How Alcohol Poisoning Reminded Me How Good I Have It

Jake and I had a great day on Saturday. We went to a festival in Springfield, ate fried food and candied nuts, watched Netflix, and then walked around the park to make up for the calories we’d consumed. We had a pretty low key night ahead of us, when I checked my phone to see that Catherine, Laura, and Gail were calling me out for a night on Catherine’s patio. I’d promised I’d come, even last minute, if they sent me the invite and Jake, in all his good ol’ boy charm, was game, especially since Gail’s Terry would be there, so he wouldn’t be the only cock in the hen house. Conveniently enough, we’d just been to the liquor store and were more than prepared for this BYOB with whiskey and coke and the small bottle of Strawberry Smirnoff I’d bought to mix with Fresca… only I’d forgotten the Fresca.

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I remember a great deal of the night. I remember Jake arguing politics with Catherine. I remember sitting in the grass with Laura, talking about her marriage. I remember making fish sticks when we got hungry drunk and walking around the block. I remember teasing Gail about her newfound veganism and Terry about their five year engagement. I remember playing on Catherine’s daughter’s swing set. I’m so glad I remember all of that, because I had a great time… until I didn’t.

You see, I also remember judging my shots without a glass and drinking straight from the bottle. I remember wondering why I wasn’t feeling it more. I remember feeling good and drunk and then thinking I really didn’t want to be any more drunk, but that I didn’t have to worry, because the bottle was empty anyway. I remember Laura realizing this and making me stick my finger down my throat… Jake trying to carry me inside, after Laura’s failed attempts to rouse me… and throwing up. I remember that last one the most. The rest of the night was just a blur of pain and humiliation… and apologies, because y’all, I am a grown ass woman. I have no idea what I was thinking. I haven’t even been close to that drunk since the summer of 2011, when Gail, Malik, and I decided to mix shrimp and peach vodka to celebrate my new apartment. Even then, I had an excuse in the fact that I’d lost about 60 pounds and had no concept of my new tolerance. I’m 29, not 19. I don’t even get drunk enough to be hungover anymore, let alone lose the ability to stand or speak. I’m not that girl. I chase chick beers with water and ibuprofen, not vodka with vodka… and thank goodness Jake and my friends know that…

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… because through all the misery and mortification, what I remember most clearly was Jake and Laura working to get me inside and clean up any mess in Catherine’s house, all while assuring me that I didn’t have to apologize and it was okay, that I’d be okay, because losing that kind of control is terrifying. Ashamed, I begged them not to laugh at me or tease me. Laura spoke in motherly tones while cleaning up vomit. As I dry-heaved, Jake held my hair, rubbed my back, and told me over and over again that I didn’t have to be sorry or embarrassed, because he’d done far worse. The two of them sat in the kitchen sharing their own cringe-worthy drinking tales as I fell asleep on Catherine’s couch.

I woke a few hours later to find Jake in the kitchen and told him I wanted to go home. After 30 minutes of gathering my stuff, we headed out, before Catherine, Gail, or Terry woke to witness my shame. Jake helped me up the stairs and onto the couch, where he was once again unbearably sweet to me as I recovered from just that short trek.

Me: “I’m so sorry. Thank you for being so nice to me.”
Jake: “You don’t have to be sorry.”
Me: “Will you be nice to me tomorrow, when I don’t feel good?”
Jake: “I will always be nice to you.”

Still drunk, I showered and changed as sunlight filtered through the window.

Me: “I’m so sorry. Are you going to break up with me?”
Jake: “I wouldn’t dream of breaking up with you.”

That afternoon, Jake came into the living room to find me with a throw-up bowl in my lap, texting Laura a thank you.

Jake: “How are you feeling?”
Me: “Bad.”
Jake: “Well, the good news is, you don’t have to worry about how many calories you ate, yesterday.”
Me: “I’m embarrassed.”
Jake: “Oh, I’ve been much more embarrassed. Do you remember what you drank to make you so sick?”
Me: “All of the vodka.”
Jake: “Were you just drinking straight from the bottle? Did you think you were a saloon owner in an old western?”

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There is no way I would’ve had more than a fourth shot, had I been using a shot glass, let alone a sixteenth.

Gail texted to ask what time I’d left that morning and I realized that Laura hadn’t told anyone about the events of the previous night. She’d kept my humiliation private. Jake spent the rest of the day watching Harry Potter with me and taking brief breaks to check on the Cowboys game, as I failed to keep down pretzel sticks and water… and wondered how I got so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. Those two are both getting homemade peanut brittle this weekend.

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Textersation Tuesday

It still counts, as long as I get it in before midnight.

I almost never get sick. It happens maybe twice a year, but when it does, it’s always an exotic plague. In fact, one of the few things that brings me any joy during these times is using my few waking hours to come up with ridiculous hyperbolic statements about my health… and also, watching Hocus Pocus on repeat. That last one may just be in general.

Me: “We’re going to watch… wait for it… HOCUS POCUS!!!! Aren’t you EXCITED?!?! ‘Twist the bones and bend the back…'”
Gail: “So, it’s your birthday and you want to do… the same thing you do every other day of the year. Shocker.”

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Sick and Tired: The Worst Day to be Single

There are a lot of things one could say about a 26-year-old professional who still sucks her thumb. “Emotionally broken” or “product of abuse” are probably the most fitting, in my case. One that’s hardly ever mentioned, however, is the bomb immune system that comes with the habit. Considering the fact that I will find a way to discreetly sanitize my hands after the “Peace Be With You” during Mass, it’s probably for the best that I’m subjected to germs through less common means, anyway. Otherwise… I would die. Mysterious ways, yo.


I use the term “discreetly,” quite loosely. 

