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My Attempt At St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2011

I’m not a party girl. Sometimes I aspire to be, but really, I’m not. Most Friday nights I would much rather stay at home, watch a movie and go to bed at a decent hour. And by decent, I mean right about midnight, I’m washing my face, brushing my teeth and putting on my jammies. Okay, who am I kidding? The jammies were on from the moment I stepped foot into the house (I live in my pajamas). Saturday nights are a little different, and I’m more likely to go out for a few drinks with friends a couple of times a month, but still, I like to be home, safe in bed, by around 2 a.m. What can I say? My most important goal in life is making sure I get eight hours of sleep! And, notice I’m only mentioning Friday and Saturday nights for partying options. Weekday partying simply is not in my blood. I have school (err, work) in the morning!

When I first started dating Chef, I felt a little insecure about how little I went out. I mean, he owns a restaurant/bar. Going out is his job. One time he said to me, at 11 p.m. on a Thursday when I was good and ready to hit the sack, “You know, people are just arriving at my bar right now. Their night is just beginning. And you are heading to bed!” After that statement, I began to, um, over exaggerate my plans a bit. He’d ask me what I was doing on a Friday night, and I’d say I was going to a friend’s house. I didn’t exactly explain that my friend lived upstairs, and really I was just stopping by (already in my pajamas) and borrowing a Diet Coke, and then heading right back downstairs to watch TV. I think he’s onto me by now though.  

Don’t get me wrong, I have done some partying in my life. Particularly in high school, I spent time some time with an older crowd (my sister’s friends), and enjoyed my fair share of house parties and late nights crashing on someone’s couch. I can’t even tell you how many nights ended with me being far too drunk for a 16-year-old, falling asleep at a friend’s house listening to The Matrix play over, and over and … God. I hate that movie.

After I met my ex fiancé, all my crazy times (if you can even call them that) ended. Sure, there was a party here or there for New Year’s or my 21st birthday, but I never really got into the late night scene. I went to college, but I didn’t really go to college. I lived off campus, so my college experience included going to class, not really talking to anyone, heading to work after class and then spending all my free time with my ex. Needless to say, there were no keg parties or tailgating before a football game for me. It didn’t really bother me at the time, but now I feel like I missed out.

Part of me wants to make up for lost time, but I’m not sure a 26-year-old at a frat party is very cute. But sometimes, I get this urge to go a little crazy. Act stupid. This past weekend was one of those times.

On Friday, I realized that Shamrock the Block, an outdoor Richmond celebration for St. Patrick’s Day, was Saturday. I had only attended Shamrock the Block one time, several years ago. My ex, my sister, my friend Dawn and I all went. I don’t remember exactly why, but my ex was in a terrible mood that day. He was not feeling the green sea of drunks who had taken over Shockoe Bottom. We ended up leaving early, and my sister and Dawn ending up having a really fun time. They still talk about it. I’ve always been bummed that I missed the whole thing.

This year, I decided, was going to be different for me. The same way that I reclaimed the holidays and took on Halloween (parts 1 and 2), I was going to reclaim St. Patrick’s Day. The festival was during the day, so this also gave me the opportunity to do something I had never done – get day drunk.

I found a partner in crime, my friend Megan, one of the “brunch girls” who I met through the blog (remember?). I told her that I felt the need to pay homage to St. Patrick by getting day drunk. Was she in? Oh yeah, she was.

We made plans for transportation (because clearly, drinking and driving is not cool). We took the Bottom and Back bus from Megan’s house to the festival. It’s basically a bus that transports people from various parts of Richmond to downtown and back, so they do not have to drink and drive. Sitting on the bus, feeling so much older than the crowd (even though many of them were close to our age!), we realized our first mistake. We didn’t pregame. Everyone on this bus had gotten a very early start on the day drinking. Ah, how little do I know.

Once we arrived at the festival, Megan and I stood in the ridiculously long line to purchase our beer tickets. At $5 each, we intended to buy four tickets each. But wait, they had a special for five beers for $20. Essentially, we got a beer free! Now we’re talking.

Then, we had to stand in another incredibly long line to get beer. After waiting in the line for 20 or so minutes, there was no way we were just cashing in one beer ticket. Megan and I both got two beers, and proceeded to hastily drink one so we didn’t have to carry them both.

