I am a young child and I am home from school with a stomach flu type situation. My maternal grandma is home taking care of me. I’m a chubby kid, and I’m Portuguese, so I like to eat, and my grandma’s even more Portuguese than I am, so she likes to eat and feed people.
Despite feeling nauseous, I want to eat, because (a) I like food, and (b) I’m a dumb kid who doesn’t understand the consequences. So I eat. I don’t remember what I ate, but knowing myself as a child, I’m sure it wasn’t something nice and bland, which would be smart, but rather something highly complicated with a lot of flavour combinations. Stupid.
A little while later, I’m sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket and my childhood dog, Legacy, is cuddling with me. Legacy was an adorable little maltese, who looked a lot like this little guy:
Whenever anyone in the family was under the weather, he would spend the day with them, cuddling and snoozing, just generally helping make them feel better. But at this very point in time, I’m not feeling better. In fact, I’m starting to feel worse. A lot worse. Because I had eaten even though I was sick.
Do you see where this is going?
I threw up all over my dog, guys.
The memory is fuzzy, but what I do remember clearly is his tiny, bemused/confused expression…and the fact that he was covered in my puke from the neck down.
Despite being sick, and despite being a little kid, I managed to get Legacy into the kitchen sink and give him a bath. Maybe I was feeling better after having – ahem – cleared my system. But let me tell you, it’s something I’ll never forget. I’m lucky Legacy ever hung out with me again after that.
I am 19 years old and I have just finished a successful run of my first theatre production, B, or, Unless You Steal Her Pen! (I know, quirky title – it’s a spoof on both 1950s film noir and 17th century amatory fiction. In case you haven’t noticed, I’M A NERD.)
The cast and crew decide to have a cast party to celebrate our successes. One of the cast members is house-sitting a house with a hot tub – score! – so we decide to go there and drink. A lot.
I have a little summer romance going on (remember kisses in the rain?) with one of the guys at the party, which makes it extra fun, but we’re all just generally having fun, so we all keep drinking. You know how it goes. It’s a party.
SIDENOTE: I’m not really a party person, so I say “you know how it goes,” but I really don’t have much to go on. Although I do have to say, the few parties I’ve thrown have been fairly major. (Glasgow MLitt class of 2010 represent!)
Anyway, did you know that when you’re drinking, getting into a hot tub makes you even drunker? Like, crazy drunk? I did not! (See above SIDENOTE.) But boy did I ever learn quickly when I got into the hot tub! All of a sudden the multiple, multiple rum and cokes I had downed felt, well, like maybe they were going to come back up. I took a few deep breaths and tried to play it cool. There were cute boys on the premises!
A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: Well, actually, if we’ve ever met – even just a couple times – chances are you know how I feel about throwing up. It’s not something I do often, like oh, I’m feeling off, excuse me while I throw up, I’ll be right back. No, when I’m sick and I need to throw up, I fight that shit. I fight it HARD. Instead of just letting it be, I will sit on the couch or lay in bed and moan and whine and feel so fucking sorry for myself for AS LONG AS IT TAKES until my body just can’t do anything but let it out. And then when I do throw up, I panic, I cry, I feel even more sorry for myself. Basically, it’s an event of epic proportions. Followed by a pity party of even epic-er proportions.
Kisses in the Rain (who had better thank me the next time I see him for giving him a crazy cool like, Aboriginal hero name!) disappears for a moment and returns with a giant rum and coke for me, and whatever he was drinking for himself. I take the drink, which he is enthusiastically encouraging me to enjoy ASAP, and I hold it to my lips. As soon as the smell hits my senses, I know – down to the depths of my soul – that if I drink it, I will be sick. I look to Kisses in the Rain, who’s grinning and nodding at me like the Cheshire Cat, and then back to the rum and coke, which is smelling more evil by the second, and then I put it down and say (coolly, I might add), “I’m gonna give it a minute.”
And then I never look at that drink again.
And that, my friends, is progress! That is growing up! That is learning and knowing one’s limits!
(For the record, Kisses in the Rain didn’t listen to his senses and threw up in the bushes more than a few times that night.)
P.S. I think it took me somewhere between three and four years to be able to drink rum and coke again, and even so I think I’ve only drank two since the above incident. Which is a shame, because I really liked rum.
P.P.S. Happy one month to me! Cannot believe I haven’t dumped this yet! And have no plans to do so! Because I’m contradictory like that!