Wednesday, 12 September 2012

In which I get hungover

I used to think that the moaning twenty- and thirtysomethings just weren’t trying hard enough.

“Oh, I can’t do it any more,” older friends would say whilst I was at university, or in the initial months of my first job. “I just can’t drink like I used to.”

They’d go on to complain, with varying degrees of bitterness, that they could no longer put away bottle after bottle as they had in previous years; that the hangovers were longer, and plumbed new and terrible depths. Where there used to be a slightly sore head that lasted only until mid-morning coffee and was thoroughly cured by the hair of the dog, now there were horrendous headaches, with nausea and fatigue that could only be solved only by a day’s worth of cold water and plenty of carbs, and a decent night’s sleep.

“Pfffft,” Best Mate and I used to scoff, as we laughed off a night’s hard Pirates of the Caribbean 3 Top Trumps drinking games. “Lightweights. They’re just not trying hard enough. Not enough practice, maybe that’s the trouble.”

Ah, youthful hubris: how wrong we were.

“Urgh, I feel horrific,” I said on the phone to BM on Friday lunchtime as I sat outside in the sun, breathing deeply and trying to suppress the nausea that had been lingering since before I’d gone bed the previous evening.

“Uh oh,” she said, trying to suppress giggles. “What did you do?”

The sad reality was that the evening had been nothing to write home about. Out for drinks with a client and a journalist, I’d started the night with a couple of glasses of red wine. Once the journalist left, there was more wine, ordered increasingly speedily and by the time I got up to go, several hours later, I had a horrible sense of foreboding that the following day was going to be utterly, all-consumingly horrid.

Which, foresight be damned, it was. Depressingly, the evening was one that, several years earlier, wouldn’t even have given me cause for sugar in the morning-after coffee, let alone an all-day hangover that saw me chain-drinking tea, trying desperately to stave off the nausea for fear that I might throw up all over the boardroom during a conference call. The 10am email from the client admitting to feeling a bit rough was scant consolation.

A few years ago, things were completely different. Speckled Lad and I would quite happily scarf three bottles of red on a Tuesday night between us with no consideration for supper, both able to head to work on Wednesday morning via a cheese and tomato croissant from Pret, with no cause for complaint. Friday nights were full of wine in bars, followed by wine in restaurants, followed by spirits in restaurants, and then nightcaps in bars – and Saturdays up and about

But then, a few years ago, I was younger, and not – gulp – approaching my late twenties. Now, I’m not a lightweight, or not trying hard enough, or even out of practice: I’m just older.

It’s almost enough to make a girl turn to the bottle – in moderation, naturally.


Zstep said...

My dear, you have obviously never learned the tricks of avoiding the dreaded hangover. Red wine is the worst, you get dehydrated quickly(at least I do). The solution is simple. Drink lots of water while you down the booze. Before you go to bed, drink another full glass as well. Yes, you will be running to the loo every 15 minutes but is that too small a price to pay to avoid that horrible feeling the next day?

Take it from a drinking pro...this works a treat.

Blonde said...

Zstep: You SEE, I know this. And just never do it. Le sigh.

nuttycow said...

You see, I'm thrilled that you've written this. I thought I was the only one. The thing is, when I'm out, I can go until 3 in the morning. Never remembering that the next day I feel like death warmed up. Nothing can cure it except lots of water, lots of fruit, and a bit more water.

*grumble* stupid 30s.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Some mates of mine have found their hangovers getting worse. Personally, I think mine are getting better. I used to get really horrendous hangovers at uni and just after - would nearly always be sick the next day and be unable to do anything at all - but it's probably down to what I was drinking. Now, I'll feel bad, but nowhere near as awful as back then. I can even leave the house sometimes if I really push myself.

Blonde said...

NC: Oh thank heavens. I'm not alone.

PDEWYMO: You can hush right here. That is not what I wanted to hear, and is unfair in the extreme.

Foodycat said...

The 2nd part of the "drink loads of water" thing (which everyone knows and no one ever does) is that every time you have to get out of bed to go to the loo, you have ANOTHER big glass of water. On the few occasions I have done this it has worked well.

... and I am now onto hair of the dog having not managed to avoid last night's hangover.

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