Recently my girlfriends and I decided to create our own “pub run” when the relay race we signed up for was cancelled. Instead of sharing a 200 mile running route through Oregon’s wine country for 36 hours straight, leapfrogging between 2 vans, we spent an evening trotting throughout SE Portland in a gaggle, stopping for drinks at pubs along our made up route. Way easier.
I had arranged to sleep at my friend Juli’s house, where the evening began. That meant I could drink freely and not worry about driving. So I did. And drank no water and didn’t eat much.
The night ended when Juli and I blew up my air mattress in Juli’s basement and visited with her hilarious husband and whip-smart teenage daughter.
Really, I felt fine.
Until 6am when my body realized that it had been utterly poisoned with vodka, cider and Pinot Grigio. There I was, doing a technicolor yawn into Juli’s pristine toilette while her sweet family snoozed away with appropriately full and calm tummies in the adjoining rooms. I was never so happy to find the switch for a bathroom fan.
When Juli awoke and saw me, she was shocked. The way I looked warranted a night in the pokey with Nick Nolte. She went to grab some asprine and returned to find me puking into her kitchen sink. Fond memories I tell you.
I peeled out of there before anyone else could witness my Courtney Love moment and dry heaved all the way home into the wet face cloth she handed me. I know people always say this, but I can’t remember the last time I was so hungover. Also, good friends don’t even blink when you deface their toilettes (and sinks) and leave without one teeny thought of deflating their own bedding. She even offered to drive my sorry ass home.
Here’s the important part. Later my 10 year old son asked, “Mom, what’s wrong with you?” A year ago, I may have given him some discoloration of the truth like “I must’ve gotten food poisoning,” in a perplexed manner. But I decided in that moment to have a little hangover integrity and own my ugly. “I drank too much alcohol and not enough water last night.” It stung a little, being a bad role model and all. But it also felt glorious to a) potentially plant a seed about bad choices and alcohol and b) just be me, imperfect-and-made-a-bad-choice me. He said, “Huh” and didn’t even ground me. Saying it out loud and owning it will also help me steer straight the next night I’m out dehydrating myself.
P.S. When I told my friend Sarah the story, she let out a big laugh. She then texted Juli right away to ask if she could take a dump in that sink. She always has to one-up me 🙂