I went to the Hangge Uppe Saturday night. For those of you not familiar with Chicago nightlife, the Hangge Uppe is a 5 a.m. bar that has both the aesthetic and aroma of a frat house basement. Call me nostalgic, but after my tenth shot of tequila, that sounds extremely appealing to me. Two of my fraternity brothers were visiting from California, and since we had been aggressively drinking since our BYO brunch that morning, I figured the Hangge Uppe was the only bar where our sloppiness would go unnoticed. I don’t have a lot of memories of the rest of the night, but I know at one point a girl I have been talking to joined us, and according to my Uber receipts, we shut that bar down.
I awoke on Sunday morning in the midst of my worst hangover of the year. This is not a title I take lightly, as it was competing with the day after St. Patrick’s Day (when I got so drunk that I ate two full dinners within an hour of each other, having forgotten I ate the first one), and the day after New Year’s Eve (when I broke my friend’s window in an adderall-fueled desire to watch the sunrise from the roof). I turned over and saw the girl who met up with me last night wearing an expression that mirrored how I felt. We were both completely clothed (a fact I am eternally grateful for) as I had not had slept with her yet and I have no doubt that if our first time was that night she would have never talked to me again. As far as I know, girls aren’t into whiskey dick accompanied by nonsensical dirty talk, so for the first time in my life, I was glad blackout Nick was unable to get his pants off.
As the day wore on, I realized nobody had been spared by the shitshow of the previous night. Both of my friends and I had shattered iPhone screens, and my girl left after realizing she had no idea where her apartment keys or phone were. To complete my theory that I was radiating some kind of phone curse, when the Chinese delivery guy came to my house (from literally 300 yards down the street, don’t judge me), he fumbled his phone and shattered his screen on my front porch. After my friends had boarded their flight home, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it out of hangover by myself. I texted the same girl that had left on a quest to find her phone five hours prior and requested her presence in the most romantic way I knew how.
“My life is in shambles. Do you want to come over and be shambley together?”
For some reason (I blame her poor taste in guys), she agreed to come see me and watch Game Of Thrones and eat leftover Chinese – the perfect date, in my opinion. Maybe it was something in the Kung Pow Chicken, or possibly that fire scene from Thrones, but for the first time all day, my libido returned. Before you could say “Daenerys Targaryen the Stormborn, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Dothraki, Breaker of chains,” we were allover eachother. As I lay there afterwards, content that I had finally sealed the deal, she turned to me and started her sentence with my least favorite word that could come out of a girl’s mouth, “So…” Nothing good has ever started with that word. A girl never says, “So…that sex was so good that you’ve ruined me for other men and I am destined to wander the earth unfulfilled if we ever stop hooking up.” No, “So…” is never a good sign, and that night was no different, as the rest of the sentence was “…I’m not on birth control. We need to go get Plan B.”
Several questions immediately ran through my head. Who, in this day and age, is not on birth control? Shouldn’t this information have been shared when I didn’t even pretend to have a condom? Is this my fault for pulling out less than the sword in the stone? I resigned myself to the situation with a shaky “Okay. Let’s walk down to the pharmacy.” As we walked the block down to the Jewel-Osco, we realized how funny this situation was. Who buys Plan B at 10 p.m. on a Sunday? We joked to each other how much the pharmacist was going to judge us, assuming that we had waited all day before buying this. Little did we know it was going to be worse than we could have even predicted.
“Do you think it’s behind the pharmacy counter or on the shelf?” I asked her as we entered the store, and then immediately stopped in surprise when I realized she had turned the exact shade of a stop sign. Great. We hadn’t even talked to anyone and we were already falling apart. I searched the shelves for Plan B, but came up empty handed. Thankfully, that’s when I spotted the pharmacist walking towards us. He was an unassuming Asian man, probably in his early thirties. In what I originally thought was his attempt at being helpful, but now realize was just him fucking with us, he yelled “need help finding something?” from about 20 feet away. Everyone looked over.
I was wearing an old fraternity shirt and she was wearing one of my sweatshirts. I could feel the judgment start, but didn’t know how to play it. If I responded while the pharmacist was still 20 feet away, everyone in earshot would hear exactly what I was buying, and my girl would probably combust from the sheer heat of her blush. If I waited awkwardly until he got closer, everyone would still know what I was buying, but also think I was a pussy for freezing up. I decided to take two fast strides towards the guy, and then in the quietest tone that would actually reach him, said “Yeah, we’re trying to find some Plan B. Is it behind the counter?” His response made me realize how this was going to play out “Yeah I figured that’s what you two were after from the look of you. Come with me to the pharmacy.” Excuse me? I was mad that he just blindly assumed that we were the type of people to have unsafe sex, and I was even more mad that he was right about it. I wanted to explain to him that I occasionally used condoms and that he could shove his judgmental tone up his ass, but as I was too hungover to put together coherent sentences, it came out as “oh cool.”
As we got the pharmacy counter and he went in the back, he started a dialogue that in my hungover state I could neither decipher nor figure out how to respond to. For the sake of this story, I will give as clear of a transcript as I remember.
Dickhead Pharmacist: “So which one would you like? There’s one that’s $50 and one that’s $60.”
Me: “Whichever works better?”
DH: “Well, I can only legally tell you that they are the same active ingredient. Kind of like if you went car shopping, and someone offered you a Honda or a Toyota. Which would you choose?”
Me: “A Toyota.”
(In my confused state I had forgotten he was using an analogy and just responded with my car of choice)
Me: ““I’ll take the $50 one, thank you. I don’t want a kid, ya know? (awkward laugh)”
DH: “Well you know she can only get pregnant like three days out of the month, right? When she’s ovulating.” (He turned to my girl) “Are you ovulating?”
Was this guy seriously asking a clearly embarrassed girl whether she was ovulating? That’s not a sentence that should ever be spoken outside of a doctor’s office. Also, was he trying to tell me I didn’t need this Plan B because she couldn’t get pregnant 90% of the month? Even I knew that’s bullshit, and I failed sex ed in fifth grade. This guy was the world’s worst pharmacist. “Can I just buy this?” I asked aggressively, in a belated attempt to end the interaction. “Sure thing!” he exclaimed. I put my card in the machine, fucked up the stupid chip reader multiple times, angrily hammered out my pin, and took my knockoff Plan B. As we were leaving the counter, it became clear this pharmacist wasn’t going to let me leave without making us as uncomfortable as possible. “Make sure to use that as soon possible,” he yelled out, “your little swimmers can survive a long time inside her!” He had won. For the firs time in my life, I was speechless. I had no response to a grown man yelling about me sperm at me. I grabbed my girl (who at this point had put her hood all the way over her face much like an ostrich hiding in the sand), marched her straight to the ice cream aisle and bought her a tub she could eat on my couch until she processed what had just happened. And who says I’m not romantic? .
Image via Shutterstock