Once it was time to head to the beer line again, as impossible as it seemed, it was even longer. Now, we each had three tickets in our pockets for beer. We could get two beers again … but then, we’d have to stand in the line again for our last beer. That’s crazy talk! The only logical answer was to get three beers each this time around.

We exchanged our tickets for three beers and proceeded to drink them rapidly. Then, we walked around the festival and began to work on our outfits. You see, somewhere between three and five beers in, I realized that my green scarf and purse was not nearly enough garb to truly recognize St. Patrick’s Day. Megan and I proceeded to purchase tiaras and lays, and I proudly displayed my “Official Leprechaun” status with a sticker on my jacket. We met up with a few friends, then made a quick trip to the porta-potty (joy). When we came back, my friend exclaimed, “Catherine! What the hell?! Every time I see you, you have something new on you!” it was a lot of fun to get into the spirit.

The festival ended, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t eaten anything but a bowl of cereal that day. Um, maybe that’s why the beer went straight to my head. We went out to a Thai restaurant for dinner with a few friends, where Megan and I shared a bottle of wine.

As you can imagine, this is where the story goes a little downhill. It’s all fun and games until Catherine has five beers and a half a bottle of wine. First, right at the end of dinner, I developed a terrible case of the hiccups. I was like the Hiccup Girl that was on the Today Show a few years back. (You know, the girl who hiccupped for weeks on end and couldn’t stop. Interestingly, she was charged with murder last year!). The hiccups would not stop. No matter what I did, hiccup. Not cute. Especially because the next phase of the night was supposed to include flirting.

Megan, my hiccups and I headed to a local Irish pub. Once there, we prodded other (similarly drunken Shamrock the Block goers) for cures for the hiccups. After several tries, one guy we met had me lay down on a table and poured almost an entire beer down my throat. A messy cure it was, but suddenly, the hiccups were gone. I was free.

But then … I got sleepy. Day drinking is hard work. Having the hiccups for an hour is hard work. Keeping my green tiara safely affixed to my head is hard work. I was spent.

I broke the news to Megan. At just 9 p.m., I was done. I was so drunk and tired that I did not even want to attempt social interaction anymore. We could go back out later, I told her, but could we just go back to her house and take a nap? Famous last words.

We took a taxi to Megan’s house (my first time in a Richmond taxi!) and made friends with our driver. We went to her apartment, and I got good and comfortable on the couch. I was just going to close my eyes for a moment. I mean, it was only 9:30 p.m.! There was still plenty of night left! A power nap was all I needed. It was our St. Patrick’s Day celebration after all!

I awoke to an old episode of Sex and The City on the TV. Miranda and Steve had just gotten together. He hadn’t even cheated yet. I looked around, lost. Where the hell was I? After wiping the sleep from my eyes, I sat up and saw my Blackberry on the coffee table, with the red light blinking urgently. I picked it up.  

Jesus. It was 4:30 a.m. I had slept six hours (Daylight Savings). Oh, and never mind that Chef was supposed to come to my house after he got off work at 2 – and had been trying to reach me. But where was Megan?

I found Megan sound asleep in her room, and her boyfriend was there too. When did he arrive? Please, God, I hope I wasn’t drooling or snoring obnoxiously when he got there. I mean, I was probably deep in some REM sleep. I left Megan’s house like a dog with its tail between its legs. What a lightweight!

Let’s just say, I had a hell of a hangover the next day. My preconception that the hangover would be less, considering I was day drunk not night drunk, was dead wrong. It was Monday night before I finally felt like myself.

So today is actually St. Patrick’s Day. I thought that some of you out there thinking about painting the town green could learn some lessons from my story. Including:

  • You must plan for day drinking. It is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart.
  • Alternate water with beer. Seriously, water is an important part of going the distance.
  • Wine and beer don’t mix. And just because the wine is cheap does not mean you have to drink half a bottle.
  • Thai food and drinking is not a good combination. I can’t explain why, just trust me on this one.
  • Set an alarm if you plan on just taking a nap. Time flies when you are crashed on a friend’s couch.
  • If you go have plans with someone for later that night, keep them updated on your status. Because, if you are dating someone and don’t call them until 4 a.m., they will think you are shady. Ask Chef.
  • Don’t be a lightweight the first time you hang out with a new friend. Sorry Megan!   
  • St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are for real party girls. That’s just not me. Know your limitations.  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Wear some green, pinch someone and if you go out, pace yourself. Let me be your cautionary tale. Oh, and be sure to follow the St. Patrick’s Day etiquette.

