Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don’t read this while eating, unless you’re bulimic

People don’t believe me when I say this — because I’m from New Orleans and drink more than I should — but I’ve only thrown up three times.

Two of those times were from food poisoning, and they occurred well before the year 2004.
(In a related note, stay away from the chicken nuggets at Wendy’s people!!!)

I remember the Wendy’s experience well — I was a senior in high school, on Christmas break, laid out on my parent’s bed holding my stomach and wailing, watching bad TV.

My twin sister, Joy, had just gotten her wisdom teeth removed, and she was in another bed, holding her face and also wailing, also watching bad TV.

The timing of my food poisoning did not bode well for Joy, who was upset that I was getting more attention than she was.

My dramatic reaction and moaning didn’t help, and Joy was upstaged when friends and neighbors came over to see how she was doing. They saw me first, looking pathetic.
“Oh, no, Jenny, are you OK?” they would ask.

“What about how am I doing??” Joy said as loud as she could with chipmunk cheeks. “I’m the one that just got SURGERY! All Jenny did was eat a bad hamburger!”
“Chicken nuggets!” I cried. Then I cried, again.

Joy was ignored while my friends helped me call Wendy’s to complain about the food. I was told they “documented” the call and if they had other similar calls, they would let me know. I never heard back.

After an afternoon of discomfort, I finally rolled out of bed and walked to the bathroom, and then got dizzy, dropped to the floor in front of the toilet, promptly threw up*, cried, and went back to bed.

For (dramatic) people who don't throw up, the act is a terrible, traumatic experience, worthy of tears and reflection and a general “woe is me” mindset.

I’ll deal with feeling miserable and nauseous from a hangover all day long rather than throw up. No question.
I could never be bulimic.

Most people have no problem throwing up. I have friends that throw up in bar bathrooms and then wash their faces and continue to take shots. I know people (boys) that throw up for fun and videotape it because they think it's funny.

Two of my friends — who last I checked were engaged — first met when they both happened to be staggering home from a bar one night and threw up in the same bush. (Not my idea of a love story.)

I, on the other hand, don’t think throwing up is OK. When I see people throw up in movies, I cover my eyes, and hit mute.
When I hear people throw up, I distance myself as far away as possible. It’s a phobia, like spiders and roaches.

I heard there is this movie called Event Horizon, which sounds like a movie I would never see, where everyone is faced with their biggest fear when they board a spaceship or something.
My biggest fear would probably be vomiting.

When Joy and I lived with The Worst Roommate In The World, I would wake up everyday to her inexplicitly throwing up in the hall bathroom.
For three months, I’d wake up to the noise, assess the situation, cover my head with a pillow, turn on the TV and hum to myself until I heard the toilet flush.

It’s a good thing that my boyfriend doesn’t have this same neurosis phobia that I do, because I totally RALPHED outside his car this past weekend. My little version of hell.

It was not only traumatic, but also embarrassing and concerning.
I somehow managed to throw up outside his car door, outside his co-worker’s engagement party, while wearing a nice dress.

I was certainly hungover from the night before, but it was seven o’clock the next evening and I’ve been way more hungover than that. And again, I don’t throw up. So this was particularly shocking and traumatic.

My stomach had maliciously turned on me the minute we pulled up to the gorgeous, million-dollar house and I could see people filing in the front doors, looking appropriate, when suddenly I couldn’t see straight and every pore in my body started to sweat.

I stuck my face a centimeter from the air conditioning vent and announced that I was going to throw up, right as I threw up inside my mouth a little.
(Not a line from a movie. For real).

With my hand covering my mouth, my boyfriend made the executive decision to drive up a block and then one over and I opened the door, leaned over, and with my seatbelt still on, puked* onto the ground.

(People who puke frequently may know this already, but you should always pull your hair back. Just sayin.)

Oh my God, I’m so embarrassed!” I said to my boyfriend when I sat upright again, as he handed me a napkin. I'm sure he wanted to throw up himself after that display. I then added, “DON’T LOOK AT ME!!!”

I held my no-longer-clean-hair back into a ponytail, popped two mints and sat as close to the window as I could (as far away from him as possible, so he wouldn’t have to see me or smell me) as he drove me back to his apartment.

“I NEVER THROW UP! I NEVER THROW UP!” was all I could repeat. Then I started getting the shakes, and became paranoid that he noticed the puke in my hair.

“Wow, that’s really embarrassing,” Joy said, when I called her from his couch 20 minutes later, after washing my hair and brushing my teeth three times. In tears.

It hasn’t been determined if the vomit was a bizarre, delayed hangover reaction or a bout of the stomach flu that someone I was around the night before had.
Maybe it was the idea of an engagement party and marriage. Haha just kidding, mom.

Either way, I don’t think I can ever look at that dress again.

I've now been nauseous since Saturday night, and the only thing that sounds appetizing is mashed potatoes.

It's not helping that once every few hours, I have flashbacks of hurling outside the car door, it stuck in my hair, the dizzy awful sweaty feeling beforehand and the embarrassment afterwards.

Yes, thinking about it makes me even more nauseous. But I will obviously be dealing with the pain.


*definitely chicken nuggets
*definitely something pink


  1. I was there for the Wendy's chicken nuggets gone bad!! I was also there in spirit after this wknd. Note to self: Never drink margaritas, vodka sprites, red wine, and beer all in the same day--this will make you VOMIT!!

  2. All I can say, in my own defense, is that you seemed to be perfectly fine the very next night after the (understandably) bad evening, and let the record show that I wasn't back up to par until Monday. On the other hand, if I did happen to have anything to do with your wretched puking, I offer you a sincere apology. I wouldn't wish that one on anyone (in particular and at this moment).


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