The margaritas took too fucking long.
I ordered one as soon as I sat down and when it finally arrived, I finished the thing in a few gulps. It was a well-deserved margarita, I reasoned with myself. I was, after all, at a surprise birthday party, a surprise birthday party I helped plan.
It was a failure on some levels – actually no, it was a failure on one big level. The birthday girl wasn’t surprised.
But it was a success on a lot of levels. The entertainment was entertaining (gay men in slutty school girl outfits, kids dancing hip-hop, a pint-sized Michael Jackson, three rocking bands – of course you’d be entertained), the place was crazy orange and, most importantly, the birthday girl was having fun.
But people were not getting drunk.
At least I wasn’t, because the margaritas took too fucking long.
I found a margarita on our practically empty table and grabbed it and chugged it down because I didn’t think anyone owned it.
Still no buzz.
The party was held at a polo club which I have now christened as The Place Where Margaritas Take Too Fucking Long.
It was midnight, the party was almost over, people had trickled out, gifts were left behind and her photos were being taken down.
I had retrieved the birthday girl’s iPod from the sound system guys and they gave me the evil eye, like they were showering curses upon me for taking away the music while there were still guests. They were scary-looking men, men you wouldn’t want to meet in dark alleys. But I didn’t care. Because the margaritas took too fucking long.
There were a handful of us left, a handful of us still ready to party, the birthday girl included.
Just right on time, one of our friends texted. He spent the day hosting his cousin’s wedding and instead of going to the polo club, he went to his own club instead, a place famous for getting a lot of celebrities drunk and crazy. “Come on over!” he said, his invitation blinding me with the promise of the end of sobriety.
Soon, we all piled out of the polo club and headed to a real club.
Our friend was ready for us.
A millisecond after the birthday girl took her seat, a bottle of Moet & Chandon arrived in a bucket that was lit up by a fat sparkler. Fireworks of any kind normally terrify the crap out of me but not when accompanied by good champagne.
The champagne was poured into little flutes and the little flutes poured champagne down our throats. Soon, the bottle of Moet was gone, quickly replaced by a killer bottle of Patron.
Perhaps I could be blamed. Because when my friend said, “Tequila shots?” I nodded so vigorously I thought my head would come off.
Actually no, don’t blame me. Blame the margaritas that took too fucking long.
We did a round of tequilas – with no salt, just lemon – and I grabbed the menu because I wanted to eat. I ordered the Big Plate, not knowing what was going to be on it but I wasn’t worried. If it’s a big plate, then I’m bound to find something I like on it.
The birthday girl finally tasted her birthday cake and it was good. So good she force-fed each of us a forkful.
We did another round of tequilas and this time, I was able to grab a salt shaker off the table before chugging the tequila down. It went down smoothly because Patron is an evil evil bitch that you can’t get enough of.
I stood up to pee and never returned to my seat. Instead, I started dancing.
“One more bottle of Patron?”
This time, I shook my head. No no, I’ll just have a strawberry margarita, please. the club proved to be The Place Where Margaritas Don’t Take Too Fucking Long.
The birthday girl said no to tequila too and ordered a beer instead. But a new bottle of Patron appeared on our table anyway.
It was at this point that I began to star in my very own Girls Gone Wild video. I danced to songs I knew and songs I’d never heard before, I kept planting kisses on people’s cheeks, and pulling people in for big crazy hugs. And I wasn’t the only one doing those things. Oh, the love tequila can bring.
It was a beautiful night, everything was beautiful, the club, my friends, the tequila, the big plate…
The big plate! I had not eaten anything off the big plate. I grabbed something that looked crunchy and deep-fried and chewed it and swallowed it without knowing what it was. It was good.
I downed two more shots of tequila and was surprised to discover that I was still standing.
Then, birthday girl walked up to me and whispered, “I think I need to puke.”
So I followed her to the bathroom where we locked ourselves inside one of the cubicles. She sat on the toilet and proceeded to empty the contents of her stomach onto the floor. She puked on her brand new Lacoste boots and on my hot pink Doc Martens.
I didn’t mind.
We were there for a long time. I didn’t even realize I was still holding her glass of water.
By the time we stepped out of the toilet, the party was over, most of our friends were gone.
My Girls Gone Wild video had ended. Weekend at Bernie’s had started.
We half-guided, half-dragged the birthday girl to her car where we strapped her into the passenger’s seat. She was practically unconscious.
Designated driver started the car. We had moved only two feet when birthday girl came to life and said, “Hold.”
That was birthday girl code for “Please stop the motherfucking car, I’m going to puke again.”
As birthday girl puked, other friend ran across the street to McDonald’s to ask for a cup of water. By then, it was four a.m.
In the next minutes, in her semiconscious state, birthday girl educated us on the many ways to say, “I need you to stop the car because I am ready to hurl again.”
And every single time, other friend and I would scramble out of the car to help her throw up and to wipe the cold sweat off her face.
We stopped at a convenience store where designated driver and other friend bought her Gatorade and water. While they were inside, I tried to shake birthday girl back to consciousness. She wasn’t responding. I forced one eye open with my fingers and her eyeball just kind of rolled, scaring the crap out of me.
There are many rocking ways to turn thirty, dying of alcohol poisoning isn’t one of them. And so I spent the rest of the ride with my hand clutching her wrist, checking for pulse.
We stopped again and again and again and again. I’m surprised the sun wasn’t shining yet by the time we reached the hotel.
At the hotel driveway, designated driver jokingly asked the hotel personnel who welcomed us, “Do you have a wheelchair?”
Thank god for people with no sense of humor. Because one of them actually produced a wheelchair.
We were escorted to our room by three hotel personnel who didn’t seem fazed at all by the fact that they were wheeling an unconscious girl to the fourteenth floor. They probably know what it’s like to down too much tequila. I gave them a fat tip.
In the hotel room, I was instructed to change birthday girl’s clothes. Designated driver and other friend hid in the bathroom because they are both gay men who refuse to see anyone’s ladyparts.
“Shoes shoes shoes,” that was birthday girl’s way of telling me to remove her shoes.
“Socks socks socks,” and her socks came off.
I pulled her sweatshirt off and she said, “Cold.. I’m so fucking cold.” I have never been more relieved to hear a human being utter an entire sentence. I felt like giving her a medal.
Soon, birthday girl had slipped back to unconsciousness and with no more threats of accidental female nipple sightings, designated driver and other friend left the confines of the bathroom. I wrapped the duvet around birthday girl who by then was sleeping soundly.
I was finally free to give in to my own drunkenness. I collapsed on the bed beside birthday girl, too tired to remove my own socks.
God, I can’t wait for birthday girl’s 31st birthday party.