I have a hangover. It’s my first in a long time – I can’t really remember my last hangover, that’s how long it’s been. It’s not horrible, I did have a moment during my kickboxing class where I thought my stomach was going to give me cause to run for the restroom, but I managed to get things under control. In spite of the three Advil I took this morning the jumping was a bit hard on my head. All in all, I’d say it’s a mild hangover, enough of one to make me ask myself what I was thinking drinking seven different wines, sake, and ale, all paired with a seven course meal at a trendy upscale Japanese restaurant. It was my treat to my husband on his birthday. I rarely get the chance to surprise him, or buy him dinner, he’s always the one buying dinner, doing and giving, it was nice for a change to be the one taking charge – literally, my credit card has never been so busy in one evening.
I hate hangovers, and will do everything and anything not to get one, but last night’s dinner was so good, and perfectly paired, the restaurant was a bit heavy on the pours- seven courses and seven alcoholic beverages is a lot, someone forgot to tell them each glass didn’t need to be full. I didn’t finish all that was given me either – I had an idea that I was getting a bit tipsy, confirming my suspicions when we got up to leave, and I could hardly walk without swaying side to side – the five inch heels I was wearing didn’t help. I tried to prevent the inevitable headache by drinking a lot of water and taking vitamin B before bed, but a headache greeted me this morning and my stomach protested my overindulgence, the hangover my punishment for a fun evening that was perhaps a bit too fun.
I’ve only had a handful of hangovers in my lifetime. I remember them – like the first one. I was just fifteen and sleeping over at a friend’s house. Her parents were having a party and a punch was being served out of a huge punch bowl. My girlfriend and I snuck our way in and served ourselves some punch. It tasted like pink lemonade, absolutely delicious! And deadly – we both paid the price the next day.
The most embarrassing came after a high school party. I was a junior and after my boyfriend told me he couldn’t go out with me, took up an invitation from my best friend to go to a party. It was one of those huge open parties kids would throw, (and probably still do) when their parents are out of town. My girlfriend drove, first driving to a seedy part of town where she convinced someone to buy us alcohol. We chose Slow Gin, a drink that tastes very much like cough syrup. (we were young and stupid) When we got to the party, my boyfriend was there, dancing with another girl. Naturally, I got drunk, then slugged him -I’m sure it it all seemed reasonable at the time. He and my best friend tried to get me home, I really couldn’t walk up the stairs to my bedroom, and I guess I was making quite a racket. My mom came out, asked what was going on, and my boyfriend didn’t think to choose his words wisely. Frustrated, and probably a bit drunk himself, he blurted out, “The f***ing bitch is drunk.” Naturally, he was asked to leave, somehow my mom got me to bed, and when I woke the next morning, my head pounding and my stomach lurching, there was a note by my bed that read ‘This too shall pass.’ It was all she needed to say, a moment of parenting I’ll never forget. She knew my hangover, my actions, were punishment enough, the phone ringing off the hook all day with my peers recalling my actions at the party (I’d forgotten about slugging the boyfriend), it was all enough that I didn’t get drunk again for years and years.
My husband and I shared our worst hangover ever, together after our wedding night. We had a lovely, lavish wedding and a waiter followed us around all night refilling our champagne glasses- all night, filling our glasses with a lovely champagne and we were so distracted, so busy, we failed to notice how we didn’t really eat any dinner, too busy socializing with guests, but we did drink champagne from our wedding flutes, all night drinking champagne. At two o’ clock in the morning, back in our hotel room with a few friends we realized we were famished, and found an all night burger joint. Someone was sent to bring back hamburgers, which we ate with French fries, me in my wedding dress, grease dripping onto the satin dress that was once my mother’s. The combination of greasy burgers and champagne was not a good one- we both woke up sicker than a dog (And just where did that expression come from? I’ve never seen a dog as sick as the both of us.) Thank God our plane to Greece was not leaving until the next day, I don’t think either one of us could have made it that day. When we got to my parents’ house to open gifts, my mom opened the door, took one look at me and said, “Honey, you’re green.”
I’m sure I’ve had others, not many; I rarely drink more than a glass or two of wine with dinner. Looking back, I have to say the ones I remember are all memorable for good reason. Life lessons learned from the first two, the after wedding one coming on the heels of a fabulous celebration, and now this small little one, my happy birthday overindulgence. I hate hangovers, hate them, but more times than not, the night that caused them was a great deal of fun. (I’m quite certain if I could remember it, punching my high school sweetheart was wonderfully satisfying).
Tonight I’m drinking sparkling water.