Now the real question … should I go out and try again tonight?

Megan and me

First picture of the day

Megan and me

Decided we should probably take a picture without the sunglasses

Megan and me

Megan and me - notice the addition of tiaras. A very important part of a St. Patrick's Day outfit!

42 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 11:21 am

    I love this story!

    Oh the days of day drinking. If I attempted that now at the ripe old age of 25, I think I would die!

    Our trick back in University (and we started our St. Patty’s Day drinking at 9am) was to take a lunch break (we would set an alarm on all our phones) and take a dinner break/dinner nap (again, would set an alarm indicating it was dinner and another to wake up from the nap) and we were able to last the entire day!

    I’m thankful I have a 9-5 job, otherwise I’m afraid of what I might do on St. Patty’s Day. I don’t even think I would last until 9pm, so good job!

    Go out tonight, just don’t go so hard!

    • March 21, 2011 7:48 pm

      Amanalynn,
      Haha, I feel you – doesn’t 25 and older feel sooo old? I feel like my ability to handle a day of drinking has been reduced terribly! As far as your story, I can’t even FATHOM starting drinking at 9 a.m. Seems like your lumch break and dinner/nap break sounds very much needed. Good call on the alarms though – that’s what I should have done! Lesson learned. Not that I’ll need it for awhile… I have NO desire to drink anytime soon!

  2. Lost in France permalink
    March 17, 2011 11:31 am

    SOunds like a good attempt. You just need a bit more practice

    • March 21, 2011 7:48 pm

      Haha, practice makes perfect right? I’m afraid I don’t have it in me to practice enough to actually be good at this :)

  3. Sasha/Brunch Girl permalink
    March 17, 2011 12:34 pm

    I laughed the entire time I read this. I wish I had come down to see it myself. Megan can attest that I’ve done the exact same thing before, even though, by your definitions I’m probably a party girl. I’m glad you guys had fun!

    • March 21, 2011 7:50 pm

      Sasha,
      LOL – I wish you could have come down. Not sure if you being here would have made me show more restraint or less!! Definitely let me know the next time you come down, you can teach me a few party girl tricks :)

  4. March 17, 2011 12:56 pm

    One thing I found in my 20s: the day you turn 23, you’re suddenly older than the rest of the party crowd. Sad fact of life.

    That’s why wine bars were created: so the 28 and older set would have a place to go.

    Happy St. Pats! Glad you had a chance to celebrate the day!

    • March 21, 2011 7:53 pm

      Thanks Maura. What’s funny is that I’ve always looked much younger than my age, so I’ve always felt like I could keep up. This is the first year my age and the way I look have caught up with eachother – and I feel old as dirt! LOL. I am definitely too old to regularly participate in such activities as this… but maybe every once in awhile :)
      Wine bars — good idea!! And, there’s lots of food at wine bars. They plan for you to eat and drink… which is the the adult thing to do :)

  5. March 17, 2011 1:13 pm

    Woo-hoo for your celebration!

    I’m usually like you: getting 8-9 hours of sleep takes precedent over going out.

    • March 21, 2011 7:53 pm

      Yeah, nothing better than 9 hours. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to head to bed! haha

  6. missclhaden20 permalink
    March 17, 2011 1:28 pm

    Love this!

    Please don’t feel guilty that you don’t go out! At the current age of 20 I’ve decided the clubbing/drinking scene is not for me… it’s more for the younger crowd! I would rather stay in and have a nice dinner party (domino’s pizza and a bottle of red – company optional!)

    Keep true to your jammies, look after them and they will look after you! ;)

    • March 21, 2011 7:58 pm

      Missclhaden,
      My jammies and I are very happy together. You are right – I take good care of them, and then take good care of me. And you are only 20? Part of me wants to urge you to get out there! Go clubbing! Whether you like it or not! haha :) I think, since you really don’t like it, enjoy your evenings in… but please, learn from my lesson, force yourself to go out every once in awhile. You may be surprised at how much fun you have. I wish I had forced myself to go out a few more times over the years. I just feel like I missed out on some things that I wouldn’t have if I had just forced myself out of my comfort zone. But, at the end of the day, only you know what makes you happy. So keep on keeping on!

