Monday, May 09, 2011

On drinking and getting old(er)...

Today I woke up with a flu. My throat is sore and I am achy from head to toe. Yesterday, however, I woke up feeling even worse than I do today. Why? I had been out on Saturday night. I had consumed at total of six drinks over the entire evening, and had been home and in bed by 3:30AM. This used to be a responsible Tuesday for me back in the day. I would've gotten up and sauntered into work. Yet here I was on a Sunday morning, barely able to move.

I've often said that if I ever woke up after a night where I had not been drinking, and had the same symptoms of my standard hangover, I would take myself to the hospital. I've grown fearful of hangovers since my first, where I had to drag myself to school at the age of sixteen in an over-sized Letterman Show t-shirt (with no pants) to pick up my book-deposit cheque, or my second hangover ever, where I went skinny dipping in a lake and slept on a trampoline in Bragg Creek and woke up and puked thirteen times in a row. Since that time, I have learned that it is easier to avoid absolute disaster in the AM by not mixing peach schnapps with Sprite in a two-litre bottle. I was able, for years, to keep my hangovers in check by being careful with what I drink, but it's not really working for me anymore. Nowadays, if I mix one glass of wine into a three-cocktail evening, I'm screwed, and you know why? I am a real sucker for a glass of wine! I can't say no! Also, it's because I'm getting old(er).

I recognize that being almost thirty does not make me old, but less that five years ago, I used to have six drinks in me by 11PM on any regular Friday evening. I would drink triples all night long and then stay up drinking a case of imports in the abandoned penthouse in the Barron Building downtown and watch the sunrise. I would walk home and crawl into bed at 6AM, and still be able to keep my lunch plans for the next day. Now, if I've been drinking, I can barely stomach food in the morning (unless it's pizza or Dim Sum), and my head hurts all day long. I'm lucky if I can stay up past 8PM on days like these, and mostly spend them in front of the TV or eating tacos at the mall. Also, quite frankly, when I am hungover, I am a whiny jerk.

I guess at some point, your body just gives up the ability to process the events of the night before. Don't get me wrong: for a little folk, I have the alcohol tolerance of Andre The Giant. Go ahead, feed me tequila shots all night long. I can handle it. I can count on one hand the number of times I've gotten sick during an evening on the town. Just understand that I can't join you for breakfast the next day, as I will be on the couch all day in misery. I hate Sundays, and mostly for this reason alone. Also, that awful "gonna have to go to work tomorrow" feeling that looms around the entire day. Terrible.

I've been working on moderation, and it has not been as hard as I thought. Did you know that if someone offers you a glass of rum punch, you don't have to drink it? Especially if rum makes you feel the way it makes me feel: the worst. I've paired down from triples to singles (in a tall glass). I try to throw a glass of water or two in the mix. If a shot has any of the following, you are wise to stay away: Jagermeister, Alize, or Hypnotiq. Don't even touch drinks that have dirty names that involve the words "muff", "panty", or "slippery". Good rule of thumb. I've started giving myself a weekend or two a month hangover-free. It's a worthy sacrifice.

That's not to say that this Saturday night, when I was twirling and stumbling around the dance floor at 2:30AM in my shortest shorts to The Whispers' And The Beat Goes On by myself, I wasn't having the time of my life. I was assuming the risk.
It's times like these where I wake up after a wild evening, and it's easy remember, as I nurse my aching head, that last night was pretty fucking fun.

~sarah p.

No comments: