I went to high school in the late 1960s; the era of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, but all that passed me by. Because I believed my mom when she said nice girls didn’t participate in any of those activities, I spent my teen years in my bedroom doing calculus homework and wistfully dreaming of the day when my prince might carry me off on his white horse and show me the ways of drunken, depraved debauchery. Meanwhile, my classmates were at Woodstock that summer smoking weed, drinking in abandonment, and having unprotected sex.
Years later I found out from my maternal grandmother that my mom was her wild child, so Mom was a fibber as well as a hypocrite.
I entered young adulthood sober and never having known the joys of rowdy revelry. I married at 19, wearing a long white gown that I’d earned, if you get my drift. I’d never drifted. The most frequently uttered phrase in my marital bed was, “You want me to WHAT!? Well, ok I guess.”
I moved through decades of marriage never having achieved a drunken stupor or the resultant hangover. Then my friends decided to throw me a surprise birthday party. It was one of those decade markers that mean nothing physically but everything emotionally. They were determined this would be the day I would experience uninhibited, alcohol-fueled abandonment of all societal standards of decency. Maybe I’d even dance on the table and slowly remove my support stockings, granny panties, and half-slip and fling them to the crowd.
They plied me with Jello shooters, daiquiris, and bourbon slushes. Even though I only sipped at each one, soon I became what I believe is referred to as tipsy.
That’s when the surprise entertainment arrived. Although he claimed to be a physician, he arrived in a twelve-year-old Honda Civic with a bumper sticker that said, “My other car is a Mercedes.” He was wearing a white coat and a stethoscope and his name tag said, “Dr. Feelgood.” He misspelled “Doctor” as “Docter” and his stethoscope looked a lot like the toy one my grandchildren own. I began to doubt his credentials as a medical professional. That was confirmed when I showed him a festering bowl on the left cheek of my rear end and asked him for his opinion, and he turned his head and gagged violently.
I had a feeling that instead of a doctor, he might be one of those Strip-O-Gram guys. Here might be my chance to finally get a gander at some naked man other than my husband.
He gamely delivered his routine of corny medically-related jokes until I loudly slurred, “Hey! Fake doc! When do you start taking your clothes off?”
“Oh, Doctor Feelgood doesn’t do that sort of thing,” he assured me.
“Well,” I added, “People who rent themselves out to parties shouldn’t call themselves Doctor Feelgood if they don’t plan to deliver the goods and let us feel them. I ought to sue you for misrepresentation and malpractice.”
He nervously backed away, completed his routine, and drove off in his Civic. I don’t remember the rest of the evening or how I got home, but I’ve been told that the alcohol just made me sleepy and I dozed off in a chair in the middle of the festivities.
I awoke the next morning with a pounding headache, blurred vision, and a body that ached all over. The sunlight streaming through the window hurt my eyes, and my husband’s cheerful morning voice so irritated me that I had an overwhelming urge to throw a shoe at him. Is this what a hangover feels like, I wondered? Nah. This is what old age feels like every damn day. Where’s Doctor Feelgood when you need him?