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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Column: The morning after

In a perfect world, everyone would wake up safe every morning in their own bed, with their keys, wallet, cell phone and dignity still intact. But this is Davis. That doesn’t always happen. In Chico, it probably never happens, but it’s best not to compare ourselves to a place where keg stands in your front yard at 11 a.m. on any given Sunday won’t elicit so much as a second glance.

Maybe you’ve woken up wondering where you are. Or why you’re nestled comfortably between a set of twin exchange students from Honduras. Or maybe why you’re in the bathroom of a frat house with some random dude taking a piss right in front of you while you frantically call everyone you were with five hours ago (been there).

On the flipside, maybe you’ve been the asshole calling out those Walk of Shamers with a megaphone out of boredom/lack of hangover. Even the corporates have started cashing in on drunken screw-ups and aftermaths. The Benefit cosmetics company has a “Walk of Shame” kit on the market – no joke. I’m also pretty sure I read an article once urging all professionals to leave an extra set of clothing in their offices to avoid being “unprofessional” and having a repeat outfit incident should they not make it home after leaving the office the night prior.

Everyone’s had the stormy cloud of a drunken night dangle over them. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but a hangover will follow you around and render you completely useless for varying amounts of time the next day. How long you’ll be wasting away in Hangoverville depends whether your roommate was nice enough to get you an artery bomb of a cheeseburger. It’s pretty hard to predict when one will set in. I’ve been just fine after nights that involved puking up half my body weight, yet unable to get out of bed until dark on some next-days.

Sometimes, though, a hangover is hardly the biggest of your worries. I have friends who’ve woken up with chipped teeth, passed multiple tours while Walk of Shaming it across campus all decked out in Studio 54 themed attire and discovered after the fact that the whiskey they’d been sipping on was actually laundry detergent.

“I just leaned out of the shower to puke into the toilet,” said Tut Forest as he recalled the time he felt a wave of emesis kick in during a morning shower.

As for the campus tour story, I can imagine the tour guide explaining the sight of the girls as though they were a landmark: “And as you can see, to our right, we have some skanks on their way back to the dorms. Everybody wave, now. Wave to the nice skanks.”

One thing I haven’t done in a while is woken up still drunk. It’s confusing as balls. It happened to me once back in the dormies – figuring out how to get down from the top bunk without ending up on crutches was something of a chore. If you wake up inebriated, you might consider taking it as a message from the man upstairs and turn your morning cup of Irish coffee in to combat an oncoming hangover. Just a thought.

I got a call from a friend once around eight in the morning, asking if I had an extra parking permit for my apartment complex. I ended up meeting her in my jammies at a guy’s apartment, where she was sporting an oversized t-shirt, sex hair and classic CapMo breath. She was presently intoxicated. After the parking permit changed hands, she went back to getting lucky while I skipped off to Poli Sci. Life is so unfair. Said friend also came up with the brilliant idea of having a party where all the girls wear various articles of clothing they’ve jacked from slumber parties with boys over the years.

One afternoon, my friend looked out the window and saw me randomly walking past her apartment on the sidewalk, barefoot, with some heels in one hand and a cowboy hat in the other. She invited me in for cookies and probably a recap of the prior night’s events.

In Davis, you always have to keep in mind that this is a super family-friendly town. I was definitely reminded of that on an occasion where I had managed to lose my keys and shoes and had nowhere to go until I located them – so I biked to the Farmer’s Market to get some breakfast. Walking around in that joint shoeless in a cocktail dress and smeared makeup had a lot of people asking me if I was okay.

“This guy handed me a bra in class to give back to my suitemate this one time,” my friend T-Bone Springer recalled.

That’s what I call a certified awkward turtle moment, brought to you by College.

MICHELLE RICK would like to thank Canon Inc. for helping college students everywhere remember what their brains cannot (no product placement is present within this column). Send your best stories to marick@ucdavis.edu. Sharing is caring.


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