Although I’m not particularly religious, I decided this year that I would give up alcohol for Lent.

I didn’t really put that much thought into it and figured it would be a good opportunity to exercise some self-control, try out some new things and get a fresh outlook on life. I didn’t plan ahead to think about the fact that my spring break fell right into Lent, or the fact that St. Patrick’s Day was smack dab in the middle of it. But when these facts hit me, I decided to stick with my pledge. I also had no idea that the Lenten restrictions are lifted on St. Patrick’s Day until I looked it up, so when I went to Chinatown last week, I had a couple of sodas with my friends and was probably one of the only sober people there. Amid the massive crowd staggering, stammering and swaying to and fro, there was a lot of fun to be had. Doolin Rakes was putting on one hell of a show on Nuuanu, and DJ Jimmy Taco had Merchant Street jumping.

After a few songs of getting over the awkwardness of dancing above the influence, I started getting down. At this point, everyone else seemed to be loosening up, too, and as I looked around the crowd, everyone was really starting to move. At the DJ booth, there was an ongoing bid-off between one man who was offering to pay Taco to play country music and another who was offering to pay him not to. Meanwhile, people who looked like they came straight from work were doing the funky chicken and jumping around to House Of Pain. Being around so many people having a great time, I completely forgot that I hadn’t had a drop to drink and was just enjoying the moment, trying to decide if I preferred dancing on street level or up a step on the sidewalk.

It really seemed like things couldn’t have possibly gotten any better, until I got a text from a friend who said he was about to head to Incubus at The Republik and had an extra ticket. Even though I don’t know that many Incubus songs, I was down to go check them out, but I didn’t want to ditch my date and the third wheel who had given us a ride. I told him I had to decline since I was out with a lady, to which he replied, “What if I had two extra tickets?” I asked what the catch was, and it was just that I had to pick them up from a friend of his who found out he couldn’t go.

Our third wheel actually had to get rolling for a date of her own, and it just so happened that she had parked in front of the exact building where the tickets were waiting. As the country music started to play, I was off to The Republik.