Every family has a black sheep. Maybe it’s a drug addict cousin, or an aunt who had a kid out of wedlock. My family has Jake whose personality rivals that of the psychos shown auditioning for reality TV shows just for ratings, in addition to his apparent drug problem.
Last summer, Jake’s sister was graduating from my university. With nowhere else to stay, I reluctantly invited them to spend the night at my place. I prepared myself, setting up the pull out mattress, hiding my jewelry… the norm, but when they arrived, Jake had brought along his best friend, a sidekick of sorts. The mini me to his Dr. Evil was sporting a shirt that said “I <3 Drugs" (at least she was straight to the point) New York tourist shirt style. She looked like Lindsay Lohan circa 2009, with the body proportions of Snooki. Before they had even put their bags down, they had already determined that we were going out. Right. Now. I had a presentation in my speech class at 9am the next day, but I could hardly justify missing a night out that promised to be entertaining, to prepare for a bird course. I promised myself that I would drink in moderation, partially to avoid doing a presentation hungover, and partially to keep my guard up around the band of misfits that I had just willingly let into my home. Even after my begging and bribery, my roommate refused to come out with us, using her summer bird course as a lame excuse. My boyfriend excitedly agreed to come, still in the naive phase of desperately wanting to impress my family. I calculated my moves carefully. Knowing how I usually am around wine, I decided to opt for straight vodka shots. As ratchet as it seems, at least with vodka I know exactly how much I’m consuming. Unlike wine, I hate the taste, and I’m never tempted to drink more borderline poison. After three shots (less than half of my first year limit), I called it quits. I was tipsy at most, with a good enough buzz to be louder than usual, but still able to walk properly in my insane impractical Lita boots. We made our way to a pre party hosted by one of my cousin’s graduating classmates. In the cab, I was starting to feel way more drunk than I should have. I chalked it up to my small salad for dinner combined with my long abstinence from vodka, and determined that I would actually stick to my promise and not drink anything more that night — there’s a first for everything. About twenty minutes into the party, the feeling of getting more and more drunk progressed. My boyfriend led me out to the balcony and sat me down. At this point, my memory of the night started to get fuzzy. Apparently I kept yelling that I thought I was falling off of the balcony that both of my feet were planted firmly onto. My boyfriend was concerned, but probably not as much as he should have been.
Jake decided that it was time to leave the party and head to the bar. My boyfriend started to protest, saying that he thought it might be time to take me home. Jake pulled the family card and whined something about never getting to spend time with his baby cousin. My boyfriend passively backed down, not wanting to create tension with my family that he so desperately wanted to impress. Jake led me to the relatively short bar line, as I used him and my boyfriend as support. The street was spinning, and my legs were useless, unable to navigate walking in my ridiculous boots. Before I even had a chance to hand the bouncer my pathetic excuse of a fake ID, I fell to the ground.
My boyfriend scooped me up and ushered me into the nearest cab that was willing to allow the passed out girl into their car. I somehow managed to hold back my vomit until I was safely inside my own house. While hunched over the toilet, I begged my boyfriend to get me some water and my roommate. By the time he had met my short list of demands, he came back to find me passed out on the cold bathroom floor.
There is nothing I can do to repay my boyfriend and roommate, who sat with me through the rest of the night, as I projectile vomited, cried and sputtered nonsense for hours. My roommate, who had witnessed my antics since the first day of first year, said in disbelief. “She couldn’t have possibly drank as little as she claims.”
“I swear, I did,” I slurred, but my claims fell on the deaf ears who were busy ensuring that I did not choke on my own vomit.
By 8:30am, I wasn’t much better. I felt like death, and I looked even worse. I had my final presentation for my class in less than half an hour, and I could hardly stand on my own, let alone talk to a group of people. My roommate urged me to go, saying that the university didn’t make exceptions for people who were too hungover to function. I agreed with her, and sloppily made my way to class. Luckily for me, this presentation was with a group. Unluckily for my group, they had to deal with me.
Thankfully, my years of public speaking, boasting that it was my only true skill in life, and embarrassing amount of time on the debate club paid off. Resting myself on the whiteboard ledge, steadying myself on my various unimpressed group members, I was able to pull off a half hour speech that the teacher deemed was worthy of an 89% (the highest in the group, I have to brag).
I left right after our presentation, worrying that it might be considered rude if I were to throw up during another group’s speech. I lowered myself, practically in slow motion, down to rest on the nearest tree. I could feel the eyes of the parents who had come for graduation that day glaring at me. I might has well have held up a sign saying “don’t turn into me when you’re older!,” as enough of them were probably lecturing it to their young children. I definitely persuaded at least one family to never allow their children to attend my school.
My phone rang, the loud noise startling my very sore head. When I picked up, my boyfriend sounded furious. “Your cousins just left the house, and on the way out, Jake’s sidekick gave me a bag of pills ‘thanking me for our hospitality.’ When I asked her what they were, she laughed said that ‘your girlfriend certainly felt them last night.’ You roommate and I just googled the pills. They’re roofies.”
All I have learned from this experience is to not consume anything (water included) at our next family gathering..