Time for another story – a strong example of why I no longer drink alcohol. This is indeed a true story. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
When I worked at Herff Jones, a bunch of us would go on Friday after work to a bar called the Longbranch. It was a decent group of people who all thought it was funny to encourage me to drink. A friend of mine, who we’ll call Joan, joined us at the bar (you might call it a “date”) and along with some of my coworkers ordered me about 36 shots of tequila and 10 long island ice teas for me. I might be exaggerating slightly, but I don’t really remember much.
After the happy hour, Joan and I went to another bar nearby called The Peanut (I’m not making that up) where we drank some more and talked to strangers. I remember some discussion about leaving the bar and going somewhere else, but it’s just a haze.
I got into the vehicle and passed out.
The next morning I woke up, totally hungover, and completely disoriented. I didn’t recognize the apartment I was in… and I had been sleeping on the floor. I looked around… there were several people there… and I didn’t recognize any of them. There was a woman passed out on the floor next to me. I didn’t remember ever seeing her before.
I got up, wondering how I’d gotten there and who all these people were. Another woman came out of a bedroom and said “Morning Incredipete!” like we were old friends. I cringed when I realized I’d have to ask her what her name was. It was Crystal, and apparently we were good buddies. She told me that later on, she and Shannon (the girl who was passed out next to me) were planning on going to the Arch, and would I like to come along. I told her I’d love to but I really needed to get home to study. I thought it was really odd she was inviting me to go to the Arch, which is four hours away in St. Louis.
Shannon woke up and after a quick trip to the bathroom, came back in and smooched me. Apparently we really liked each other. Who knew? She wasn’t “hot” but she wasn’t ugly either. Definitely the girl next door type, which seems to be my style (apparently even when intoxicated).
I started wondering where Joan was, since I had started the evening with her, but she was nowhere to be found. Finally I broke down and asked Crystal – “Did Joan make it home ok?”
Crystal replied “Oh yah, she made it home fine. You and Shannon were really hitting it off, and besides Joan didn’t want to come back with us.”
Ugh. Joan and I had been friends for a long time. I was surprised she would let me wander off drunk with strangers, and I felt bad I’d ditched her for another girl. I couldn’t decide if I felt guilty or angry with her. And I knew for a fact she was going to have to come get me, because I was positive I hadn’t driven.
I told Crystal and Shannon I was going to call a ride, and they started giggling. Not a good sign.
I was like “what’s so funny about that?”
“Incredipete, we’re in St. Louis.”
“Incredipete, you and Shannon were really into each other, and you really wanted to come with us! You aren’t mad are you?”
So there I was, in St. Louis with a new “girlfriend” who I didn’t remember meeting, with an apartment full of strangers, without my car, and without my friend.
I muttered something about how I wasn’t mad, but I needed to figure out how I was getting home. Shannon agreed to take me to the Amtrack station, kissed me goodbye, and I was on my way back to Kansas City. Fortunately Joan was nice enough to pick me up at the station and take me back to my car.
Joan’s response “Well, I was trying to be a good wing man and that chick really liked you.”
Friends don’t let friends go to another city with a bunch of strangers. Even for a chick.
And no, I never called Shannon. Duh.