As aging young adults, there are a lot of things that come with growing up that we can avoid. We can put off being mature. We can put off settling down. We can put off quarterly STD checks. But there are some things that we can’t control. We can’t control male-pattern baldness. We can’t control early menopause. We certainly can’t control our worsening hangovers.
High school hangovers could be dealt with easily enough. You were young, in shape, wide-eyed and hopeful for the future. In the morning, you’d take a couple Advil, chug a Gatorade and run it off during summer track conditioning like a rockstar. College hangovers were a little more intense, but also handled with ease. You’d wake up, smoke up, order $40 worth of Jimmy John’s and spend the rest of the day solving sex crimes with Detectives Benson and Stabler. Now, as a postgrad, you find that even when you drink significantly less, your hangovers are getting consistently worse. Is it age? Are you out of practice? Past your prime? Maybe. Or maybe you just need to rethink how you deal with your hangovers.
Submerge yourself in a pool, lake, ocean, jacuzzi, whathaveyou. Indoor? Outdoor? No matter. Just find a large body of water and flop in. I would suggest letting the water take over entirely and floating on the surface like a dead body. I’ve found that this particular position –The Dead Man’s Float—not only allows you to forget your hangover, but also tricks your brain into thinking you’re actually dead for a couple seconds. The serenity you will find is life altering.
Dip in the water and do the breast-stroke. The smooth, gliding motion will erase the painful memory of the troll you sucked face with last night. Flip over to your back, stare at the sky and let the water cleanse your soul of every bad decision you’ve made in the last 24 hours. Let it wash over you.
If you have the strength and stamina to tread water, grab your kid brother and some neighbors and offer to take them to the local watering hole for the day. If you think you can be hungover with four 5 year olds climbing all over you like a human tree, think again. You will snap out of it before you can say “Capri Sun.” By the end of the day, you will be exhausted from treading water, flipping kids off your shoulders and force feeding them Goldfish during rest break. When night comes you will sleep like harder than MJ after a Propofol cocktail.
If there’s one person who never fails to take care of me in my poor physical condition after a night out, it’s my mom. She is my hangover guardian angel. Like some of you sad sons of bitches, I live in my parent’s house like a true PGP. Only, I consider it more like a PG luxury. Sure, when I come home still tanked and my dad informs me that I’m helping him rake and haul leaves to the road I want to commit Hari Kari. But when it’s Sunday morning and I can’t see straight because I unknowingly smacked my head into a door frame the night before, my girl is on the job.
With any luck your home hangovers go something like this: You’ve barricaded yourself in your childhood bedroom in complete darkness. Netflix is letting you down left and right. Why isn’t the new Superman movie on here yet? Why does the universe hate me? Your cottonmouth is out of control and you need water pronto. You grab your cell and text your mom.
You: Please could you bring me a glass of ice water with lemon?
Mom: Anything for you, princess.
No joke, that’s the response I most likely get. She’s next-level cool.
An hour later you have a headache that’s undoubtedly eating away at the small part of your brain you actually use, and your beginning to feel nauseous.
You: Mom, can you please bring me an ice pack? And a glass of ginger ale with ice? Thank you, you’re the best!
Mom: Okay. Do you want a straw?
You: Yes pleeease!
See what I did there? It’s all about manners. Shortly after you sip your ginger ale your stomach settles and you slip into a mild coma. When you wake up your STARVING. Time to text mom. What are you in the mood for? Family-sized Stoeffer’s mac and cheese? Salivating.
You: Mommy what’s for dinner?
Mom: Ordered from Pizza by Robert. Will be here in 30.
You: Yes!! I love you
Mom: Love u too
Call me pathetic, call me spoiled, I don’t give a fuck. All I know is while you’re curled in the fetal position, soaking wet, puking in the shower of your one-bedroom apartment, I’ll be at home, with my mom, living the (hungover) dream.
