Honey, wake up. Sweetie, the sun is starting to come up; I think you should open your eyes. Get up slowly, no fast movements, your stomach probably can't handle it today. Drink a swig of the Gatorade next to you that your friends left last night, maybe some of that ginger ale. Do you have a headache? Of course you have a headache. No one wages war against their liver like you did last night without feeling the effects the next day. But as your soul mate, your conscience, the voice trapped in the back of your head, I feel like we kind of need to revisit last night as I have a few tips for you otherwise I am going to be stuck in here forever. We both don't want that.
Maybe it will be best if I organize your night by the pitchers of beer you had:
Pitcher 1: Neurosurgeons and Ballerinas.
Yes, slam that palm across your forehead; I was witness to all of your moves last night. I get it that you were excited to meet someone so incredibly intelligent who also has the ability to move both of her feet behind her head. Hell, that even impresses me a little bit. Let me ease your neurotic mind, you were pretty good. There wasn't a moment that went by that I didn't happen to catch a glance of all of those qualities that made me fall in love you initially. She had a permanent smile attached to her face, she was laughing, you were funny, you were genuine, you were sweet. Obviously due to the outside circumstances currently afflicting the situation, you refused to do anything more, but I am proud of you. She even said you were lovely. While a slightly empty compliment, she could have said you totally sucked, you were not funny, you were awful to be around. She didn't though. You had a pretty good start.
Pitcher 2: Making friends over karaoke
Not being a drinker, I was surprised that you were indulging in so much alcohol last night. If only we knew that this was going to be just the start. Remember that previous statement above when I told you that you were being charming, funny, and cute, you did just as well with all of the new friends you were making. If I were to make a suggestion though, and it's only a minor quibble, I don't think you should bring up the fact that you know all of the words to O-Town's "All or Nothing." And I really think it would be for the best if you didn't then start singing all of the words to O-Town's "All or Nothing" just because you know the lyrics. While I was mildly entertained by the entire scene, your suave factor (a.k.a. whether or not you are going to get laid tonight factor) was dropping dramatically. Good news though, if you open your eyes just a little bit, and look to your left, during this time you also won that big blue bottle of vodka sitting on your friends counter top. It is probably, and should be, the last thing on your mind, but at least you can tell your friends that you are a winner.
Pitcher 3: Never accept a drink from a Juggalo
To define a Juggalo, one only has to look at the face paint wearing clowns of the Insane Clown Posse rap group. I don't want to get too far deep into it, but they are no one you want to be accepting drinks from. When your friends left the table, and you were all alone sipping on your beer, the Juggalo called you out. He told you that you were the third wheel. And in so many words, you kind of were. Then, as a peace offering, the bottle of fireball that he had nearly downed by himself was offered to you. I want to stop here for a second, thank you for not drinking out of that bottle. At least you had the wits about you to not share a drink out of the same bottle as a Juggalo. Now that it is out of the way, I also want to tell you that you are complete idiot for the next series of events. Such as when he told you that it was alright that you didn't want to share a drink with him, opened up a bottle of Captain Morgan, and poured it in your glass. You were all alone, no one there to protect you, I get it...next time, don't drink it. You poured the stiff rum down your gulley only to feel that niggling feeling in your stomach start to boil over. This was the beginning of the end for you; I now understand why you never drink.
Pitcher 4: A Dance to Remember
The lessons are starting to pile up for you here. Lesson one from pitcher number 4; stop drinking at pitcher number 4. Lesson two from pitcher number 4; don't drink those two Jell-O shots. When your buddy passed those two containers of Bill Cosby's favorite treat and whatever the hell was mixed in it, you should have just passed them back over. Nope. Not you. You scooped the edges like an unseasoned veteran, and drank them down. I know how much you like gelatin, but I felt the cringing of your face as you swallowed. If only you could use that as an excuse for what I am about to tell you.
See, all night you were making fun of the dj, the dancing, the music. Apparently all it takes for you to forget about all of that is two Jell-O shots, some rum, and 3.5 pitchers of Budweiser. I also would like to think the chance to impress a professional dancer also had something to do with it. That being said, you waltzed out onto that dance floor...err…poor choice of words. You carefully stumbled out onto that dance floor, and decided now was the time to show off your rhythm. Please, before we get married, can you take a few lessons? Even just one. I hurt for you out there. Your rhythm was non-existent; you danced like you had 3 left feet. You were stiff as a board out there; you looked like you were being controlled by drunken puppeteer moving your arms all around and your legs just dangling there. I really wanted to tell you to stop, but what fun would I be if I kept you completely free from embarrassment. I need to entertain myself in here sometimes too. Blame the shots, blame whatever you would like, but seriously, and I mean this, you better take some dance lessons before we get married.
Pitcher 5: The Part No One Remembers
Seriously. Your friend won herself some flowers; you had gotten off the dance floor, and slowly made your way into your friend’s car. Once you closed your eyes, the spins began to affect you. There was a toll booth; there were a lot of things. Clearly the thing you should remember is that while you were walking down the stairs of your friend’s house, you turned around, looked them in the eye, and said "I think it is OK for me to get sick now." And that's how you ended up here, that pain between your eyes is half the result of the alcohol in your system, and half the result of me smacking you upside the head.
At the end of the night though, despite you not knowing how to dance or handle beer, you still made me smile. There were moments when you were all alone at that table, I could feel it in the way you were looking around, you were looking around for me. I'm sorry honey, I wasn't there that night. I was out somewhere else, hopefully not hungover or accepting drinks from Juggalos. There is a silver lining though to the clouds hanging around your head, I'm still here, I'm not going anywhere. I might not have been there with you last night, but one of these nights I will be, and I promise you, I will be right there with you singing stupid boy-band songs, dancing like a wooden soldier, and smiling because we have finally started writing our narrative together.
Garrett M. Carlson is a Virginian transplant originally from an island in Western New York. He was raised on a healthy diet of Buffalo wings, pizza, and losing sports teams. He combines brutal honesty and observational humor with his hopelessly romantic paradigm. For more of his work, please visit www.gmcarlson.com.