My Breathalyzer (Mini) Rock Bottom

Dear Blog,

I’d like to start off by apologizing for neglecting you for so long.  Secondly, I would like to apologize for coming back with wholly selfish intentions.  I need a place to vent.  I need a place to dump my “OMG CAN THINGS GET ANY WORSE RIGHT NOW?!?” baggage.  Just over three hours ago I blew my first breathalyzer (which I passed like a fucking phoenix Freddie Prinze Jr).  Is this another rock bottom moment and/or divine sign in which I need to have a “Come to Jesus”?  Perhaps.  But right now I consider this more of a “What the fuck, Jesus?!” chronicle.


The Holiday Weekend and Sandwich Breakdown

I started my Labor Day weekend with a hearty Friday night in with friends, Anchorman, and a summertime cold.  Early on Saturday morning, I made my second trek to the Minnesota State Fair where I made impulsively delicious food decisions and fought to stay awake on our 4:00pm bus back to the park and ride.  Saturday night was spent inside with another movie and enough NyQuil to kill a small child. On Sunday I woke up feeling like a pimply overweight pre-teen forced into swimming lessons with the rest of 9th grade – so uncomfortable.  Clammy, overheated, swamp-brained, irritable, achy, feverish, and congested, I spent the next two days sweating it out, hosting my out-of-town mother, and leading a book club  in my non air conditioned abode. 

On Monday afternoon, over a tear-streaked ham sandwich, I broke down in front of my mom.  “Nothing seems to be going right for me right now,” I lamented.  Listening sympathetically and then pausing, my mother asked, “What can I do to help you, Ellen?”  “Nothing.” I squeaked out.  “I think I have to figure it out on my own.”  In order to fight back an onslaught of tears, I tried to focus my attention on the patterns in my yellow Formica table .  But the next couple bites of my ham sandwich were abnormally salty as I used my sandwich as an edible Kleenex.


The Tuesday Evening Events Leading Up to the Breathalyzer

5:45pm – Victim arrives at Bayside Grille in Excelsior, MN.

6:00pm – Victim enjoys one beer with dinner.

7:00pm – Victim leaves restaurant and drives maternal aunt to local bowling alley to watch cousin play in Tuesday night bowling league.

7:15pm – Victim “enjoys” a 3.2% Michelob Golden Light and an ice water.

8:30pm – Victim leaves bowling alley and consults mother and maternal aunt regarding a burnt out taillight and missing light cover.

8:45pm – Victim is pulled over on Hwy 7 by an Excelsior police officer for a burnt out taillight.  Victim describes irony of recent conversation with mother/aunt regarding taillight.  Police finds that insurance card is expired (by three weeks) and license address is not current (by three months).  Police smells rancid 3.2% Michelob Golden Light on victim’s breath.  Police administers “follow my finger” test.

8:48pm – Victim is ordered out of the car to complete another “follow my finger” test.  Victim is ordered to stand on one foot and count up from 1,000.  Victim is ordered to blow into breathalyzer.  Victim blows a .042.  Victim begins to sob in front the most compassionate Excelsior police officer known to the animal kingdom and mankind.  Police officer is befuddled and exclaims that victim passed the breathalyzer.   Victim tries to explain that her sobs are a result from pure mortification and knows perfectly well that she’s under the legal limit.

8:52pm – Victim waits (and sobs lightly) in her car to receive a laundry list of warnings that she must rectify in the very very very near future.


The Lessons Learned

  • Over three hours and a full dinner, it took me only one regular draught beer and one 3.2% can of Michelob Golden Light to blow a .042.  I am still shocked at how little it took me to get halfway to the legal driving limit. 
  • The universe is incredibly ironic (and kind of cunty).
  • I now know my limit for drinking if I am also driving and it is much lower than I thought.  Noted!
  • When it rains, it pours.  Noted for the hundreth time.
  • It doesn’t pay to let my to-do list pile up with items that are easy to take care of.
  • Redemption still exists for women (aka 26 year old wah-wah crybabies) who cry over ham sandwiches.
  • I’m too sassy with authority figures.  Nobody makes this 26 year old wah-wah crybaby do the “follow my finger” test…except for Excelsior’s most compassionate police officer…and any other officer of the law.  It doesn’t even matter what law you’re the officer of, I’ll do it (and then sass behind your back and curse the universe that I don’t look more like America’s former sweetheart Meg Ryan circa 1994).
  • Always chew gum.


The Consolation Prize and Silver Lining


That’s right.  I bought myself a DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER from White Castle AND paid in exact change ($1.83).  BOOM.  Treat yo’ self and yo’ mortified sobbing ass never tasted so good/poor.

The calming twenty minute drive back to Minneapolis, aided by Mark Wheat’s British outback coos, allowed me to process my unbalanced chi build-up and Tuesday night culmination breathalyzer.  This is it, another rock bottom in the Ellen history books, and I’m okay with that.  Will my life continue to feel like it’s moving from mini rock bottom to mini rock bottom?  Is that what everyone else’s life feels like?  Haven’t I asked these questions before?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I can see the silver lining in my “What the fuck, Jesus?!” moments and make the next best move from there.

 Hearts + Farts

4 thoughts on “My Breathalyzer (Mini) Rock Bottom

  1. Ellen, I know how to solve all your problems. Quit your day job and write the Ellen Roth version of Bossypants. I’m going to suggest you call it Sassy Panties.

    No but really, come to visit us in SF and you’ll forget AAALLLLLLL your worries.

    1. Is this an invitation to use your home (and San Francisco) as a sanctuary where I can dabble in a personal memoir of sorts?! ACCEPTED! I’ll need a small corner, bottle of bubbly, two filleting knives, and a body pillow.

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