None the wiser

July 22, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Posted in sloppy drunk | Leave a comment

I guess there’s a moment for most people when they realize that they’re getting older. For some, it’s a first grey hair or wrinkle; for others, it’s the slowing down of their metabolism and the sudden ability to pack on weight like never before. I figure that it’s mostly a physical thing. When something goes “wrong” with our bodies, we’re usually pretty quick to notice it.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to drink. I’ve been doing it since I was 14. I quickly learned my limit and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve thrown up from drinking since 9th grade, as it’s very rare that I disrespect that limit. Fortunately, and handily, I’ve also been blessed with the ability to drink a fair amount before I have to stop. Thanks, English/Irish/Scottish/German genes! Also, over the years I’ve built up what I thought was a failsafe hangover plan. I get hangovers just by looking at alcohol, and since I usually do a lot more than just look at it, I’ve sort of devised a ritual for myself, consisting of food, a shitload of water, and a multivitamin right before going to bed after a night of drinking.

Lately, however, my tolerance just hasn’t been the same. This started in the winter, after I’d gone out one night, without eating, and had four pints. That’s it. Four pints of beer. I didn’t eat anything while I was out, and just sort of poured myself into bed without implementing any of the hangover plan. The next day, I was convinced that I was going to die. This was no ordinary hangover — for me, a hangover is usually a pretty bad headache, the inability to sleep in, and that boozy feeling that stays with me all day. No, this was certain death. Death by raging headache; death by queasy, churning stomach; death by the shame of a mere four pints. I tried to drink water and couldn’t keep it down. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat: all i could do was lay in bed, surely dying. My head was pounding with the force of a thousand hammers and I had no pain reliever in the house. I ended up calling my friend Heather to bring over some ibuprofen.

Since then, this has happened twice more, most recently on Friday night/Saturday morning. Apparently, 3+ bottles of wine between three people is more than enough alcohol. I staggered home from the party, my steps unsteady. I picked up Lebanese takeout to eat before bed. Let me just say that while Lebanese food is delicious going down, it’s not as tasty coming up. Eight hours later.

Is this my getting older wake-up call? Is this my body telling me to chill the fuck out, pace myself, and drink responsibly? For some reason this disappoints me. I mean, I knew that I wasn’t 21 any more; that’s been obvious by my apparent inability to be productive past 11 on a weeknight and my lack of interest in staying out all night every weekend. But this? Why does it have to be drinking that’s taken away from me? I’d been looking forward to a long and productive drinking career, but I guess I’m just not 14 any more, damn it.


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