Earlier in May this year, I walked at my graduation commencement ceremonies (graduation still pending...) at my university. A few days later on a Friday my parents thought it would be great to go out for a special "Happy Graduation!" luncheon with them and my brother and his wife that drove from out of state to see me. I was on board with the idea so the Thursday night before my friend calls me over and asks if I want to "help" her clean out her liquor cabinet before she moved to Colorado. I know this is already a bad idea but I figure since it's 9PM and the lunch is at 12PM the next day then my 2PM work shift, I can pace myself and get plenty of sleep.
It turned into "Make Your Own Shot" night with a rack full of spirits and cordials.
Then my alarm goes off at 10AM. I'm confused, in pain, and uncomfortable.
I'm stumbling around her apartment, trying to navigate as quietly as I could without my contacts in. I'm blind as a bat and hungover so I can imagine I wasn't the most graceful person in the world. Luckily no one woke up. Even though when I went to go get a drink of water in the kitchen...
I had about an hour to drive back home, get showered and presentable to meet my family for lunch and then go to work. I felt like even through my sunglasses, the suns horrible rays still pierced through to my horribly bloodshot eyes. Luckily I made it back the 3 miles back to my apartment and I slowly showered in a hungover stupor as I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of actually ingesting food.
I pulled over and parked in a small neighborhood several blocks away since the restaurant was right across from my work and employees can't park in the parking lot on weekends. I stopped the car and sat. A million thoughts came into my head at once.
"How am I going to keep a conversation going?"
"How am I going to be able to eat food? It's a lunch and I can't NOT eat food. They'll be worried."
"Will I die during the hot walk over the bridge?"
"What if I throw up right there in the restaurant? How do I play that off?"
"I need to throw up. That's how I'll solve my problems."
I figured like most of my problems, it can be solved with vomiting. I feel like after I throw up from drinking too much, I usually feel time times better. Realizing I'm in a residential neighborhood, I can't lean out my car and throw up, or knock on someone's door and ask to hurl in their bathroom. I grab an empty paper bag from my back seat and try. And try and try and try.
The five-block walk was horrible.
If you have ever been incredibly hungover before, you know that the smell of food, a smell that people like most of the time, just smells like eventual throwing up.
**Note: I apologize already for the excessive use of "vomit, throw-up, etc." but it's a key part of the story. Hopefully no more vommy stories for awhile. I think.
As we sat down to our table, the pain in my stomach kept growing and the noises were something similar to that of an angry tar pit. I tried to chat with my family as much as possible with a friendly smile, but I'm sure they were wondering why I was going through five glasses of water every 10 minutes and why my speech turned into that of a high school burnout. I couldn't make competent sentences because I was trying so hard to control my stomach muscles to not turn on me.
A) Show my parents I was hungry for a meal and not water and crackers.
B) Stay away from anything meat or cheese-gravy like as possible.
Hoping that it would be the only obstacle I had to overcome during lunch, I was wrong. They ordered appetizers. They generously pushed my would-be-favorites of spring rolls and sweet potato fries my way. I couldn't refuse, but I'm telling you now, that was one of the worst eating experiences in my life. You know that feeling...