Y'all, this story is almost too embarrassing to write. This is even more mortifying than the Affaire Gomez. My consolation is that most people probably have some story that makes the blood rush to their face in shame as they think about it. Most of us do not escape our youth without at least one really stupid, humiliating, this is not how your mother raised you stunt. If you did, I commend you. You are a far better person than I.
The other consolation is that humiliating, stupid acts make great copy.
When I was 23, I lived in Austin, where I worked for a Big Insurance Company. Every year, BIC had a conference in Houston for the entire region, which included about ten field offices. Part of the non-work activity that year was a wallyball tournament. Wallyball is volleyball played in a racquetball court, if memory serves.
The four of us from Austin won the tournament. Seven games or something like that, and we missed supper to play. We were hungry, dehydrated and victorious.
We went up to the bar to celebrate. Our co-workers had a head start drinking, but we did our best to catch up. I don't know what goes on at company offsite events these days, but in the mid-80s, people drank and smoked and nobody thought this was bizarre.
I had never been drunk before.
My team started doing shots of tequila.
Tequila is nasty, but once you have two or three shots, it's not so bad.
I had seven shots of tequila. On an empty, dehydrated stomach.
Then my boss's boss, Marv, who had been flirting madly with me for the past two days, started buying me beer, a fluid suitable only for making fish batter in my view, and making a straw with a rolled-up $20 bill for me to sip it.
In my defense, let me say that Marv was 15 years older than I, should have known better, and was fired a few months later for sexual harassment. Did anyone get fired for that in the mid-80s? He must have been really bad.
Marv encourages me to drink more.
My judgment went out the window.
One of us started kissing the other. I would guess he started kissing me because even drunk, I don't think I would be stupid enough to kiss my boss's married boss in front of all my co-workers.
Yet I did it.
The only saving grace was that my co-workers were drunk as well and nobody was paying attention to me. Becky R, the VP, who was 38 and really should have known better, was throwing up in the ladies' room. She was not my friend and she might have noticed and remembered, but she had problems of her own.
I got tired of kissing Marv and turned toward Steve, an unmarried peer. "Oh, you're cute!" I said as I lurched toward him.
In an act for which I will be eternally grateful, my friend Doug, who also worked in the Austin office, grabbed me and said, "You're not going there." He then marched me back to my room, threw me inside, and left me.
Someone had vomited on the bedspread.
I am pretty sure it was not me, as my roommate for the conference was already sprawled on the other, unvomited-on bed. I tore the linens off the bed, threw them into the tub, and slept on the bare mattress. The next morning, I rinsed the linens as best I could and left a $10 tip.
That did not stop the hotel from telling BIC that their custom was no longer welcome.
During the meetings the next morning, I thought, "I don't even feel bad! People talk about how awful it is to be hung over, but they know nothing. This is easy."
Then I leaned over to get the water pitcher and almost fell to the floor. That's when I realized that the reason I did not feel hung over was because I was still drunk.
PS No, my mother does not read this blog.