My point here, is that I rarely get sick. When I do, however, it’s always with something strong enough to break through the immune system of Achilles. About once a year, I get the opportunity to dramatically post Facebook status updates about how I am Patient Zero and everyone should say their goodbyes, because we are all going to die. I may even quote Hocus Pocus with “This is the end. I feel it. We are doomed. I feel the icy breath of death upon my neck… Goodbye. Goodbye cruel world. Goodbye to life.” It all depends on the amount of energy I have, since I spent about eight hours sleeping on my couch, yesterday. No really. I took breaks to sleep while writing this. You’re welcome.

This year, it all started with ice. You see, we don’t really get snow in my area.The weather app on my phone called it a “wintry mix,” but that just meant “lots of fucking ice.” So, I prepared. Niki came over Thursday night to marathon American Horror Story with me and we interrupted the ramblings of a group of broken souls to go get deicer. We each bought two cans and I figured I was set. That stuff works like magic. The company doesn’t specify, however, that it only does so if you put it in the car, as opposed to leaving it on the kitchen counter. Someone is going to be getting an angry letter.

So, on Friday, I left my substitute teaching job during my planning period, to get a salad for lunch. I ended up with a pack of Reese’s Bells, as well, but I’m a member of the Participation Trophy generation, so it still counts. When I got back to the school, the roads were still clear and dry. Five hours later?

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Fine. I’m lying. It still, however, was far too much ice for my sad little scraper, which was proven when it snapped in half. I started the car and wondered how long it would take for the ice to melt as I regained feeling in my fingers. Then I saw the blood. I don’t even know what happened. My best guess is that the ice scraper cut my finger when it broke. I went inside, got some bandages, came out and took another try with the remaining pieces of the scraper. After a bit of struggling, I was rescued by a Big Strong Man. Suck my dick, modern extreme feminists. I take care of myself every day and I even tried in this instance, but I was thrilled to be the damsel as another teacher insisted I get in the car where it was warm, while he cleared my windows. I thanked him kindly and decided I’d go straight to the gym, because I knew I wouldn’t be getting out again, after I’d gone home. Besides, what could a little “wintry mix” do during my one hour workout?

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It wasn’t actually as bad as it had been before, but I still didn’t have deicer. My scraper was still broken and the one I’d bought at The Dollar Tree was just sad. So, I decided to walk to Wal-Mart and grab another can of magic. This wasn’t gym clothes weather, folks. I walked uphill in freezing rain, wearing nothing but knee-length leggings, a t-shirt, and my Northface. Unsurprisingly, Wal-Mart was sold out of anything and everything intended for winter weather, so I trekked back to my car, this time downhill in ice, and decided on another method of dealing with this issue: avoidance. So, for the next twenty minutes, I continued texting Gaily about my latest online dating flop.

Me: I could work to fix this problem, or I could sit in the car with the heat on and eat Reese’s Bells.
Me: I am going to die alone. Right here. In my car.
Gail: Better to die alone with a Reese’s Bell than to die with Engineer whispering “I knew you’d like it” in hot breath on your neck.

Hey. At least this time I wasn’t overreacting. Even Gail thought he was clingy. EVEN GAIL. 


Every man Gail has ever dated.

Finally, I realized that the ice was melting and I was free to get out of my car and scrape the windows with ease, regardless of my near-nudity.


… aaaaaand Monday morning.

There are a handful of worst times ever to be single, such as when a family member dies, when you’re stranded on the side of the road, and… when you’re sick. I have officially done all of these this year. Despite my humorous melodrama, I am not actually that high-maintenance of a patient. I don’t need someone to sing Soft Kitty to me or clean up my vomit. There is just something uniquely awful about being home alone, too exhausted to stand up and get a glass of water, and having no one there to give a shit. Furthermore, do you have any idea how difficult child safety bottles can be to open in quarantine? At one point, I could not hold my head up long enough to read a trashy romance novel I’d already read, and which therefore required no concentration, but someone had to go get medicine and run by the post office. It would have just been nice to have someone to do that and maybe even a load of dishes. It’s not a selfish wish, as I’d be more than happy to return the favor in a week when he contracted The Black Death. Soup for soup and all that. I’d just like someone with whom to trade that favor.

I suppose part of the problem was my idea to check out a bunch of movies from work, in preparation for being iced in all weekend. If you’re ever in the position to be ill and snowed in alone, do not watch Yours, Mine, and Ours and Pillow Talk. 

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I couldn’t have 10 kids if I wanted to, because I’m running out of time!!! I may never get to have ANY children, because I keep turning men down! He just wanted to know if he’d done something wrong when I hadn’t texted him for a few hours, even though I’d told him I had company. What’s the harm in that?!? What if I have pneumonia and it just gets worse and worse and I really DO die alone!?!?!

They’re right! The only thing worse than a woman living alone is one who insists she likes it! I couldn’t even meet a man that way, because there’s no such thing as a party line anymore! Why can’t they bring back party lines?!?

No, really. Skip the romantic comedies. The more rational part of my brain had to talk myself out of joining another paid online dating site out of distress. Believe me, that part was not particularly present as the delirium set in, either.

I’m just trying to remind myself that these are the good ol’ days. One day, I’ll be cleaning poop out of the carpet, while a two-year-old screams in my ear, longing for the days when I only had to deal with my own sickness. At one point, I woke up on the couch, in utter despair at the quiet. When I’m sick at 35, I’m pretty sure I’ll want a time machine to kick my own ass for that thought. In the meantime, I really do enjoy living alone most days. I’m aware that yarn bombing my living room and playing the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby on repeat are activities I’ll have to keep to a minimum when I live with a boy. I have no delusions that the hot pink and teal Christmas tree will be on display when I’m not the only one who has to look at it. These years will be missed and cherished. Now, to just get well and process that fully.