Life’s a Beach

by Rachel on February 21, 2011

As I said on Friday, my friend Jordan has seen me at my worst — including my worst tequila stories.

I guess it was only fair that eventually, he’d pass that torch on to a new man. Still, I wasn’t sure if I could let anyone else see me like that — nor was I sure if the new man was up to the challenge.

So the BBQ in Galveston? Was a blast. With me in a sundress and cowboy boots and Eric in pearl snaps, we arrived with two kinds of tequila, sweet tea vodka, plus a whole bunch of other liquor and beer. As we walked up the beach to the house, I suddenly saw Jordan coming toward us, and we reunited like two Golden Retriever puppies, jumping in place, tails wagging.

Once we got to the house, I whipped out the buffalo chicken dip I’d made that morning, started mixing up a pitcher of blackberry margaritas, and was declared the best party guest ever.

I handed the first margarita to Eric to taste, and he didn’t cringe, so I poured a whole bunch more tequila on top of that drink, for myself, and then added more to the pitcher. I didn’t have any measuring tools for all the ingredients, so I just winged it — meaning I have no idea how much liquor was actually in each drink. But if Eric wasn’t wincing, I figured it couldn’t be that much.

Eric and Jordan got along really well, and we spent the afternoon hanging out, catching up, drinking, and snacking. I had three four five (apparently? I’m learning this now) pink margaritas and a whole lot of that (amazing!) buffalo chicken dip over the course of the afternoon. By the time the party was winding down, I had the troubling sensation that the room was spinning. When I told Eric this, he said maybe it was time to go home.

We walked down the beach back to my car, where I hopped into the passenger seat, just as I had on the 75-minute drive down from Houston. Eric noticed the gas tank was empty so he stopped to fill it up, and returned to the car with a soda for himself and a bottle of water for me.

That’s so sweet, I thought. How did he know I’m so thirsty?

As we pulled out of the gas station, I realized that I didn’t feel too great. However, I don’t normally get sick from drinking and I hadn’t had that much to drink, so I sort of didn’t really think that I needed a bag handy. Still, I reached into the back seat and pulled out an empty Whole Foods bag, thinking to myself that I was really being overdramatic, because it’s not like I was just going to throw up without warning. To continue with this dramatic moment, I put my face in the bag, as if I was going to get sick at any second. I didn’t actually think it was going to happen.

And then, without warning, I started throwing up. A lot. While I was horrified to be doing this in front of Eric, I do pride myself on barfing like a lady — Eric later said that I did a very graceful job and didn’t even make any noise — and I got everything right in the bag where it belonged. So embarrassing, but not the end of the world.

Eric was already looking for a place to pull over, and a few seconds after I finished, as he was pulling into the Kroger parking lot, the paper bag began to leak. And leak quickly. And then the bag had apparently had enough of this business was just like, “Fuck you and fuck this,” and broke, sending a buffalo-chicken-pink-margarita waterfall cascading onto the front of my sundress. And, because my lap isn’t nearly big or deep enough to hold that much liquid, it leaked through my dress and onto my thighs and continued to flow onto the seat, down my legs toward my cowboy boots, and onto the floor.

As this was happening, Eric parked the car in front of Kroger and went in to get something for me to use to clean myself. I realized that I really needed to get rid of the disgusting shredded paper bag I was still holding. I threw open the car door and stepped onto the curb, right as a man walked by. While he probably wanted to just keep walking, he sort of couldn’t, because a girl covered in vomit was now standing directly in his path.

“Are you OK?” he asked.

“Oh, I’m fine,” I said. Again, I try to barf like a lady, and, somewhere, somehow, I still thought I was carrying myself like a lady. And besides, it was only 6:00 PM and I wasn’t wearing heels or Greek letters.

“Just a little carsick.”

Eric returned to the car in about two seconds (I’m still trying to figure out how he did that so fast) and handed me a roll of paper towels to start cleaning up with. I got back in the car and he drove around the back side of the store, to the loading dock.