Live too far away to drive home for the day? That sucks. Here’s your best option. Call up your most motherly friend and beg her to come over because “You will literally die without her.” Girls love that shit. If she doesn’t take the bait, promise you will watch The Notebook with her and order Chinese later. Follow through on that is optional. I mean, if she’s going to fetch you ice packs, regulate the air conditioning to your specifications and go to the door when the pizza delivery guy shows up, you can at least sacrifice two hours of your life to Rachel McAdams. After all, she’s going to be too full for the Chinese anyway since you already ordered pizza.
You wake up in the gentle embrace of a man you think is named Tad. Ted? Todd? Who cares. You roll over and make sure he didn’t morph from a high 9 to a low 4 overnight. Nope, still up there. Your head is throbbing, your eyes feel like they are going to burst from their sockets and your entire body aches. Tim starts snoring. You debate smothering him with a pillow. Nah, you’re too hungover to lift your arms above your head, let alone commit murder. Next time, though. You get up and start around the room collecting your clothes from various places you don’t remember placing them. You’re about to put your dress on when Tad moves. He’s awake.
“Hey,” he says sleepily.
“Hi. I’m just getting my stuff. I’m gonna go, I feel horrible,” you begin to dress.
“Me too. Last night was insane,” he pauses giving you a smile that makes you think he’s not referring to the bar, but what happened after the bar. Last night. In his bed. And shower. And roommate’s bed.
You’re weak, dehydrated, ridden with drinker’s anxiety. The thought of going home and being alone with your regret and self loathing is horrifying.
Tad rolls over, and pats the empty space on the bed next to him. Is he flexing his pecks? Hello, Thor. You start to undress, thinking to yourself, yes, last night was insane.
It’s not often you find a handsome stranger who has no cats, no girlfriend and no qualms with throwing you up against a wall. You jump back into bed with Tad, momentarily forgetting the skull-splitting pain in your head.
He’s better than you remember. After two hours, three water breaks and numerous calf cramps, you find yourself sprawled out, naked, panting to catch your breath, sweating like Precious after a 5k.
You stare at the ceiling suddenly feeling a whole lot better than you did a couple hours ago. The intense part of your hangover has subsided thanks to Tad and his ruthless generosity.
Sure, you could go to the gym and hate life on the elliptical for an hour, proceed to sweat out the alcohol in the sauna, and recharge with an overpriced smoothie, but with sexercise, you’ll always get more bang for your buck.
Am I dead? Is this what hell is like? Did Lucifer himself rise from the gates of Hades to personally escort me into the fiery depths of eternal damnation? Nah. It’s just Sunday morning.
One would think the simple concept of drinking away a hangover would be the most obvious solution to a bunch of middle-of-the-road alcoholics. But suggest drinking to a bunch of struggling twenty-somethings after a night on the town, and you’d be surprised with the reactions you are met with.
“Shut the fuck up, man. The thought of drinking right now makes me sick.”
“Are you serious? If I drink I will die.”
“I’d sooner drink my own piss then crack open another beer.”
Rude, right? You were just trying to help them heal. Lead them into the Promised Land where there is no more pain. No more suffering. No more dry heaving at the smell of whiskey. It’s a beautiful place to be.
Getting re-drunk is easy, as long as you are proactive about it. First, you need to secure a drinking buddy. Look around for the most miserable SOB in the room. The girl with mascara halfway down her face, hair on the top of her head tangled-to-fuck, wearing some guy’s sweats? She’s perfect. The guy with dried mustard in his mustache, a dick drawn on his forehead, sleeping in the corner? He’s the one. The harder they’ve fallen, the better.
Second, you and your partner need to drink quickly. Mass quantities at a rapid rate. This is no time to pour yourself a glass of scotch and sip it slowly like a civilized human being. No. This is the moment where you grab two beers and shotgun them consecutively. The goal here is to get it down fast and keep it down. Typically, the first drink is the worst. Push through.
Third, you need to recruit. Roll through your phone contacts and send out a mass text telling all your friends you are throwing a Sunday Funday and they need to get in on it. From there its smooth sailing. Blast “Hey Jude” (Kanye West remix) as loud as you can on repeat, wear your sunglasses inside, and don’t stop until you’ve reached peace with your inner-alocholic.
Come Monday, yeah, you’ll be miserable, but like my therapist says, “Take it one day at a time.”