“Are we still on for today?”
It’s a no-brainer when your best friend sends that text and you had a decent night’s sleep and the day on the calendar has been marked for a week. You’ve made plans and you’re sticking to them. The answer is an absolute: YES!
After partying into the wee hours of the morning, that same question becomes a toss up. You know your decision-making ability has been severely compromised. It’s as if your brain was hacked and reprogrammed by Cheech and Chong. Only hours ago, your friends wanted to leave, but you made sure the night kept going strong. Shots? Let’s do shots! Who wants shots? I’m buying ten shots and I’ll drink them myself if none of you want to keep partying. And you actually drank most of those shots. Now, you can’t move. Your phone’s brightness is as low as it goes and it’s causing a headache. You know you can’t turn the lights on in your room, let alone make it to brunch. That leads directly to:
STAGE ONE: LAZINESS.
“Can’t move,” you text your best friend back. You’ve had to use the bathroom for the past hour, but the thought of leaving your bed is worse than peeing in it. Then your bladder forces you out of bed. If there’s anything worse than standing up or peeing your bed, it’s doing laundry for your pee stained linens.
STAGE TWO: THE RALLY.
Once you’re on your feet, you realize you’ve done this walking thing before.
One foot goes in front of the other and you’re more capable than you thought moments ago. Then you remember that your best friend left last night when you did and drank half of those shots, too. If your best friend can make it to brunch, you can do the same. Then you smell yourself. You’ll make it after a shower.
STAGE THREE: GROGGINESS.
The energy required to shower drains you. The water running down your body felt glorious, but now you’re drying off and are spent. With your towel or robe still draped around you, you decide to lie down on your bed. Maybe a power nap will help. Your eyes shut. Twenty minutes later your phone rings. “Hey, I just got here,” your best friend says. “The line is really long. I just wanted to see if I should give my name or if we should go somewhere else.” It’s crucial that you pretend you weren’t sleeping. So, with as much authority as you can muster in your voice, you say, “Put your name down. I’ll be there in a little.”
STAGE FOUR: THE SUPERMAN or WONDER WOMAN.
You’re on the flat of your back with the weight of the world on your shoulders, but your best friend needs you. Like the many superheroes before you, you must save the day. Well, that’s overly dramatic, but in that moment, you pull yourself up, dress, and miraculously make it to brunch in one piece and only fifteen minutes late. Your table is called just as you arrive. Maybe you do have special powers.
STAGE FIVE: CAFFEINE AND GREASE.
Those are the only things going through your mind. The server barely has said, “Hi” and you’ve already ordered without looking at the menu. You’re not messing around. The sooner the coffee arrives, the sooner you’ll almost feel like a person again.
STAGE SIX: ‘WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?’
This is when you and your best friend walk each other through the previous night. “I can’t believe we did five shots each at last call.” Yeah, we’re awesome like that. “Do you remember throwing up all over the pool table ten minutes later?” That didn’t happen. “Oh, it totally did.” That explains the smell this morning. “What smell?” Don’t worry about it.
STAGE SEVEN: ZONING OUT.
At this point, your coffee and food have arrived. Your friend is talking about this thing or that. You’re smiling and nodding in agreement, enjoying the greatness that is your meal when your best friend says, “I can’t believe you think I’m in the wrong.” Oh, sorry. No way, you’re definitely right. What were you saying again?
STAGE EIGHT: ANGER.
“You haven’t been paying attention at all,” your best friend calls you out. You start laughing, which just infuriates your best friend that much more. You’re both feeling uneasy, frustrated, and now you’re arguing over whether Madonna or Whitney Houston is the more talented singer and performer. And you’re making a compelling case for Whitney, but your friend believes Madonna is the clear winner. You’re both pissed, calling each other names, and giving extremely unnecessary, personal digs.
STAGE NINE: APOLOGIZING.
You’ve both been acting childish and know it’s all because of your hangovers. Whitney Houston is clearly the more talented singer and performer. You’ve also been through a lot together and the reason why you’re so hard on each other is because of your mutual love, respect, and comfort level. You don’t have a better friend in the world than the person sitting across from you. You both feel that way. But you don’t always show it, especially when you’re not feeling like yourselves. “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry, too. You hug it out and head to your respective homes.
STAGE TEN: EXHAUSTION.
When you arrive home, you sit on your couch, turn on Netflix, and only move to drink water or when the delivery person shows up with dinner. When you’ve finished watching the entire season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you know it’s time for bed. Before you set the alarm on your phone for the next day, you send a text to your best friend: Fun times today. Thanks for putting up with me. You’re the greatest! And your best friend will reply, “No worries. Last night was legendary. Until next time…”
Soon enough you’ll be reliving the cycle all over again knowing that best friends who drink together have to deal with hangovers together.