It’s 9:05 AM and you’ve already devoured your Chinese food leftovers from the night before, drank two tall glasses of water and a Diet Coke, swallowed a double dose of multivitamins, and smoked four cigarettes – but to no avail. At this point, you must concede: it’s officially Bring Your Hangover to Work Day. Again.
Sure, you just had Bring Your Hangover to Work Day two days ago. But what are you supposed to do? Leave it at home, unattended? Call out of work so that you can carefully monitor it? Your boss will just have to understand. After all, you’re trying to do the right thing. The responsible thing.
Grab what the Starbucks equivalent of a Venti coffee is from the nearest deli. While you’re there, you might as well buy a bag of Bugles, you know, those corn chips that are shaped like little cones? You like those. Don’t forget to order a BLT hero. With turkey and cheese. You’re going to be hungry by the time you get to work. Wonder when the deli will add bacon-lettuce-tomato-turkey-cheese to the breakfast menu.
Wait for your train on the subway platform, disgusted and confused by the lingering stench of binge drinking emanating off of you. You smell like both fresh and stale cigarette smoke and you’re not sure how you know the difference between the two – you’re like a fucking Bloodhound in that regard – all you know is that the duality would be impressive if it weren’t nauseating. Get on the train and throw up in your mouth a little for no apparent reason. See a group of 20-somethings wearing sunglasses and inch your way closer to them. They are your brethren.
Get to work and cringe as you share an elevator with people who work on other floors and will never know “the real you,” the one who doesn’t smell like a night in jail. Think to yourself, “this isn’t the real me, blonde girl wearing a fuchsia button down shirt from Express, there isn’t one fucking wrinkle in that thing, is there? You perfectly perfect smug bitch that smells like Victoria Secret’s Very Sexy. I hate you, and just because I’m wearing sunglasses doesn’t mean I can’t see you judging me. Die!” Sip your coffee quietly and wonder what it is about being hungover that makes you so angry, wonder that until the elevator stops on your floor.
Throw your shit down at your desk and open up TweetDeck. “Hmmm… what hilarious observation can I make about hangovers?” you think. You just can’t start your workday without updating Twitter; such is the natural order of things. Take a break and open up Tumblr, Facebook, and Gmail for inspiration. Get a Gchat from your coworker and partner in weeknight debauchery.
- Sarah: give it up for bring your hangover to work day! L.O.L.
- me: oh bitch you know it. it’s my favorite day of the week!
- Sarah: it’s the only day of the week! ughhhh
- me: i know. where the fuck can we get lasagna at? like i want a big ass slice of homemade lasagna
- Sarah: …it’s 10:30 in the morning
- me: therein lies the problem.
Look up from the screen to find your boss leering at you, unamused by the way in which you’ve prioritized your browser tabs. “Good morning,” you say, “Would you like a Bugle?” “No, I would not like a Bugle. You look… tired. What’d you do last night?” Well, Miss Busybody, I went to bar trivia and met this guy who looked 60% like Leonardo DiCaprio circa Catch Me If You Can, and he convinced me to go to heavy metal karaoke after that (I sang Mother by Danzig), and then I was starving so we went to the local diner and ordered milkshakes with rum in them, you think. “I got in a fight with my boyfriend and was up all night crying,” you say, “so yes, I’m tired. Apologies.”
A flash of sympathy washes over her face. She says, “Well. I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend!” Fuck does that mean? What was that hint of surprise in her voice? “Yes, well, I try not to talk about my personal life at work,” you snap, glaring at her gaudy engagement ring, “besides, I think we’re going to break up soon.”
Your boss saunters away and you return your attention to Gchat, where you discover that Sarah has already ordered meatloaf and a side of mashed potatoes from the Polish diner.
- Sarah: ordered polonia again heh
- me: hate u
Open up your work email and start to respond to each message with noncommittal phrases like, “K” and “You got it.” You’ll have to revisit these emails another time, when your stomach isn’t waging war with your ass. Take a ‘breather’; spend an obvious amount of time in the bathroom. Finish up and think in a Jim Carrey voice, “Do NOT go in there!” and hate yourself for it, will you ever reach an age where that catchphrase isn’t the first thing that comes to mind after using the bathroom?
Take a cigarette break and instantly regret it; every pull brings you back to last night. You suddenly understand Vietnam and your next-door neighbor from high school, the one who took a ton of acid and had to be sent away junior year for “exhaustion.” Go back upstairs and Wikipedia “Vietnam War.” Wikipedia “PTSD.” Wikipedia “Flashbacks.” Tweet, “Whoa. Just experienced a flashback via Marlboro Light. Is it 5 o’clock yet?” Wikipedia “Acid.” Get really, really smart. Fall into a Wikipedia K-hole and remain there until it’s time to crawl out for lunch. Have another flashback in which you recall buying a BLT that very morning, remember that it’s still in your bag at this very second and it’s probably all gross now. Throw it out and order lasagna and garlic bread from a “gourmet” pizzeria that you’ve unearthed on Seamless Web.
Eat three bites of your $15 lasagna, then push it to the side and Google yourself, your roommates, the Leonardo DiCaprio semi-lookalike, and the shell of a man who proposed to your depraved boss. Discover his sister’s Tumblr and think, “In an alternate universe, we could’ve been friends. Look at this collection of cat .gifs! I love this girl.” Click the ‘Follow’ button.
Start to fade. Experience an indescribable hunger despite having consumed over 4,000 calories already. Bring Your Hangover to Work Day really takes it out of you. Muster up the finger dexterity to Gchat one last time.
- me: jgfjgrijrojjbnf
- Sarah: i know! longest, most terrible day ever
- me: happy hour? i’m like… majorly depressed by this day
- Sarah: ditto! let’s do it!
It’s only 4:35 PM, but somewhere, at an undetermined latitude and longitude that rests in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s 5 o’clock. Log out of your social networks and head to a bar where everybody knows your name, your drink, and your affinity for Leonardo DiCaprio.