Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Saturday Night Perils

To my son Tommy,

Every Saturday we try our best to make it out to the Downey house (your grandparents) for dinner.  It has become tradition and a good one at that.  We make it more often than not and fun is had by all.  Tonight, after we went to 5pm mass in honor of your Great Aunt Joan, we headed out to your Grandma Roro's house.  This gave us a late start but we stayed our normal amount of time and this put us heading home around 9:30 on a Saturday night.

Saturday nights are big drinking nights, or at least they were when I was a big drinker and bartender.  Of course when I was living that lifestyle every night was a big drinking night for me.  With the increased volume of bar patrons on a Saturday though, there is an increase of people that should not be behind the wheel of a car.  I swear on our trip back home, I saw three swervers.  They scare me and piss me off to no end.  Though I curse them now for endangering my son and my wife, I am ashamed to say I was one of them back in the day.

When I was young and drinking, a couple of shots never stopped me from driving.  I knew everything and I was invincible.  I assumed everyone on the road at Saturday night was barhopping and never even really gave thought that the guy in front or behind me could be driving their three year old son home from a family dinner.  There is no sugar coating it...I was a dumbass.  Thank God nothing horrible ever came of my stupidity.

Barring the full implementation of cars that drive themselves (which is a very real possibility nowadays or so I am led to believe) you will have this dilemma as you grow up.  The easiest decisions will come on the extremes, if you are fall down drop dead plastered you will know not to drive.  It is those nights that you had three or four and you feel fine.  Those are the nights that you will make the dumb decision to just drive and you will be doing fine and your cellphone will ring and you will make the dumb decision to answer it and then it will slip out of your hand and you will make the dumb decision to try and get it from the floor and wham.

So, though it may be difficult, make the decision to not drive.  I know how hard it is to get the car the next day, and how bad you will feel to call someone for a ride and put them out, and I know every excuse you can put out there on why you should drive.  They are all wrong and doing the right thing takes effort.  I am just going to put this out there now, just as you grandfather Leo did for me, if you ever need a ride because you have been call me and I'll come get you no questions asked if need be.  The life you save just might be some family coming home with their three year old son from a family dinner.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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