let’s talk about hangovers

I have posted hangover-related comments on a several blogs this afternoon, and that got me thinking about my legendary capacity for post-consumption misery. I always cringe with abject jealousy whenever I hear someone talk about how “they can’t throw up after they drink”, or how they have “never been hungover”, despite spending the evening swilling 20 beers or an entire bottle of jack daniels. So let’s start a run of posts where I talk about hangovers.

which to choose which to choose.


I met up with my college friend Fancy, who I hadn’t seen in a year or so. The plan was to go out for a few drinks, have an old-fashioned sleepover, and in the morning assemble at her temple for chanting and meditation in the nichren buddhist style. After a glass of wine at my apartment, we headed out to a nearby watering hole for some bar snacks and merlot. Good conversation and grape product led to a craving for something stronger, however, and we rounded the corner to a more lively haunt and downed two cosmos each. It was a lovely drunk, the kind of drunk where you don’t realize that you are drunk and decide to drive to your boss’ house so that the Friend can meet the Boss and see Where You Work and How Weird It Is.

Miraculously, I fell asleep without incident (meaning: NO SPINS) and woke up sunny and cheerful. Until I stood up. Upon standing, I was flattened by a tsunami of nausea the likes of which had not been felt since the postgraduate summer of 2001. While Fancy was in the shower, I went outside and threw up in the backyard. Now sometimes, when hung over, puking feels great. You emerge refreshed, ready to take on the odds, ready for a greasy breakfast. This was NOT one of those times. I squeaked something about thinking that maybe I should not go to temple, maybe this was not the best time to try chanting, but NO WE WERE DEFINITELY GOING ALL I NEEDED WAS A BAGEL. At the coffee shop, the scent of freshly baked bread sent my head a-spinnin’, it became abundently clear that bagels were not, in fact, what I required. Getting into the temple was a challenge, meeting Fancy’s mother was worse, and the sound of 100 people chanting in unison, while relaxing, was a little more than I could handle. I bolted out the door, ran behind the dumpster, and waited for the encore viewing of last night’s vodka. After two or three similar trips, I gave up the ghost and left the ceremony, noting the irony that I was leaving a buddhist temple because I was too hungover to breathe.

What I had hoped would be a short, morning hangover (you know, one of those mornings spent in agony that blossoms into a spectacularly pain-free afternoon) turned into a struggle for survival as my stomach staged a protest against water and gatorade, eventually simply revolting against its own essence and maintaining reverse peristalsis, deapite having been long empty of all liquid. My head hurt too much to watch TV, I was too brain-dead to read, and it was apparently “evangelical day” on NPR, so I amused myself by rolling around on the bathroom floor and groaning.

If you liked this, come back for more. I’ve been hungover 6 ways to sunday, and I do love swapping stories. Any to share?

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