I’d been inside all week with my five year-old who’s on Easter break from school. So when some friends called up for a “lady’s night out,” I was all over it. (As I walked out the door, my daughter invited me to dance. Um, no thank you…I think I’d prefer a beer.)
Neither of these two friends drinks alcohol anymore, so it was up to me to show the flag.
The sad part is I only had two drinks. Beers, in fact. I don’t even drink hard liquor any more. Somehow, I seem to have by-passed that whole cocktail culture revival thing. (Dare I say that I got there just a “tini” bit late?)
But, apparently, two Asahi’s were enough to do the trick. I woke up around 4:30 in the morning with the tell-tale signs of a hangover: the beginnings of a migraine, a dry, cottony mouth and a vaguely nauseous feeling that caused me to quickly down two Advil and a glass of water and inform my husband that he’d need to get up with the kids. (I love that in Britain it’s not called a “drinking” problem, but rather, a “drinks” problem. So I guess I have a “two drinks” problem.)
I know, it’s pathetic. But it’s actually an improvement over the last time I had a hangover, which was about three or four months ago. I went out for drinks with some people from my acting class, many of whom were a good ten or fifteen years younger than I am. I not only spent the night nursing two Coronas, but also found myself lamenting that the bar was too noisy, too hot, and too uncomfortable, and left well before midnight. It was another one of those moments where I just felt really old.
Why are hangovers so much worse when you’re older? For God’s sake, I only had two beers and I spent the whole day in a complete fog! When I was younger there was almost something fun – inviting, even – about being hungover. It was a challenge of sorts to beat it into submission.
Boy, those days are gone.
But I guess there are some upsides to the post-40 hangover. In the old days, I’d fight it off with some combination of greasy food, a nap and then, invariably, a hair of the dog. Today I lay in bed all afternoon with my daughter watching Oliver. When all else fails, there’s nothing like a rousing round of Oom Pah Pah to give you a quick pick-me-up. I can’t say it beats a Bloody Mary, but for now it might just have to do.