The Steps Experienced During A Weekday Hangover

by Mara Siegler · July 15, 2011

    We've all been there. You went out, you forgot somewhere between the first and last drink that you had to work the next day. You had too many shots, you stayed out past 4am, and now you are having to deal with it. It might be funny in the movies, but in real life a hangover is terrible and always the same.  The steps:  

    1) You vaguely hear an angry, insistent sound. Recognize it as your alarm after two minutes. Roll over to hit snooze. Open your eyes. It's hard to do. It's so much harder than it normally is. You glance at hazy red numbers. Do a double take. Bring clock right up to your face to clear vision. Experience terror that shoots you straight up in bed when you remember that it isn't a Saturday, Sunday or  holiday and that you have to be at work in twenty minutes.

    2) Become conscious of the fact you feel like death. Want to die. Don't want to vomit, but feel you need to. Maybe it will make you feel better?  Try and remember how much you drank and then realize it doesn't matter. Swear off massive $10 bottle's of gin.

    3) Realize you are not alone. Scenarios differ depending on the sort and level of "Oh fuck" situation you find yourself in.  Do you recognize this person? Do you remember their name? Is it your best friend's brother/crush/ex-boyfriend? Is it your best friend? Are they the same gender of you? Are you a heterosexual? Are you going to be going to the doctor for an STD test, making apologies, or questioning your sexuality? Maybe it's actually your significant other, in which case, phew. You did not drink nearly as much as you thought you did.

    4) Gently wake up said person in bed with you and politely ask them to "get out now!" so you can leave for work. Feel mild shame/excitement depending on who they are and how good looking they are. Try and recount how they got back to your place and realize it doesn't matter. Wish it was Saturday.

    5) Think about how crappy you feel. You are positive your insides look like Tara Ried right now.


    6) Notice half eaten pizza in your kitchen on way to bathroom. Recall eating it and briefly hate yourself. Wonder at what point you were supposed to or will become an "adult." This is college style drunk food. You are a grown up. Grown ups eat whole grain toast with hummus or some overpriced artisinal good they purchased at Whole Foods with their professional person's salary.  Remind yourself "adults" do not get shitfaced. They just sip a glass of wine, not chug the bottle.

    7)  Go into bathroom and attempt to wash face.  Feel extremely tired while brushing your teeth and walk back to bedroom. Lay down while still brushing. Swallow toothpaste. Place saliva-covered toothbrush on your chest and tell yourself you are only going to shut your eyes for a minute. Just one zzzzzzz......

    8) Wake up and repeat step 1. Realize you are already five minutes late for work. Consider calling in sick. Remember you have big meeting/important call/a job in which no one can fill in for you/some other reason that it just is not possible. Vow never to drink again.

    9) Go to deli on way to train and buy Advil. Take without water. Think about how bad you feel.

    10) Get on train.  Start sweating. Attempt to figure out if it's hot or you are having hot flashes. Realize it doesn't matter. Feel like the time has arrived for you to vomit. Breath. You're ok. No you're not. You're ok. No you're not. Consider getting off at next stop and sticking your finger down your throat and making yourself vomit in the nearest garbage can. Don't only out of fear of seeing someone you know, having them snap a cell phone shot and posting it on Facebook. Fall asleep for a little bit.

    [via] 11) Get off train at your stop.  Feel mild, numb victory that you made it. Hurrah?!?! Turn up your headphones on your walk to the office to distract yourself from nausea and wake you up. Try and live inside the music and then turn it off. It only makes your headache worse and baby, you were not born this way.

    12) Get to office and head directly to bathroom and make yourself vomit. Pray your boss, interns, bitchy coworker doesn't hear you. Feel like your gonna cry for a second. Promise yourself to better, live healthier, and never drink on a week night again.

    13) Begin trying every hangover cure you have heard of. Drink coffee. Eat a bagel. Eat two eggs with cheese, sausage, bacon, and potatoes. Don't feel better.  Drink a coconut water.  Take a walk. Pass a bar and debate having a drink. Wonder why its called "hair of the dog," and realize it doesn't matter. Return to your desk and think about how bad you feel. Google hangover cures and wind up getting a bunch of results on binge drinking. Think about how it's not so much fun to be snarky about unnecessary studies when you feel like a man named Jack Daniel has punched you in the head. Eat a bunch of M&Ms. Maybe those will work?


    14) Continue the rest of the work day in a cycle of attempting to concentrate, feeling bad for yourself, zoning out, looking at the clock, wondering when it got so hard to read and write sentences and perform seemingly everyday functions, ignoring emails from friends about the night before, becoming increasingly annoyed at the fact your co-work has played the Kings of Leon Pandora station everydayall day for a year, hating Kings of Leon. They wear neckercheifs. Think about how much you despise neckerchiefs. Promise to never drink again.

    15) 6pm finally. Go home. Don't bother to change or take shoes off. Lay down and fall asleep instantly thinking about your vow to never drink on a week night again. You will never again have the day you just had, you will never again feel this pain.

    16) Wake up at 9pm when your phone rings. Become conscious of the fact you still feel like crap. Groggily answer. It's your friend. They are going to that club you have been wanting to check out/to a really fun party/with that person you have a giant crush on and they want you to come. You are feeling a little bit better. Maybe if you shower? The thought of expending effort on cleaning yourself seems far less daunting than it did in the morning.Your friend sounds like they are having so much fun. It's kind of energizing you. Experience intense FOMO.  You think, maybe, yes. You will get up.

    17) Get up shower. Still feel like crap. Take cab because train is too hard, too hot, too tiring. Close your eyes. Wake up to cabbie telling you it's your stop. Get out, go in, let the music wash over you, get a drink and wait...miracle! You feel better. You'll have just one more drink. You feel amazing. Maybe just one more.