Wednesday, August 27, 2008

28...and a half

Last Friday morning, I woke up to hot, rather stinky, breath on my face. I opened my eyes and found myself staring at my puppy. She was peering at me over the edge of my bed with a look of concern on her fuzzy little face.

As I slowly became aware of my surroundings, I realized why my puppy was so concerned. Aside from a nasty headache, I was still wearing my clothes from the night before (including my stilettos), and had clearly never made it under the covers. In fact, I was lying sideways across my bed, with my silver BCBG pumps dangling haphazardly off my swollen feet. Judging from the make-up stains on my bedspread, I'd probably intended to take a little "nap" before committing to putting on PJs and washing my face.

It had been another Thursday evening date with my Girl Roommate, and once again, we'd ended up having too much to drink. But this time it was different - it was my half birthday. I didn't share this information with my Girl Roommate because, well, does anyone besides me really notice when it's their half birthday? Usually it's a passing thought, but this year, it kept popping into my head like an Outlook reminder.

My half birthday ten years ago was the day I got drunk for the very first time. I'd just moved in for my first year of college and my best friend, Beantown, came to visit. Being a more experienced partier (I was president of the goody-goody club in high school), she guided me toward Mike's Hard Lemonade for my first real alcoholic experience. Needless to say, the evening did not end well.

I inevitably drank too much and drunkenly begged my best friend to accompany me to bathroom, where I immediately plopped down on the tile in front of the toilet. The bathroom was approximately 3 square feet and didn't have any windows or ventilation. Plus, the August heat had transformed the bathroom into a torture sauna, and Beantown kept begging me to "throw up already" so we could "get the hell out of the godforsaken bathroom." But I couldn't. I just sat there, with the world spinning so quickly it was reminiscent of too much funnel cake and "The Tumbler" at Six Flags.

With sweat dripping from every last extremity, my best friend grabbed the plunger that had been sitting innocently in the corner, and told me to "open up." Before I could even focus my eyes enough to see her coming at me Psycho-style, Beantown was sticking the wooden end of the plunger down my throat. After the relief of throwing up, I looked at Beantown from the floor, and with big, drunken brown eyes and said, "thank you." Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I wish I could say the night ended there. But after we escaped from the bathroom and had a SunChip feast on my carpet, I threw up in my own underwear drawer and proceeded to take the entire drawer out of the dresser and attempt to "rise it out" in the sink. It didn't fit. I left the drawer sticking awkwardly out of the sink, filled with my own original cocktail of barf and water. Finally, I passed out - in my stilettos - for the very first time.

A decade later, Beantown is married, finished with grad school and living in Boston. And then there's me...a 28 and a half year-old, recently reformed kissing slut, who hasn't quite (but almost!) grown out of passing out in her stilettos. But here's the thing: I like who I am. I like my life. I like that I'm a woman on the verge of everything important in my life. I have yet to meet my life partner or figure out of my life's work. I have no idea where the next year will take me, much less the next five. Sure, when I was 18 and a half, I certainly thought I would be married and settled by the decrepit age of 28 and a half, but the truth is I wouldn't trade the last ten years of adventure, experience, city life, career changes, dating drama and friends for all the plungers in the world.


Anonymous said...

I, too, notice and celebrate (usually just in my head) my half birthday. I don't think it's such a weird thing!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Half-Birthday! I loved being 28 and am glad you are enjoying life to the fullest.

I'm turning 30 next week, so Jeff is pushing aside the ever growing piles of laundry to take me out for a childless dinner.


Jade said...

The plunger story is hilarious.

I'm in love with your blog.

TSTuesday said...

It is official: we must become friends.

I am in the exact same spot as you just 9 months younger. The late 20's are so exciting and yet so scary.

Laurie Stark said...

This post was somehow buried in my Google Reader and I didn't see it until just now. It's wonderful! You're such a great writer. "Popping into my head like an Outlook reminder" is particularly excellent.