  7. March 17, 2011 1:40 pm

    I am also not much of a party girl..

    My plans for today on st-patricks day is; wear something green and have a drink or two at how while watching something on tv with a st-patricks theme (I am sure I’ll find something on tv)… Then go to bed early has I have to get up in the morning…

    • March 21, 2011 7:58 pm

      Your St. Patrick’s sounded really fun and relaxing. Nothing like getting to bed early. Hope it was great!

  8. March 17, 2011 2:38 pm

    Too funny! I wrote a blog the other day about my experience of ‘going out’ now compared to when I was younger. I hear ya on the ‘day drunk’. I have always been terrible at it. Poor thing:) Happy St. Patrick’s Day! -SG

    • March 21, 2011 7:59 pm

      I’ll have to check out your post! Glad I’m not the only failure at day drunk. I just really don’t think I have it in me! LOL

  9. March 17, 2011 4:00 pm

    Haha, you two look adorable! I’m sorry you had such a bad hangover, but other than that, sounds like you had a pretty fun time!

    • March 21, 2011 8:00 pm

      Katie,
      Haha, thanks! You are right – it was a lot of fun. Next time I’ll plan for the hangover a bit better, and then it won’t bother me so. Like clear my schedule, stock up on aspirin, close the curtains… LOL. I was just unprepared – I truly thought day drunk meant hangover at night, not hangover at night AND the next day AND the next day! haha!

  10. March 17, 2011 5:31 pm

    Happy St patrick’s Day! The day is ending here and I’m in pjs after the day drinking-i have work tomorrow though so that’s why I’m in pjs and thinking of bed and not still in the pub! The key to day drinking is the food. And, with the food there has to be water not wine/beer!

    • March 21, 2011 8:01 pm

      Livvy,
      Food. Water. You a genius. Where were you Saturday? haha. Lessons learned here… trust me!

  11. mom permalink
    March 17, 2011 7:02 pm

    Not to glad you were drunk all day… But a very funny post regardless… Anytime before five for me is always a problem… and WINE is not my friend

    • March 21, 2011 8:01 pm

      Haha, Mom, but at least I was safe! Didn’t drive or anything!

  12. March 18, 2011 2:00 am

    You’re both super cute!

    You and I had the same exact college experience…and interestingly enough, the same post-collegiate feeling of “missing out.” But you can never really go back again, you know? I mean, sure, I could enroll and take a few classes at Portland State, but it’s not like I’m going to be hanging out at frat houses hooked up to a keg when I’ve got a teenager at home and a mortgage. A freakin’ mortgage, I tell you!

    • March 21, 2011 8:06 pm

      Thank you, Mark! After that many beers, I have to tell you, I felt pretty damn cute. Then the hiccups came. Not so cute. And sorta painful.

      I didn’t know that you had the same college experience as I did. It does suck to regret something that you really can’t change, huh? I mean you are so right, you can’t go back and live on campus and get a re-do, and neither can I. For different reasons, but neither of us would really fit in. Which sucks. But that means my kids are going away to school, damn it. And I will live vicariously through them!

      Sorry to hear about your mortgage. Just reading your comment reminded me why i do NOT want to buy a condo… I don’t want a mortgage! LOL :)

  13. March 18, 2011 3:04 am

    Love the bit about hiccups. I remember hearing that hiccup girl murdered someone as well.
    Fun post! Hope your head is feeling better.

    Love,
    wink’d

    • March 21, 2011 8:06 pm

      Wink’d,
      I can’t believe you knew about the hiccup girl murdering someone! I thought that girl was so interesting. Don’t know how I missed it! And, my head is doing better – seriously took days to feel like myself again!

