The Steps to Hangover Acceptance

Guest columnist Justin Starr just woke up, so please do not feed him or look him directly in the eye.

Ugh, what happened last night? Where did Archibald end up? Did I really eat shrimp cocktail from Frogro?

If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you have a hangover.

I would tell you to sit down and let the news sink in, but I know you’re lying in bed, or wherever you drifted into your Natty Light-and-Allegros-induced coma. Don’t fret! For generations, dedicated undergraduate researchers have studied the process of accepting this fact and dealing with the aftermath. What follows is a list of the emotional states you will experience.

Denial: Right after you wake up, you’ll think to yourself, “There’s no way I’m hung over. I didn’t even drink that much. Only two margaritas at Don Memo’s, then a bit of jungle juice at TEP, and a cup of everclear at Oz. I’ll be fine.” This reasoning is a classic sign of hangover denial. Deep down, you know that you’ll have to pay more than just $5.00 for the “blue drink” at Smokes for the good time you had – you just don’t want to believe it. Then you stand up, and shit gets real.

Bargaining: Standing up is one of the hardest parts of the process – the room starts spinning faster than a drunk uncle doing the horah at a Bar Mitzvah, and then headache kicks in. You’ll ask yourself, “Is this from drinking, or from when I tried to break the empty handle against my forehead?” The answer is “both.” This is when you’ll start praying to Dionysus to spare you this one time, saying that you’ll skip Mill Creek Monday as payment. As the headache gets worse, you’ll offer more – like going to Archibald’s Penn Masala concert without pre-gaming. Just weed this time. Unfortunately, this pleading will do nothing. That’s when you’ll get mad.

Anger: As you stumble down the hall to the bathroom, bargaining turns to anger. First, you’ll blame others, thinking something like, “Why did Archibald make me drink so much? I told him that Thursdays are for PCP and Pixi-Stix, not drinking. Everyone knows PCP doesn’t cause hangovers!” Then, the memories come flooding back to you. They’re cloudier than that jungle juice you drank, but you’ll recall three key facts: 1) The margaritas at Don Memo’s were your idea; 2) You left your wallet at Don Memo’s; 3) Archibald is currently being held hostage by an Upper Darby drug cartel.

Regret: Once you realize that your headache (and Archibld’s amputated fingers) are your fault, you’ll feel remorse. This feeling will amplify when that Tortilla Tequila gives Montezuma’s Revenge a whole new meaning. You’ll start to think that the good time you don’t remember having is not worth the seventeen trips to the bathroom you’ll take over the next two hours. As these thoughts consume your mind, you’ll ultimately forget to call the DEA to save Archibald.

Acceptance: After flushing away the half-pound of Frogro shrimp cocktail, you’ll look at yourself in the mirror, soaking in the bloodshot eyes, pale face, and shaved head…WAIT, I SHAVED MY HEAD?! You’ll take a deep breath and think, “Ok, I can do this. As long as I act normally, the hangover will pass quickly, and I’ll be back to normal in no time. Oh, look at the time! I gotta meet Archie for brunch! Better brush my teeth first.” As you put the toothbrush in your mouth…

BLAHHGHHAHGGFGHHFFFF: It’s going to be a long day.

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