I’m not sure if he told me I needed to change out of my dress or if I realized it myself, but without a lot of conversation, that was the next thing on the agenda. There was no one around, but he stood shielding me from anyone who might drive by as I stepped out of the car, unbuttoned the dress, and stepped out of it. He handed me my cardigan, which, at this point, was pretty much a necessity, as the cut of that sundress makes it impossible to wear a bra.

“We need to toss this dress,” I said. I’ve only thrown up on myself one other time in my whole (adult) life, and that dress did not live to see another wearing. This was a $20 Target sundress and I wasn’t that interested in saving it.

“Don’t get rid of your dress,” he said. He handed me the Kroger bag and I put the dress in it, tied the bag in a knot, and tossed it in the trunk. Then I climbed back into the car wearing nothing but my cardigan, my lace panties, and my red cowboy boots, hoping desperately the ride home would somehow only take 15 minutes.

I should also add here that every other word out of my mouth this entire time was “sorry.” I mean, I did not envision the first time I stood in front of Eric wearing nothing but panties and cowboy boots would be under these circumstances, and I was beyond embarrassed. But for some reason, Eric refused to get even the slightest bit annoyed. He didn’t wince as we got back into the car; he didn’t even shame me by cracking a window.

I had hoped to stay awake for the entire drive home, because I most certainly would have been annoyed if the drunk ass I was driving home fell asleep after a similar series of events, but he didn’t seem to mind. The next thing I knew, it was dark, and we were in the parking lot of his apartment building. Then he was opening my door and holding a blanket for me to wrap myself in to walk into the apartment. As soon as I was awake, the apologies began again, but Eric still didn’t seem mad or irritated at all.

He ran a shower for me, and then came back to the bathroom to check on me. I was standing in front of the shower, waiting for it to get hot.

“Is it not warm enough?” he asked.

“No, it’s not,” I said. I leaned forward to try to make it hotter, and slammed my head right on the corner of the wooden cabinet that hangs over the toilet next to the shower.

“OW!” I screamed, clutching my head with one hand and trying to cover my naked chest with the other.

Eric winced at the sound my head made against the wood and again, I waited for the impatient exhale, the eye roll, or the “You’re a train wreck” snicker — I mean, I deserved it. But it never came. He really wasn’t judging me.

“Well, I don’t know what your appetite is right now, but do you want some dinner?” he asked.

“Like…?” All I could think about was pizza in that moment. I just needed pizza.

“We have one of those Newman’s Own pizzas in the freezer,” he said.

“Yes,” I said.

“I’ll turn the oven on,” he said.

I got into the relatively cold shower — I mean, in situations like these, the water will never be hot enough — and washed my face and body. Then I got out and brushed my teeth twice and fixed my hair, which was making me look more like a drowned rat, due to the damp sea breeze and, well, the vomiting. It didn’t take me long to clean up and put on warm, dry yoga pants and a long-sleeved T-shirt. I went into the living room, expecting to have to put the pizza in the oven, but Eric was standing in front of the oven, pulling what appeared to be a done pizza out of it.

Now, I knew I wasn’t exactly sober, but seeing Eric standing there pulling the pizza out of the oven made me wonder if I had also taken hallucinogens. Because Eric? Does not ever cook. If we are on the couch and a pizza is done cooking, he’ll come with me to take it out, mainly just so he can watch me bend over, but I have never, ever seen him pre-heat the oven, take a pizza out of the box and put it in said oven, set a timer, and then remove the done pizza from the oven. What he had just done was cook me dinner for the first time ever, and, despite how terrible I should have felt about everything, I suddenly had all these good feelings. I felt clean and dry and warm, and then just really safe.

I thanked him for the thousandth time and apologized for the millionth time, but he just kept dismissing my apologies, smiling like I was silly for even saying I was sorry and telling me it really was OK and not that big of a deal.

And maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it’s part of becoming Real, like the passage from The Velveteen Rabbit says. Maybe when someone really loves you, they don’t think twice about driving you home for an hour, when you’re totally out of it and covered in your own vomit. And maybe I’m not a total asshole for doing that and maybe he’s not a really good boyfriend for not getting upset with me over it.

But I’m pretty sure that I am and that he is, and I’m most definitely sure that it is a big deal — not the barfing, but everything that followed. Until Saturday, there hadn’t been much opportunity for Eric to take care of me like that, and, to be honest, I didn’t think it would happen for a long time, because I’m so used to taking care of myself. But even though I knew it would happen eventually, I didn’t know why it was so unnerving when it actually did.

I couldn’t put my finger on what I was experiencing. It felt like falling a little more in love, but that wasn’t quite right. I’m used to that. This was more like…falling more in trust. And I was overwhelmed by this, and the sense that I’d just gotten the answer to a really important question.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lauren February 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

This is very sweet. Not the vomiting, of course – but the feeling like you can be taken care of and trust your partner in a much deeper way. A few weeks ago I had a violent stomach flu and Jess gamely took care of me. Knowing that she’s seen me at my worst – and never once got impatient or annoyed, just like Eric was kind to you – is the best possible affirmation that she is an incredible woman and an amazing partner, and I want to be the same for her. Aww!

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2 Jacki @ TRB February 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

You know … this made me cry. Everything about love makes me cry lately, the good kind of crying where you realize you’re totally on the doorstep of that kind of love with someone who is more amazing than you ever expected, so the crying is not exactly an unusual or extreme reaction, I guess. This was just so touching to me, buffalo chicken/pink margarita vomit and all!

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3 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Awww…I love that you feel like you’re on the doorstep! That is so exciting and wonderful!!

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4 Stephanie February 21, 2011 at 9:56 am

Falling in trust. I am falling in love with that expression.

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5 Manon February 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

I’m with Stephanie…I just fell in love with “Falling in Trust”….and Eric is amazing. Clone him and send him to Iowa, PLEASE.

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6 Alison February 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Make that TWO to Iowa please!

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7 April February 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

And one to Michigan, please!

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8 Stephanie February 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

THREE from Iowa :)

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9 emily February 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

Who knew a puke story could be so cute?! This was actually really touching!

One of the first dates I went on with my now-husband (in high school) I got in a fight with a friend and proceeded to get ridiculous drunk. I couldn’t drive home – or function – so I slept at his house. The next morning I was having a conversation with his mom (our first ever) when I had to excuse myself so I could walk outside and puke on their flowers! I guess it’s a good thing I was easy? :)

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10 Meg February 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

I added a comment to EatLiveRun with a modified lowfat recipe for chicken wing dip, I swear on my life it tastes just as good if not better. Here it is for you and your readers enjoyment:

Poach the chicken in water and let cool, then shred with 2 forks or your fingers
Take 2 blocks neufchatel cream cheese, soften to room temperature in a mixing bowl
Add 1/2-3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (do NOT use wing sauce – people in Buffalo don’t, and you save yourself 20 calories per TABLESPOON) to the cream cheese, mix to combine
Add 1 cup Light Ranch Dressing (bonus: Kraft Light Done Right 3 Cheese Ranch) to cream cheese mixture
Stir in shredded chicken
Put in baking dish, top with 4oz shredded monterrey jack cheese
Bake at 375 until bubbling all the way through.

If you really LOVE bleu cheese, then use 1/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella with 2-3 tbsp crumbly bleu. But I think the monterrey jack does the trick.

I’m SO trying those blackberry margaritas though.

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11 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for sharing! I’m not sure I can stomach this dip again for a long time but I will keep this in mind the next time I do! Although, vomit-incident aside, light Ranch makes me feel BLECH. I think that might be worth the extra cals, unless it blends in here well enough here that you don’t notice it?

