It’s early Saturday morning. You wake up, look around and assess. Where am I? Why am I naked? What happened last night? You blink a few times and realize you are safely tucked into your bed, alone. Phew, one mystery down, 100 more to go. Where is my phone? Did I lose my wallet? How did I get home last night? You slowly pull your dead body upright and look around your room. You spot your wallet on your nightstand. It‘s void of cash, but all your cards are accounted for. You flop back into your bed and slam your head on something hard. Reaching behind you, you discover your iPhone hidden between two pillows. A small sense of security comes over you as you relish in the tiny victory of knowing you made it home with all your necessities. The calm is quickly replaced by a creeping sense of doom. Something is not right.
You roll out of bed and head for the bathroom. Your mouth tastes like beer, Marlboro reds and some strangers saliva. Ugh. You skillfully avoid making eye contact with the monster in the mirror and grab your toothbrush to rid your mouth of any evidence that last night ever happened. Just before you begin to vigorously brush your chompers something stops you. What the fuck? Your tongue has registered that something is missing. You have no choice but to come face to face with the mess of a person you’ve become. You bare your teeth and lift your head to look at yourself in the mirror. OH FUCK. Where is the bottom half of my front tooth?
Yep. You blacked out.
The chipped tooth is just one of many hazards you may encounter during your blackout state. Thankfully, I’ve only had it happen to me once. It was St. Patty’s day 2011. Saint Patrick got me real good that year. The green beer was flowing, the sun was shining and I was in rare form. It’s still unclear what happened. The last thing I can recall was dancing on a skee-ball machine to a Backstreet Boys song. I told the dental hygienist I cracked it on a beer bottle. She was amused. My childhood dentist was not.
1. The Hairline Fracture
One drink with your coworkers at Happy Hour turned into six shots of Patron and a trip to the karaoke bar followed by numerous long island iced teas, and suddenly you’re Evel Knievel. It was completely unnecessary to get up on stage, hijack the microphone from the unsuspecting girl singing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” – scratch that, it was very necessary—then stage dive into a crowd of drunks. When morning comes you can neither walk nor remember anything that happened. You’re pretty sure something is broken, but there is no way are you going to waste your hard-earned cash on a trip to the ER. You pop a couple Vicodin, wrap it up real tight in an Ace bandage, and hope it heals by next weekend.
2. The Black Eye
No one ever intentionally spills their drink on someone. That’s a total waste of alcohol, for fuck’s sake. But every once in a while, it happens. You turn around too quickly in a crowded bar and your vodka-Red Bull sloshes down a stranger’s back. You don’t even have time to apologize before they whirl around and serve up a knuckle sandwich.
If a girl shows up to work with a black eye, the office “mom” will be at her desk the moment she sits down, asking if there is someone in her personal life hurting her. “Only my drunk alter-ego,” you’ll think to yourself. Take the extra ten minutes to cake on additional make-up, style your hair to cover that side of your face then hide in your cubicle and avoid all human contact, just like every other day.
Men, on the other hand, have a couple options here. I would suggest you play it like so: You walk into the office and everyone is staring. You do your rounds acting completely unfazed by the purple-green bruising over your eye and explain to your coworkers that, “My niece is only four, but she packs a hard punch,” or “Clearly the other team didn’t get the memo that it was flag football.” You take it like a man, shrug it off and hope everyone else does the same.
I was friends with a guy in college who came into public speaking class on finals day with a black eye the size of a grapefruit. He told the professor he got it during a rugby game over the weekend. Lie. I knew the truth. The night before, the kid had gotten into a fist fight with his twin brother after they both got gorilla drunk from a Natty Ice case race. He went on to nail his speech and threw an epic house party that night. What. A. Legend.
3. The Hickey
Quite possibly the trashiest of the injuries, is the sucker bite. Is this middle school? I don’t recall giving you an over-the-pants hand job in the study hall room, so no, it’s fucking not. This primitive way of marking a mate is only acceptable when placed on intimate regions of the body that are easily hidden from the world. Do you want your boss knowing you got belligerent and let some stranger leech onto your neck over the weekend? Hell no. Dabble some concealer on that bad boy and cover it up as best you can. If all else fails, throw on a turtleneck. Yeah, you’ll look like an asshole, but you’ll look like an even bigger asshole if there is a visible hickey on your neck.
4. The Mystery Bruise
Perhaps the least invasive of the blackout casualties is the bruise. As the week progresses, you discover blue marks in the weirdest places for unknown reasons. Did you run full speed into a tree? Were you wrestling in a rock quarry? Did your coffee table attack you? The good news is these can be hidden easily. And although they may be damning to your ability to take flawless nude Snapchats, they will disappear in a week’s time.
5. The Skinned Knee
This one is for all the girls out there who like to wear high heels and short skirts. Shout out to you for being completely impractical for the sake of fashion. You might be able to walk fine in those five-inch pumps when you are dead sober, but after six vodka-cranberries it becomes next to impossible to stop swaying. The challenge of the night is no longer to get that super-fit jock back to your boudoir; now all your energy is focused on not face planting in the middle of the club. Two more drinks and your ankles buckle, no longer able support your body weight. In a matter of hours, you’ve gone from smokeshow to shitshow. By the time you get home, you’ll have dove face-first into several slabs of concrete, shredding the skin covering your kneecaps. Don’t be too hard on yourself though. You aren’t the first girl to become roadkill, and you certainly won’t be the last.
So for everyone out there who has had the displeasure of blacking out, here’s to you, and the injuries you have endured, fought and overcome.