One Friday night 34 years ago, I wanted to go to a party. “Whose party?” my mother asked. “It’s an open party,” I replied. That’s what we called high school parties given by students whose parents wouldn’t be home. I was a senior at an all-girls private Catholic school, and my younger sister wanted to go, too. I was scheduled to take the SATs that Saturday, so my parents agreed – if they could drive us there and pick us up to ensure an early night.
I can’t remember where they dropped us off – a couple of blocks away, maybe? Or maybe we got a ride with a friend. But I remember the beverage being served. We called it Jungle Juice, and it usually consisted of grain alcohol and fruit punch mixed in plastic bags and served out of garbage cans. It was classy. I didn’t have much time, so I started throwing them back.
When my dad came to pick us up a couple of hours later, I was drunk. I tried to walk soberly to the car, and I smushed up against my sister and her friend in the back seat. My dad asked about the party, and I let everyone else carry the conversation. We hadn’t gone far before I leaned over to my sister and said, “Don’t say anything, but I’m going to pick Dad’s coat up off the floor and throw up in it.” She quietly cringed. I rolled down the window to mask the smell.
When we arrived in our driveway, I was the first to get out of the car. Dad had somewhere else to go. He called after me, wondering why I was taking his coat. My mother opened the door to greet us, and I handed her the puke-filled coat then puked my way to the bathroom. I didn’t do very well on the SAT the next day. Dad complained for a couple of weeks about how bad his car smelled, and he couldn’t figure out why. Yep, I threw up that quietly.
Sometimes my friends and I went to bars. Fat Harry’s never checked IDs, and their tables were really good for playing quarters. I remember a phase when I only drank rum and Diet Coke because I was on a no-carbs diet. Rum and Diet Coke can fuck you up. We almost always met up with boys from the private boys school near ours. We got drunk with them, we made out with them, we fended them off and they kept trying. There was groping. There was attempted intercourse. There were tears. At night we usually ended up at a riverfront spot called the Butterfly, so named because of the shape of the public bathroom there. We spent hours there, drinking, kissing, rounding bases, and sobering up before going home.
And because of all this, I know Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is lying. He is lying when he implies that his Catholic upbringing and its strict moral code didn’t allow the kind of behavior implicit in the accusations. He is lying when he says nothing like the accusations in the news could have anything to do with him. And he is lying in his blanket denials of having sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford. I’ll give him this much: it’s very possible that he doesn’t remember sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford.
I’ve never met Brett Kavanaugh, but I knew men like him. We’re the same age – I’m six weeks older. We both went to high school in the late 1970s. We both attended elite private Catholic schools. We maneuvered through a privileged adolescence and ascended to privileged college years.
And we both drank to excess more than once. We weren’t strangers to parties. We both puked in cars, according to a memoir written by Kavanaugh’s good friend Mark Judge. Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to him as treasurer of the “Keg City Club,” which had a goal of drinking 100 kegs before graduation. In a public speech, Kavanaugh once joked that “what happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep.” Oh, I bet he’s wishing that was true.
But the proverbial noose is falling over Kavanaugh’s well-coiffed head. Most recently, a high school friend named Renate Schroeder Dolphin, initially a Kavanaugh supporter, learned that Kavanaugh and several of his high school football teammates had listed themselves as “Renate alumnius” in the yearbook. Anyone familiar with slut-shaming can see that it’s a braggadocious way for all of the men to claim they had slept with Dolphin. Kavanaugh’s lawyers issued a statement claiming he wrote the phrase because he had gone on a single date with her (she says that never happened) and they shared a kiss. He’s lying. I would bet my tiny little house on it. And lying at this level, by the way, is a mortal sin**, punishable by separation from God and eternal damnation to Hell. Just saying.
**“The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.” -The Catechism of the Catholic Church, (sec) 2484
The idea that what happened to Christine Blasey Ford is simply inconceivable is just bunk; what’s inconceivable is that someone like Kavanaugh could drink to excess dozens and dozens of times through high school and college and even know whether he had assaulted anyone. In fact, it would have been more believable for him to say, Yeah, that may have happened. I don’t remember it, but it’s possible. I was drunk more times than I could count. And if it happened, I’m sorry.
But he didn’t say that. Instead, he lied. And there is no room on the U.S. Supreme Court for a liar. (That spot is already occupied by Clarence Thomas.) OUCH! But really.