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12 Eunice February 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

Sigh… so romantic. Minus the vomit. I need to be a better girlfriend and not complain when I’m plunging the toilet because of Kohy.

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13 Caitlin February 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

OK so first of all, you told this story in such a fantastic way. I was laughing SO hard at the account of everything, especially the cardigan/lace panties bit. Oh my, life has a funny way of showing us things, doesn’t it?

I love that Eric was such a, well, man about all of this. Like you said, no judging, no whining, no annoyance – just love. It really is kind of amazing. And maybe, just maybe, I got a little choked up at the end. You guys give me hope.

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14 Kaley February 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

I think only you could make vomiting sound the least bit romantic. And that last pic? Adorable.

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15 Ana February 21, 2011 at 10:22 am

I just literally laughed for about twenty minutes! So funny. I have a very similar story, except for way more embarrassing. Imagine this: my boyfriend and I just started seeing each other. Things are not yet official; we are not yet calling each other boyfriend-girlfriend. In fact, all we are doing at this time is sleeping together. So one night at a party I get a little… hammered. So instead of going back to my dorm room and quietly sleeping the drunk off, I’m all like “Heeeyy, come back to my room, lets bang” or something equally ridiculous. So, he comes back and we are totally in the middle of you know, doing it and all of a sudden I realize that I am going to vom. What is a girl to do? Do I push him off of me, get dressed and run to the co-ed bathroom on my floor to puke with dignity, or do I puke into my paper basket forever being the girl who puked during sex? Of course, I choose to puke with dignity. So, I shove him off of me and start looking for something to wear. At this point, I can feel the vomit rising. I grab the first thing I can find and start putting it on. Of course it is his fucking boxer briefs, I start leaving the room, and he is like, “Um, don’t you think you need a top?” Fuck. So me being the genius that I am, I wrap myself in my dorm room rug, because at this point it seems like a great idea and still less embarrassing that puking right in front of him. So, lets recap, shall we? I am wearing this guy’s boxer briefs, and I am wrapped in a fucking rug, trying to fight back vomit. I start booking it down the hallway to the bathroom, praying that I don’t puke. I get to the bathroom, I open the door, I am so happy I made it, and then… I throw up all over the place, not making it to the toilet. I sit down on the floor in his boxer briefs and my dorm room rug, and think about what to do. It is like, four in the morning, do I call the cleaning lady, or is the next person who walks in here going to have a hilarious morning surprise? All of a sudden he walks in and instead of being all grossed out, he takes me to the stall and holds my hair back while I puke and puke and puke some more. Basically, he took care of me the entire night. Nice guy. Six years later and we are still together!

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16 D February 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

THAT is hilarious

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17 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

omg…the image of putting on the boxer briefs is really what killed me.

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18 Natalie @ Scarlett Notions February 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

Oh Ana…I just screamed with laughter at this at work. Awesome!

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19 MelissaNibbles February 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

First, I’m so sorry you got sick. Second, what a peach for telling you not to throw out your cute dress! And third, you sound so happy and in love. You deserve it.

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20 Melissa February 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

OMG you had me laughing out loud with the, “I climbed back into the car wearing nothing but my cardigan, my lace panties, and my red cowboy boots.” Too too funny!

It sounds like this guy is a serious keeper. And that falling into trust? I think you hit the nail on the head. It makes my heart happy to hear this.

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21 Erin February 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

I love the way you tell stories, Rachel!
I just had to comment, because I definitely had a similar experience. Falling more in trust is definitely right. I had been seeing my now-boyfriend for a few months when we went to a party at the end of our first year of law school. And for some glorious reason, I was having brunch with my parents the next morning. I’m almost positive I vom-ed all over his bed that night, but he never actually let me find out. He just moved me to the couch and had cleaned everything up. He also had to drive me home the next morning and we had to stop twice on a 7 minute drive, so that I could puke some more. It was so hideous. But he just laughed and said he loved me even more for some reason.
I was so shocked he didn’t want to run away, and also continued to apologize forever. Sorry, for filling your comments with stories of gross vom, but I’ve never had reason to tell that story!

