1. Getting out of bed
Your head is pounding. A result of dehydration, no doubt: Your body borrows water from the brain to compensate after something like too much alcohol. You’re dizzy, and your mouth is dry. Your stomach is doing somersaults that would get perfect scores all across the board from Olympic judges.
But you can do it; you’re almost there. One leg swung over the side of the mattress. Ignore the sheet wrapped around your waist that pulls you back into the soft and eternal abyss of your bed.
No? Okay. Not yet. Lay back down, if only for a second. A moment. A blissful return to the soft and safe and warm.
While you’re there scroll through Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat’s snaps lying on one side with your arm beneath your head – with one eye closed because the light hurts. Searching for clues as to what may have happened at the end of last night.
Some people don’t have trouble with hangovers. They’re up, chipper in the morning sending group texts: Let’s go kayak the Mississippi River! Remember? We talked about it last night. I packed lunch…
While you’re still drowning from which ever last drink, after-bar joint, or more before.
Don’t let them get you down. No need to feel inadequate. They are an odd breed who don’t truly understand how important suffering is to personal growth. Ignore their snaps from long a hike in Red Wing; their smiling faces posing with fresh tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market.
There’s another day for that.
And stay away from your text messages. You’re not ready for that yet. Let the night return to you waves, slowing washing over you on your own terms.
Speaking of waves, your mouth is still a desert. Thirst like this you have never known. You need water, and fast.
The most important thing is getting food in your stomach. This can be hard when you’re feeling as though everything in your stomach would rather come out than go in.
And, since marijuana isn’t yet legal (despite some headway last year) for recreational use in the state of Minnesota, some good old-fashioned Tums and an Ibuprofin will have to keep you on your feet just long enough to find some breakfast, brunch, lunch.
Going out in public? Stop by the bathroom mirror. You probably look something like this:
But that’s okay. Brunch is a safe place. A haven for the nauseous, sleep-deprived, cotton mouthed, hungover Minnesota masses.
Try Spoon & Stable’s brunch. Too sophisticated, fancy? Stick with Birchwood Cafe. Or Hi-Lo Diner because guaranteed no one will judge you there and they have those donut entrees; quick carbs to get you back on your feet.
Or, head to one of our personal favorites, Victor’s 1959 Cafe for some of the best Cuban-inspired brunch in town.
St. Paul can’t go wrong with the Uptowner or Mickey’s for classic diner breakfast; omelets and eggs Benedict and coffee. Or anywhere on Cathedral Hill: W.A. Frost, Happy Gnome, Red Cow, Moscow on the Hill will all serve you menu items thick and chewy.
And, hopefully, you won’t see anyone you know.
3. (No) more drinks
For some it’s a Bloody Mary, or a mimosas. Or any other accepted daytime cocktails that work for the moment – The “hair of the dog” that is a real thing. Something to take away the pain; to remind you that feeling better is possible. That things will get better. Though beware the afternoon slide back into oblivion.
Depends, certainly, on how bad the hangover is.
Were you up drinking tequila with friends or family or industry co-workers until 6am? Get a Bloody Mary. You need it. Or better yet, a Bloody Maria. You’re doomed anyway: Double-down on the Tequila.
If it’s a simple too-much-champagne at a best-friend’s wedding situation, or something else innocent as such, you’re probably okay with more of the same. Who cares, really? The French drink champagne every morning, and they see to be (usually more than, when it comes to food and drink) okay.
And if you’re staying home? Make one of these for yourself:
Corpse Reviver, #2
1oz Lillet Blanc
1oz lemon juice (fresh)
Orange peel (for garnish)
Shake your ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with orange peel.
If you’re going this route, though, make sure you don’t have any plans later in the day that require eloquent speaking, or an excessive amount of brain power.
4. Self Reflection
Now it’s probably time to look through your sent and received text messages to see what kind of irreversible damage you did while dancing terribly by the bathroom – next to the random guy/girl you were certain you fell in love with at first sight, of course, and who had eyes like a movie star. You may have told them as much. They may have shot you down.
Or, worse, they didn’t. And you woke up next to them. And they’re still in your bed, snoring. And they don’t look quite the same as they did at the club last night – eyes more like Steve Buscemi’s than your average A-lister.
Self reflection is important, especially after a night of questionable decision-making. The questions come rolling in. Are you ever going to be anything more than this? Does Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or Oprah or Lebron James do this to themselves? Did Jesus? Is that why they’re masters of the universe and you’re sitting on your couch watching reruns of “The Office” eating your third bagel with cream cheese and waiting, hoping, praying, for the headache to finally go away?
Maybe it’s not that serious. In fact, it’s probably not that serious. In fact, in fact, going out to let loose is actually a healthy practice (with a modicum of moderation, of course). Staying stuck at the desk all week long, or only following a strict routine with no room for spontaneity or occasional bad decisions, leads to stress, insurmountable pressure, premature-aging, and is one of the leading causes of suicide. Spending time with your friends, in a situation where you don’t have to be on-point or focused; where you can simply have a good time for a good time’s sake, is crucial to your continued human happiness.
But, if it happens regularly. If it impedes your ability to conquer your goals. If it seems like maybe more than just a wild night here and there, and rather a wild existence all the time, and then all of a sudden you can’t remember what day it is because you haven’t been sober since last Wednesday (in March, in 2016) and you’ve missed liked 300 calls from your mom and 350 more from your sister going to school in Ohio, or did she graduate…?
Well, it might be time to think about a change.