When I was maybe 4 or 5, Mr. Rogers had a commercial on PBS that asked kids to tell their parents not to drink and drive. My parents were and are not drinkers. I think in my 27 years, I've seen my dad drink 7 beers. I've never seen my mom drink that I can remember. Anyways, that night, or maybe the next night, we all got in the car and my dad cracked open a coke. I remember saying "Daddy! Mr. Rogers says not to drink and drive!" I don't remember if my parents laughed, but I know they explained that Mr. Rogers wasn't talking about soda pop.
I am still a big supporter of not drinking and driving. Alcohol is more present in mine and my husband's social lives than it was in my parents. We always make sure to take a cab or have a DD. Ninety percent of the time, I am that DD.
There are a couple of reasons I am so often the designated driver. I've been married a little over five years, for two and a half of those I have been either pregnant or nursing. (That's 2 full term pregnancy's and 4 months of nursing each.) Last summer, I started treatment for my BPD and I an not supposed to mix my medications with alcohol. The rest of the time, well, I just don't drink that much. I don't like the feeling of being so tipsy I have no control of my mouth or my faculties.
I used to get really mad when Larch assumed I would be the DD but never asked. Like when I was pregnant. Obviously, I wasn't drinking, but that didn't mean I wanted to be responsible for everyone. Or maybe I just wanted the courtesy of being asked. Also, it feels very lonely being the only sober person in a group.
Last week, I came to the realization that I don't hate it so much anymore. I was the DD and I wasn't even at the bar with the boys. The were are the bar down the street, so they walked to and from our house. When they got home, however, my brothers in law were not in a state to be driving home. J, living the next town over, opted to stay the night and sleep on our couch. B, on the other had, insisted on going home. I was wide awake, even at 2 am, so I offered to drive him home after he ate. (They always come home hungry when they go out.) As I drove B the 20ish blocks to his house, he really opened up. I know the heart to hearts we have when I drive him home are tainted by his altered state of mind, but I enjoy that he trusts me with thoughts and feeling he won't share with his older brother, my husband.
When I am the DD, I get to keep my family safe and get to know them better than perhaps they want me to. Maybe they should call me the DDSK: designated driver and secret keeper.