  14. March 18, 2011 8:28 am

    Haha! This reminds of the annual parties I did attend in college. Note the use of the word ‘annual’ there…

    • March 21, 2011 8:07 pm

      Kat,
      Annual sounds about right. I can handle this about once a year. :)

  15. 2NewBeginnings permalink
    March 18, 2011 10:12 am

    Feeling you on the missing out. I got married at the age of 22, finished college while married. Got pregnant unexpectantly when I was graduating from college. So, yeah I feel like I missed out on a lot as well. I’m wanting to make up for lost time too, but with in reason. Living on my terms. So, I think it’s great you are taking on each new holiday, etc. Enjoy, looks like you had fun. Just be careful and make sure you are always with an accountable person at all times on those drinking escapades! God, I do sound like a mother! LOL

    • March 21, 2011 8:11 pm

      2NewBeginnings,
      Your story is so interesting and you have been through so much. You may have missed out on some things, but think of all you gained. Having a child, learning through a marriage what you want (and don’t), you have a lot to show for yourself. I’m trying to remind myself of the same thing. I am definitely careful in my escapades – I am seriously one of the most careful people you’ll ever meet. I have a running after school special in my head of the worst that can happen. That’s why I cut myself off when I did – I felt just slightly out of control and it made me really uncomfortable. Now, you get out there and have some fun too – it’s not too late to make up for lost time in little ways here and there.

  16. March 18, 2011 12:01 pm

    Best hiccup cure I’ve ever been told (and use myself now)…pickle juice. Eat a pickle or have about a tablespoon of the juice. Stops ‘em immediately.

    Sounds like one heck of a day. Despite your “warnings” one of these days I intend to celebrate accordingly. I was planning on being in LA to spend the holiday with a buddy of mine who is 100% Irish and spends the day at a pub in Burbank. If I’m going to celebrate, might as well be with the Irish.

    • March 21, 2011 8:13 pm

      Pickle juice? Really? I’ve never heard this before – but will definitely try it the next time I get a case of the hiccups! This was AWFUL!
      Celebrating with the Irish sounds like a blast. And spending a whole day at a pub? Why the hell not? :)
      You mention KC and LA – when are you coming to the east coast? We’ll need to get a drink (or 12? haha).

      • March 22, 2011 7:04 am

        It may not taste all that great, if you don’t like pickles. But if it doesn’t work I’ll owe you.

        Funny you should ask about a visit to the east coast. Last time I was on the east coast was back in ’95. About 6 days I booked tickets to visit a couple friends in May. You may know them as Hubs and Katie.

        Feel like taking a trip to NC?

        • March 23, 2011 8:51 pm

          Oh fun! I so want to meet all of you! Where in NC? When you coming? May is going to be the busiest month ever because one of my close friends is getting married that month, but I’d love to come to NC to meet you! I spend some time during the weekends at Lake Gaston, NC, so I’ll already be partly on my way. We can discuss via email :)

  17. March 18, 2011 12:13 pm

    Great night it seems! Once in awhile it’s great to let loose and have fun :)

    • March 21, 2011 8:14 pm

      It was fun, you are right. Only can handle this every once in awhile! LOL

  18. March 19, 2011 8:45 am

    Cath … you should do the Strawberry Hill Races this year. It’s a day drinking extravaganza. Bring a flask and your cell phone with an ICE contact. You won’t even know the horses are racing.

    • March 21, 2011 8:17 pm

      Cam,
      A flask and a cell phone with an ICE contact. LOL. Strawberry Hill sounds fun, I’ve always wanted to go but never have. Maybe this is my big year?? I better start resting up now! Can’t have a redo of St. Patrick’s Day, that’s for sure!!

  19. March 22, 2011 1:56 am

    i love this. sounds a lot more fun than my st patty’s day where i forgot, but accidentally wore a green top and then decided to head to the pub with my colleagues but left at 8.30pm with my dad ‘coz i had a family dinner. and oh yeah, i probably went to bed by midnight too :P in other news, i like your blog and am following the journey…

    • March 23, 2011 8:49 pm

      Jo,
      Well, at least you got to enjoy a little bit of the holiday, and it was fortunate that you accidentally wore a green top! Thanks for reading and commenting; I appreciate it!

  20. April 6, 2011 3:03 pm

    I was agreeing with you on getting to bed pretty early on the weekends…that’s a definite for me. Lately, it seems guys I’m dating are still into going out to bars on the weekends and even through the week, and I have a hard time handling it—I feel like a loser when I’m in bed or simply relaxing while they’re out!

    While I love a good day drunk, going out just isn’t my bag anymore :(

    -L

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