The Art of the Hangover
The mistake the world makes when it comes to hangovers is not to acknowledge they’ll be coming. Forget buying a new shirt, choosing which tracks to dance to while you waft perfume across your body, even showering is futile if you don’t place chilled water in your fridge, painkillers in the cupboard, and some form of easily eaten snack that requires no preparation beyond tearing open a wrapper.
Come the beginning of the aftermath, you may find yourself tossing and turning at an hour more befitting waking birds, trying to sleep without success. Stop fighting the hangover and call its bluff. Get up. Drink a pint of water. Sit in the living room. Ask it what it wanted so badly that you had to get up. It’ll be begging for bed again within half an hour.
When you do get up, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re alright. Hangovers love nothing more than pretending they’re not there; letting you begin your day before suddenly dragging you to the disabled toilet, useful for the added support bars and privacy, and forcing you to give back the donner meat and chilli sauce you insisted on taking from the world the night before.
Dress in stages, coax the true depth of the pain you’ll have to face, out. Stick a shirt/blouse on, have a lie down, pair of socks, five minute nap; take control, but respectfully. You both need to achieve something, and you can do it together. You have to carry on living, it has to make you regret having fun; why it feels this need we do not know, but some suspect it’s to do with the balance of the universe.
Of course, the ultimate test for any hangover is the brushing of the teeth. If you can cross this hurdle without vomiting, you’re free to do as you please, only slowly. Open the previously prepared snack and devour as much as you need, topping up with chilled water, but be on the lookout for any potential headaches and slap them away with painkillers at the first hint. Don’t be indecisive. Don’t wait to see how it develops. End it.
Best of all, if possible, sleep. Nap away the day, nibbling snacks and checking various social media for any hint of friendships you may have destroyed. Leave a message mentioning how drunk you were, and how clueless about the night you now are, then wait for time to pass. Drunken embarrassment and guilt is as much a part of the hangover as throwing up in your hair, but it fades and transforms into an anecdote within a week.
So, get to know your hangover, learn its little quirks and ways, then wave it goodbye until next time, but always respect it, and prepare. Ignorance may be bliss, but it rarely cleans up the puke it was responsible for.