I got invited to a first birthday party last week. Usually my mind delves into the catalogue of readymade excuses to see if any fit; dog ate my homework, gastro/food poisoning, washing my hair, allergic to balloons/blue icing/children. This time I didn’t want or need an excuse, this was a grown-ups party, the one year anniversary of a business. This meant I had an excuse to iron a shirt, drink cocktails, eat my body weight in canapés and schmooze with business types. Parenting dictates that normal procedure is to put on whatever is closest to hand, drink strong coffees, eat Max’s leftovers and talk to Mums about our kids; so this would make for a nice change.
The party was in Sydney, now for a man that often struggles to motivate himself to jump on a tram and meet friends in a neighbouring suburb this was a big deal, huge even! But the lure of a grown up party was strong and I did it, I booked flights, babysitters, ironed a shirt and combed my hair. As is customary when things seem to be seamlessly in order everything went wrong. The party was from 6-9pm, my flight was booked for 3:50pm and I would arrive on time cool, calm and collected. I get a call at around 1pm from the babysitter letting me know that she won’t be able to make it, count to 10 Matthew, 1, 2, 3, faaaark!
I spend a small eternity on hold listening to annoying happy jingly music whilst waiting to speak to someone from the airlines customer service. I get through to someone, I remain calm, I tell myself I will go to the ball and I pay to reschedule for the next available flight at 5pm which would see my arrive fashionably late. I get to the airport, I check in, I drink a beer, I listen to a tannoy announcement saying that some poor bastards flight has been put back by two hours, I check my ticket and realise that I am that poor bastard. I order another beer and fight off the tears but inside I am sobbing my little heart out in an angry fashion. I would now be arriving at the party that ends at 9:00pm at 8:58pm and that is beyond fashionably late.
There is no going back now, flights and hotels are booked and I’m a little bit tipsy so my judgement is clouded, I’m still going, I drink another beer. The emotional rollercoaster that this day has become continues to unfold when another tannoy message announces that the earlier one was a bit premature and that the flight has now been brought forward by an hour to 6pm, emotionally I was a bit angry, a bit tired, a bit happy and a bit drunk; what I needed was a drink to calm my nerves.
I boarded the plane, as a long legged individual I had the benefit of extra legroom which was offset by the fact that I was the person who had to save everyone in the event of an emergency, I found it a struggle to fasten my seatbelt. I had another beer to stop myself from falling asleep. Touchdown, taxi, venue! I put on my game face, casually nodded at some of the other party goers as if we went back years and made my way to the bar, “the drinks are complimentary this evening sir”, this was already the best first birthday I had been to by quite some distance.
I woke up with the sort of hangover that makes you vow to never touch a drop of alcohol ever again. The one where your tongue is stuck to the roof of your mouth and has the same texture of sand paper. The one where your breath smells like you were licking a pub floor at closing time. The one where the slightest movement makes you feel like your head could actually break into lots of little pieces. The one where you look in the mirror and you don’t want to acknowledge the reflection as your own. The one where you wonder whether all those jokes you thought were hilarious the night before were in fact worse than your usual ones.
I’ve tried lots of different hangover cures through the years from milk the night before to hair of the dog to greasy food; they all have their limitations. On Friday morning I found the best cure yet – waking up in a beautiful Hotel. A powerful shower to blast away the cobwebs, a fluffy robe that feels like a hug from Mum, a Do Not Disturb Sign that is lost on Max and best of all a buffet breakfast. You can always tell the people who don’t stay in a hotel much by the excitement they display when studying and planning their strategy to tackle the buffet. I don’t stay in hotels often and I was genuinely excited, I planned for a four course breakfast starting healthy and getting more greasy towards the end. I necked three revitalising juices and a cleansing juice and I felt strangely revitalised and cleansed. So my hangover cure is to recover in a Hotel, it’s not the most practical and it may be the only time I recover in such extravagant surroundings but it worked.
What is your go to hangover cure? When was the last time you vowed never to drink again?