St. Patrick’s Day brings us yet another drinking holiday, on par with New Year’s Eve and the night before Thanksgiving. Problem is, there’s no hangover holiday after St. Patty’s to help you recover, so before you go to town, try to remember that it’s probably straight back to the grind tomorrow. But if you go overboard, you won’t be alone as you try to return to normal civilized life with a dry mouth, splitting headache, and spotty recollection of the last several hours. Some of you will vow to never drink again, but really, you just need to take it easier next time. Here are the places that can make your already nightmarish hangover simply unbearable:
We all know that the best way to deal with a hangover is to lie perfectly still, chug water, and binge-watch reruns of Seinfeld. Waking up to your roommate or a friend’s call alluding you to the brisk 5K jog you’re about to embark on at the crack of dawn (as far as you’re concerned) is probably the exact opposite. Your friend won’t care that you thought it was tomorrow or next Saturday—you signed up and bailing is just lame. So get up, get as much water as possible (boot and rally if need be), and get down to the venue. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come when you arrive—the run will cause your headache to worsen, you’ll get unspeakably thirsty by the quarter-mile mark, and you’ll likely have to keep yourself from retching due to all the families and the good cause the 5K is raising money for. Your friend will beat you easily and laugh his ass off as you stumble across the finish line, but at least the nightmare will end (relatively) quickly.
Men with alcohol and children simply don’t mix, even if the man stopped drinking that alcohol hours ago. If you find yourself volunteering with little kids or taking care of your brother’s baby or what have you, do your best to keep a safe distance. A lot of kids are affectionate and will hug you or demand piggyback rides, and you don’t want any weird looks from other adults if a kid makes a comment. And you know kids are honest and say the darnedest things, so if you smell like liquor, they might call you out on it. Hopefully, that comes in the form of a "you smell funny," as opposed to the sadder "you smell like Daddy," but clearly, this is not a great hangover activity for you. If it’s a really bad one, seriously, just stay home.
3. Public Transportation
Taking a drive during a hangover can contribute to your recovery. Just roll down all the windows and the freedom of the open road along with the wind blasting you in the face should help to wake you up and clear your head. Public transportation, on the other hand, is almost sure to worsen all of your hangover symptoms. Being crowded next to dozens of strangers in a stuffy bus or train with no ability to make an emergency vomit pit-stop as you take a rough, unpredictable ride toward your destination is no place for you to be. Honestly, if you have any inkling of a puke coming on, don’t get on public transit (even if that’s your way to work). Vomit is considered a biohazard and will almost certainly gross everyone out, make everyone late and annoyed at you, and you won’t feel any better.
This one’s pretty advanced, and is probably only something you’d think about attempting in the latter stages of your hangover. Maybe you felt awful in the morning when you dragged yourself out of bed and joined your friends on a trip to the local amusement park, but then the afternoon came along and you felt a little more like yourself. But stupidly, you joined in on the fun when your friends decided to go on that roller coaster that seems to be upside down as often as it’s right-side up, and you had to do your best not to vomit into your own face during the ride (that’s probably what would happen, right?). And if that all happened, your friends definitely laughed at your picture in the post-ride gift shop as you found a place to retch. You can’t blame them—you did this to yourself.
5. Somewhere You Didn’t Intend to Sleep Last Night
Waking up in a place you’re not used to can be confusing, but the confusion is usually gone within a few seconds when your memory fills you in on the details. With a hangover, those details are slower to come to you, or could be nonexistent altogether. If you’re really confused, you’ll have to become somewhat of a detective, but luckily for your hangover-stricken self, you don’t have to be Sherlock or anything. You just have to figure out what a dumber version of yourself might've been up to. Accounting for all your major personal items (wallet, keys, phone, etc.) is always a first, and if you’re in bed with someone you don’t recognize, that’s certainly cause for further investigation. Hopefully, you can get all your belongings together with a vague sense of where you are so you can get home and recover in peace, maybe getting a friend to tell you what shenanigans you got into.
On the plus side, these events don’t usually require much physical activity. It’s a lot of sitting around, which is likely what you would've done anyway. Still, there’s a big difference between sitting on a couch in shorts and a ratty T-shirt vegging out in front of the TV and being dressed in a suit, sitting up earnestly in a pew, bleachers, or some sort of chair without padding while paying attention to something painfully boring. If it’s at some sort of religious service, your being hung over probably makes you a heathen. If it’s some other ceremony, like a graduation, that can be even worse—you could be outside on a humid, sunny day, downing water as a professor with a monotonous voice reads off every single name in the graduating class. Just try to look alive when your family inevitably poses for a picture afterward.
Drinking heavily the night before a dental appointment is a poor choice on a number of levels: You’ll have to keep your dry-as-a-desert mouth open for a long period of time, your dentist will definitely smell whatever you were drinking on your breath and it truly isn’t a time where you can make a break for the toilet on a moment’s notice. Oh, and of course, hangovers and the dentist aren’t fun separately, either. Combining the hooks in your mouth, drills, and lectures about your subpar flossing habits with a severe headache and utter dehydration make up the perfect formula for an awful morning.
Hangovers don’t just worsen activities you already would have loathed—they can ruin fun activities too. As you can imagine, beer and wine tastings fit that bill. Normally, you’d enjoy the variety of flavors and the social atmosphere while getting a bit of a buzz going, but with a hangover, you won’t want to be anywhere near the establishment, let alone taste all of their special wines and brews. In a big group, you can slink off and avoid participation, but if it’s intimate, you’ll probably either have to admit to your debauchery, drag yourself through the tasting, or refuse and risk offending the people who worked hard to craft the drinks.
Hangovers are already difficult enough—no need to add some extra sorrow and thoughts of lost love into your horrific morning-after drinking. Hopefully, you avoided your ex’s Facebook page when you were still drunk and impulsive enough to post something stupid, but still, just think how depressing your slumped, hungover body is as you scroll through your ex’s latest photos on your laptop. It’s not a good place to be, so move on before you become an old alcoholic man filled with sadness and regret.
If you forget the main parts of last night but remember going to popular nightclubs and/or upscale bars, that’s not a good sign, and you need to consult your online banking statement to check the damage, whether you like it or not. Even if you normally pay cash and your wallet looks OK, cards are much easier to flash when you’re drunk, and there may be an ATM visit or two missing from your memory. Cross your fingers, log on, and hope you didn’t buy drinks for everyone in the club on a stupid, jolly, drunken whim.