Okay, think. I got to the restaurant first and ordered a beer while I waited. One, ok, that’s one. Rob and Brandon showed up next and they each ordered a beer but not me. I was still on number one. Ok, still one. The other guys arrived a bit later. How am I still on one? Must have ordered another when the rest of the guys got there. Ok, that’s two. Then after a bit someone, I think Paul, ordered a round of Scotch. Laphroaig neat, I think it was. Yea that’s it. Good stuff. Okay three. Then dinner and a couple bottles of wine, The Bully from Gorman winery, for the table to go with our steaks. Really nice. Okay, I’m doing fine, that’s four maybe five drinks over nearly 4 hours. I’m feeling it a little, but nowhere near out of control. Dessert…ah here’s where things may have gone wrong. Mike suggests grappa with dessert. Done. We’re the last to leave the steak house. It’s just past midnight – on a Friday. Still too early to end our send off for Rob. He’s getting married in a few weeks, that’s our occasion or maybe excuse for this night out. We leave and find a place nearby that’s still open for a night cap or two. Oh crap, I remember now. I got an old fashioned and Rob ordered an absinthe. I quickly, too quickly in retrospect, finish my drink and order an absinth as well. I remember thinking that I’d stop there, which I did. We close down this place as well and all pile into our Ubers and head our separate ways back home. I get to my bed at 3:00 a.m. feeling tipsy but not frat-boy blackout drunk (I realize now that this is an incredibly low bar). I drift off to sleep – a smile on my face.
I wake up thirsty, very thirsty. The kind of thirsty that makes a man moan, “water…” What happened? My head has been split open. There’s no other way for it to possibly hurt as much as it does now. “How am I still alive?” is my first thought. Then I remember bits and pieces from last night’s send off and begin doing the math above. But I don’t get far. My head is screaming and my body feels abused. I mutter, “I’m never drinking again.” And curse my so-called friends for the state I’m in. But I know I’ve only got myself to blame and I also take a little pleasure in knowing that they’re just as bad off today as I am. Misery loves company and all…
Shoot! I’ve got things I need to do today. How am I going to make it? It hits me that the flip flops I choose today will determine the tone for the rest of my day and my recovery. My son’s soccer game, the championship game, is at 11:30. It’s now 10:00 a.m. I’ve got ninety minutes to figure this out. Think damnit. Okay, I begin my pre-flip flop checklist:
- Occasion: Hungover – wait, now that can’t be all of it. Hungover and needing to interact with parents of my son’s teammates. Crap! I can’t. I must.
- Fit: Seriously? I don’t care. I need water. Better yet, Gatorade. Maybe we have some? I need to make my way to the kitchen. Focus, finish the checklist. Fit…I need mountain goat-like solid footing today. Okay, next.
- Style: Again, hard to consider given my internal state. But I need to look as not hungover as possible. Okay, so no Havaianas or any other rubbery “party” flip flops. They need to be respectable, maybe even a bit posh. Crap, that rules out my Adidas shower slides.
- Traction: Yeah, this one is important today. My entire being feels iffy, so I can’t risk a slip or a slide.
- Comfort: In my current state this is the most appealing factor. And I jump at the Crocs. But wait. My son’s image of me in front of his peers is at stake. I can’t just throw in the towel and throw on the Crocs. I might as well show up with a flask and a hooker. No, Crocs are out as well.
The very foggy cogs in my head are churning as I make my way downstairs and to the kitchen. How in the hell is it already 11:00? It took me an hour to run through my pre-flip flop check list. Crap. Thankfully we do have a liter of Gatorade. I drink it all in one extended gulp. My dear sweet wife laughs her special, “you’re an idiot and I love you,” laugh at the sight of me, a laugh simultaneously condemning and compassionate. She says, “we’ve got to get going now or we’ll be late,” and hands me a cup of coffee and an open-faced egg and bacon breakfast sandwich. She’s the best.
I’ve narrowed my flip flop choices down to either the hari mari Dunes or the Ugg Seaside Flips. I decide on the Uggs. They’ll fit in well with the wine-club attending parents at the game and distract from my above the ankle appearance. Breakfast eaten, Gatorade downed and coffee in a traveler, I’m in the car with my wife at the wheel and the kids in the back seat. On our way to the game. Here goes nothing…
Update #1 – Kickoff: Found my way to the field and the parents’ section. Uggs seem to be doing the trick so far. My “hellos” to the other parents go smoothly. I don’t slip or stumble and the need to keep my toes curled a bit to keep the Uggs snug (see Uggs review for more on this) is a good distraction to keep me from focusing on the pain in my head.
Update #2 –Halftime: Still keeping it together. I notice a few envious looks at my Uggs Seaside Flips from the wine-club crowd. The cork footbed seems to be helping absorb the pain inside my body. Head clearer now. Able to pass at conversation.
Updated #3: Game is over, our team won. Now there’s talk of a celebration get together. The Uggs have gotten me through my first obligation of the day and I feel up for another. We pile into the car and head to the wine-club folk’s house. On the way, we stop off at the grocery store to pick up some drinks for the celebration. My Ugg Seaside Flips lead me directly to the soft drink aisle. I pick up a case of sparkling water. Good call Uggs – thanks to you I’m going to make it through today after all.
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