The summer after high school—I know that sounds like the beginning of a Katy Perry song, but stick with me—I spent most of my nights chugging beer with a co-worker and his buddies. My college plans were of the community variety, yet I got the total frat boy experience. Even better, I didn’t have to be a guy, and got to skip the whole hazing thing. Instead, I sat around a garage littered with rock and roll paraphernalia, sipping Magic Hat and discussing Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. On nights when we couldn’t hang out at the garage, we went to Reegan’s* house.
Scott*, Reegan, and I sat downstairs, downing Irish car bombs and vodka. Cocky and arrogant, I thought I could keep up with the boys. By the third car bomb, I felt totally wasted. Shivering, I sipped at a bottle of Rolling Rock. Then I started hiccuping.
“Are you okay?” Scott asked, slinging an arm around me. Though I sensed he had a crush on me, he made a better big brother figure, looking out for me and teaching me the ropes of drinking.
I nodded, and took another sip. Hiccup after hiccup shook my chest.
Scott and Reegan exchanged wary glances.
They decided to move the party upstairs into Reegan’s brother’s room, where it was warmer. Leading me, shivering, up the stairs, the guys tossed around the idea of playing Halo or listening to more Jack Black. I rolled my eyes but could barely walk. We crowded into the bedroom, where Reegan’s little brother sat hunched over a game of World of Warcraft. He couldn’t have been much younger than me, but I felt older than him.
I listened to them talk, fighting the nausea building. I refused to get sick in front of my boys. Things were going so well, and I didn’t want them to think I couldn’t hang. It was bad enough my mother still had me under a midnight curfew.
“But I’m almost eighteen,” I’d whine. My mother, though, was smarter than me by miles.
Emitting another hiccup, I leaned back, sinking into the mattress. Scott sat next to me, trying to keep me in the conversation. I must have groaned, because Reegan lunged for the wastebasket next to his brother’s computer. In an attempt to get up and run to the bathroom, I merely turned over, and vomited right into Scott’s lap.
He was a surprisingly good sport about it. Reegan brought me downstairs while Scott changed. They fed me corn muffins and had me sip water. I apologized but Scott insisted it was no big deal. Reegan slung an arm over me and they turned on a movie. Relieved to still be one of them, I relaxed.
A year later, while standing in line at my college book store, a lanky guy approached me.
“You’re Liz,” he said. Then, laughing, he continued, “The girl who puked on Scott!”
I still do car bombs occasionally, but I don’t mix them with vodka. I always think of poor Scott, though.
What’s your most embarrassing hangout story? Leave it in the comments below.
*Names changed to protect the awesome.