at 6 PM had long stopped filling my belly and I had a slice of pizza. Shoot! Stupid! It never fails - I reward myself with one tiny drink, that turns into two (again, light-years away from the old days when I would have downed two drinks before I stepped onto the Frying Pan), and those two drinks turn into a slice of pizza while I justify it to myself with, "I'll work out extra hard tomorrow." When you make concessions and little deals with yourself, you are really making deals with the Devil.


Vegan Epicurean said...

It could have been much worse. Though I agree with you that it is easier to just have none. We found that out the hard way too. ;-)

Congratulations on sticking to seltzer at the going away party. Yes, I do try to focus on the positive, which I know you have noticed. ;-)

enjoy your weekend,

Going Vegan said...

Going vegan is an awesome alternative. great post