Words cannot describe how hungover I was yesterday.
Hangovers are one deceiving bitch. For one, I always wake up super early. Like the Hangover Queen is floating above my bed shrieking, “HAHAHA sucka! You’re going to have to suffer EVEN LONGER than usual today! It’s only 6AM, but wake up! You have a splitting headache to endure!”
I, for one, am someone who wakes up early naturally. Therefore, it is ten times worse when my liver is struggling to detox copious amounts of alcohol. By 6AM, I made the brave decision to trek cross-country from my bed to the couch.
It nearly killed me.
I started Netflixing White Collar reruns by 6:30. I moved twice in a nine-hour period. Once to retrieve my car, and once to throw up.
I actually don’t recall the last time I was that hungover. Wait; I lied. I know precisely the last time I was that hungover.
The last time I laid on the couch and waited for death after cross-mixing God knows what alcohol was Folder Friday.
Oh I’m sorry, have I not told you about Folder Friday? Allow me.
Folder Friday ranks in the top five worst workdays of my life. Company leadership decided it was imperative we bring one hundred black folders stuffed with case studies to a conference that weekend. Our office coordinator, who may just be the most capable twenty-three-year-old to prance the face of this Earth, ordered one hundred black folders three weeks in advance. Five of us blocked three hours on our calendars Friday afternoon to stuff them.
The look on my CEO’s face when he saw those black folders is the same look I imagine every parent gets when their child gets expelled for streaking across campus. Because the folders had a glossy and not matte finish, there was no way we could use them. Oh no.
That Friday afternoon, half my company phoned every possible store in the tri-state area. We called every Walgreens, every Office Depot, every Target—good Lord we called IKEA. IKEA!
I left two hours after the workday supposedly ended and was the first to leave. I went straight to a rooftop pool where my friend Mike was laying out like a Kardashian, and proceeded to drink every happy hour special on the menu. Name a form of alcohol—sans champagne—I drank it.
I woke up the next morning thinking that day would be my last. Like, “Welp. Twenty-seven years was a good run, I’ll see you on the other side,” kind of death sentence.
Although it seemed horrible at the time, I have retold the story of Folder Friday at least two dozen times.
Ah, Folder Friday.
Yesterday was not on Folder Friday level (which, God willing, will go down in history as one of the worst hangovers of my adult life). It was, however, one of the many, many stories brought up as I drank my weight in champagne and orange juice Saturday morning. Team Folder Friday—i.e. my old coworkers—threw a group brunch so we could all catch-up for the first time in months.
My grandfather once told me one of the best parts of life is making friends. The vibe of that brunch was two parts high school class reunion, one part therapy session. We retold stories of our latest nights, most ridiculous requests, and biggest meltdowns. Over sixty-percent of the people in attendance no longer worked for the company. You never would have known—we acted like we expected to see each other come Monday morning.
I truly believe we will all look back on our worst days, and remember them as our best.
I will forever be bonded to people who went to hell and back with me. Teammates who endured ice baths, injuries, and unexpected losses; college roommates who went through bad break-ups, switched majors, and entering the real world; and coworkers who sat next to each other sweatshop-style, stuffing and re-stuffing one hundred black folders.
Those shitty days often end up being the best, don’t they? They make for the best stories, the best memories, and the best reason to skyrocket your blood alcohol content. They bond you to people in the most unusual ways—people who you may never have met otherwise.