I was seriously doing so well. Completely rocking it. Most of my friends had succumbed to the pressures of after work drinks or glasses of wine with dinner, but not me. I was the Queen of Dry January. And it totally would’ve stayed that way—if not for the pirates.

Honestly, I never saw it coming. One day, I was drinking eight glasses of cucumber-infused water and eating three balanced meals a day…the next, I was throwing back tin cups of grog and toasting to another month at sea with the cabin crew below deck. When the pirates told me I was part of their “crew,” I didn’t really know what to say. After all, I’m just an account manager at a PR firm and I’m really bad at saying no to people.

So…here we are.

When I was first kidnapped, I woke up at supper time to the smell of salted meat, stale bread, and thirst. Boy, did I want some water. I asked (politely) if they had any, but before I could even finish my question, a pirate with a gold tooth thrust a cask of dark liquid into my hand and told me to drink. “Um, I’m not sure how to say this, but I’m halfway into Dry January and I—”

“DRINK UP OR ELSE YOU’LL WALK THE PLANK!” he yelled. A busty wench told me it was “me only choice” aboard this vessel, and it was either drink or die of thirst. I thought that was a little dramatic but apparently, fresh water is really hard to come by when you’re smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean, sailing the seven seas.

At first, I was reluctant. Was I ready to give up on Dry January? After all, I was almost done with it (sixteen days in!) and I was really proud of myself. Plus, Sarah and Katie had only done it because I kind of made them do it… now, how would they feel?

A man with a long, braided beard started pulling out a sword from his leather belt that held his tattered, billowing buccaneer pants together, while another man cracked his hairy, tattooed knuckles in a pretty menacing way.

I started getting nervous…so…I drank. It was strong, but went down surprisingly easy. After all, I had kinda missed the taste of it! It was like the holidays all over again. I slammed down my pint and said, “another!” The crew cheered. One guy with an eyepatch even challenged me to an arm-wrestling match. Another started playing a fiddle and we all began to dance. I started getting kind of drunk so the rest of the night was a little hazy, but all in all, it was a pretty good time… way better than my holiday Christmas party.

I’m still disappointed in myself for not finishing Dry January (and for raiding Tortuga), but now I have a bunch of new friends and I even learned how to load a powder keg. The worst part? I have to figure out a way to explain this to Sarah and Katie :-/

But, hey, there’s always next year. For now, it’s a pirate’s life for me I guess.