This morning I woke up to find that someone had removed me from my bed and placed me into a waltzer car. There were bright lights, everything was spinning and I swear I could hear the muffled “super fast ride, super fast ride, scream if you want to spin faster” of a fairground worker far in the distance. In addition to this, there were drums pounding in my head and my mouth tasted like I’d been licking a patio. It was a hangover. The nasty side effect of consuming too much of the naughty Polish distilled beverage that I am rather partial to and had drunk quite copiously last night at a friend’s party.
I do enjoy having a tipple. I like the social element, I like the fact that it relaxes people and that an incident can be infinitely more comical if you have a glass of wine or two inside you. My sister and I went to an afternoon barbecue a few years ago and had quite a number of drinks. We were queuing up to get some food when the lady in front of us stumbled slightly due to the fact that the ground was uneven, a few seconds later, I too stumbled on the same patch of grass. The woman in front of us said ‘Ooh, holey ground’. Because of the wine, I didn’t hear ‘Ooh, holey ground’ I heard ‘Ooh, Holy Grail’. I said ‘Er, okay’ whilst pulling a bemused, slightly anxious expression and trying to work out how I could get out of being stuck in a conversation with a bible-basher who thought she’d found some religious chalice at a shindig in Surrey. I then turned to my sister, who was sniggering away next to me and said ‘Holy Grail?!’ in what I thought was a whisper, forgetting that wine is an incredibly effective amplifier. My sister had also thought that the lady had said ‘Holy Grail’ but was savvy enough to have worked out what she actually said and found me yelling ‘Holy Grail?’ at her hysterical which in turn started me laughing. The poor woman looked mortified but my sister and I couldn’t stop laughing for long enough to explain what had prompted our outburst.
I also love that crazy drunk logic. My favourite quote from last night’s party is:
“Your friend is very tall, isn’t she? I didn’t think you’d be friends with someone as tall as that.”
“Well, I met her at playschool when I was three and we were the same size. I didn’t know how tall she was going to grow.”
“Ahhh, that explains it.”
A conversation that would never have happened had we stuck to the soft drinks. Oh and for the record, my friend is about five foot eight, she’s not a freaky giant who has to duck her head when walking through doorways.
The hangovers are a challenge that come with drinking. It’s quite distressing that they get more underhanded the older I become. In days gone by, there was just one bog standard, common or garden hangover. Nowadays, there are two other categories that seem to have gatecrashed.
The first is the sneaky hangover. You wake up. You sit up. You think to yourself ‘Woo hoo, no hangover. Feeling good.’ You get up, start pottering around, thinking about breakfast and then out of nowhere after being awake for a good half an hour or so, your stomach starts gurgling unattractively and an elastic band has developed inside your head to squeeze your brain. It’s like the hangover is running late: ‘Oh bloody hell, I didn’t think she’d be up yet. I totally overslept. Shit. Where’s my sledgehammer? I’ll just set the elastic band up whilst I go and look for it. I’ll reschedule the stomach, do that this afternoon instead.’
The second new style hangover is the worst of all: Two. Day. Hangover. You never know when it’s going to strike and there is nothing that you can do to stop it. Gone are the days when you knew a greasy fry up, a can of coke and an early night would see you right as rain. You don’t know if the two day hangover is going to kick in until you wake up on day two and it jumps out at you from behind the wardrobe yelling ‘Surprise!’.
The other challenge for me that comes with drinking is the fact that alcohol dissolves my breaking mechanism. The system that is in place to prevent the words that are in my head from coming out of my mouth. The worst thing is that I know it’s happening but I can’t do anything about it, the angel on my shoulder is yelling ‘Nooooo, don’t say that. Keep quiet’ and the devil on the other shoulder is calmly carrying on ‘Can someone give that winged bitch some wine to shut her up?’. I once told someone that I worked with that I thought his partner was much nicer and much more fun than he was and asked if I could work with the partner instead. I told a friend’s brother-in-law that he was very odd and I didn’t like him and was going to go and talk to someone else.
I also think I’m some sort of super duper agony aunt, the Claire Rayner of the drinking world and insist on giving people advice. Last night I told someone that they should not have split up with their ex and they needed to get back together. Unsolicited, unwanted advice forced upon some poor soul regarding a situation that is none of my business. There is also quite an infamous situation where I appear to have convinced someone to call off their wedding. Now, don’t get me wrong, no-one would actually call off their wedding on the say so of a drunk bird with a ‘Dear Deidre’ complex but I’m not sure that I helped matters.
So, I have decided from now onwards that I am going to give up drinking at parties.
Well, maybe just cut down.
Hmmmm… I might make my final decision tomorrow.
Maybe people need to know that they are a bit odd? Perhaps I’m doing a public service?
Yeah, that’s right. I am.
Now, where’s my Smirnoff?