This is what a "goodbye" beer looks like at 5am on a fire escape in the East Village.

After my piece where I admitted that I feel I might have a drinking problem, I felt that in recognizing it, I should make a proactive attempt to get a handle on it. As I mentioned, I gave it up for 24 days before, but this time I’m going for a full 30, with weekly essays about it. If I cave, you’ll know. If I can pull it off, you’ll mostly certainly know because I’ll march on out and buy some Veuve Clicquot to celebrate. I kid! Actually, if I make it 30, I may go for 60 — although from a social aspect that will be pretty tough once I get home to New York.

I wrote the original essay as a confessional piece when I came to my realization that perhaps I had let things get out of control. Although, as I had also mentioned in that essay, my truly crazy drinking days are behind me, I still know I’m vulnerable to that type of behavior in the future should my path cross with another sort of fella who enables my hard-drinking ways because he happens to be just like me. However, that shit should also be behind me considering my resolution to give up the whole “man-child” type of guy.

Basically, I think what you’re reading is me coming to terms, mourning losses and trying to make amends with myself and my less than spectacular decisions. And for some reason I’ve decided to share this all with a bunch of strangers on the Internets instead of keeping it in a hand-written journal as if I were Hannah in Girls.

When I decided last Thursday that I would not be drinking for 30 days (this also includes no occasional recreational drugs including pot), I received mixed reviews. My family was all for it, while my friends seemed to be split on the matter. A few pointed out that my drinking had really decreased an extraordinary amount since my Swede days, so they didn’t see the point; while others, like Tattoo Guy, told me I was crazy to think I had a problem with alcohol. “You live in fucking New York City! We all drink hard here! It’s socially acceptable! And if you’re one, what does that say about me?” See my whole “man-child” point here?

So I chose my last night out with him before I headed to Colorado as the evening I had my (temporary) goodbye party from alcohol. Of course I didn’t half-ass it, as you can see by the above photo where I’m consuming my last beer at 5am on my fire escape. Go, Chatel! [Insert eye roll here.]

I had originally thought that being in Colorado and away from the city would be an ideal time to give up the booze, because I wouldn’t have any outside influences pulling me toward bad behavior. There is no such thing as drunk brunch in Boulder, and considering I’m shacked up in the guest room at my sister’s house, and she’s a responsible mother of two, it’s not like I have anyone with whom to drink and be silly.

However, there are two major factors standing in the way that’s going to make this a wee bit tough: my brother-in-law’s wine collection (he has wine at every meal, like I normally would), and my nephews who, although I love them endlessly and would die for them, they do tend to get on my nerves around 5pm when they don’t understand that their “Auntie Bobby” maybe doesn’t want to dance to that Robyn song for the 15th time in a row — 14 times was enough! A cocktail in hand and I probably could have gone for 20 rounds, but this iced green tea isn’t exactly cutting it. My tolerance level for people skyrockets after a couple drinks.

Those two minor bits aside, we have a “so far, so good,” situation on our hands for week one. And as my sister so kindly pointed out, less money on alcohol means more money on clothes and records. I mean, that cash has to go toward something for the sake of the economy.