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22 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

HA…he didn’t even let you find out?! That is so sweet!

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23 Erin February 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

It was sweet! But there is no other explanation for an incredibly messy guy deciding to wash his sheets while hungover.
Oh, and his excuse for my vomiting in a parking lot was morning sickness. So classy. You did a much better job of explaining.

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24 Laura February 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

I hate how cute this was. dude, he even made the attempt to save your dress… he’s a keeper.

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25 Heather February 21, 2011 at 10:42 am

dear Rachel –

this is one of those times, where I should just say, I’m sorry I’m not sorry…
because I’m about to admit something, here, to you.

I am teary.
I am sitting here. reading this post. teary.

You write the best love story.

xo
sappy mcsapperson

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26 Carolyn @ lovinlosing February 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

Awww! That’s so sweet! I remember when my husband was nervous to take a shower with me and when I was nervous to fart in front of him. In fact, I remember when I did finally fart in front of him and he thought it was so cool because now he knew I was comfotable around him. ;)

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27 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

Awwww. I think it probably IS falling more in love. I have felt that way so many times. I swear I can feel it in my heart, like a squeeze in my chest. There is something incredibly tender about a man taking care of you like that. Very sweet. <3

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28 Hayley February 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

This might be my new favorite post from you. I laughed out loud at the vomit fiasco- especially “are you OK?”… “just a little carsick.” Hilarious. Then by the end of the story I felt warm and fuzzy. You just made my Monday!

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29 Suzanne February 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

I too have puked in a paper bag in the car (on the way home from a hard cider tasting event). The moment when you realize it can’t stand up to your vomit…awful.

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30 marie February 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

I love this post Rachel! Your ability to tell a story is something to be admired. Keep ’em coming please :)

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31 Laura Georgina February 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

Never has a story about puking been so sweet–or sweetly told. I don’t know why we sometimes feel like we need to be so grateful to others for doing what we would do for them, but there’s something amazing about realizing that it’s all OK, and that they think no less of us for these little incidents.

If it makes you feel any better, my first REAL date with my man involved me inviting him to my house (I still lived with the family), drunkenly demanding he drink milk from the carton to go with the brownie I’d just hacked out for him, and then, as he started to declare his sweet, more than friends feelings, splendidly vomiting into the kitchen sink. And he still loves me. And I’ve only ONCE afterward puked in a sink again.

Good thinking on keeping the dress–you’ll definitely want that memory (once you deep-clean it, that is)…

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32 Cyndie February 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

I LOVED this story, Rachel. It made me pretty emotional.

Alex made me toast with strawberries the morning of my first-ever hangover. Before we were dating. Before we were FRIENDS even. I was just his roommates little sister (yeah, oops!). He brought me a glass of water with ibuprofen, telling me to keep sleeping. When I woke up, he had “hangover food” for me on the table.

I mean, it took like a year of friendship for us to actually date, but I definitely started falling in trust with him at that point.

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33 klh February 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

Sounds like a pretty great guy! Cute picture of yall! Glad the ending turned out ok : )

Katie : )

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34 Janna ~ Just Flourishing February 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

This was a great story. Very touching, vomit and all ;)

Reminds me of my own tale…I worked at my schools bookstore cafe in college and it was the night of our first work party. I had only planned to stay for a bit and made plans to meet up afterwards with a new guy I was dating. My work friends decided that the party would consist of everyone drinking Grey Goose straight from the bottle…after downing several bottles of wine, of course. Not a great combination for a lightweight such as myself. I literally had to be carried home. Not only did the guy not bail on me, he came over to my place and stayed with my friends in my room to take care of me while I alternated between passing out and puking. And he stayed with me all night.

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35 Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) February 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Rachel, I LOVE your blog! And this post was just fantastic… hilarious and adorable at the same time. And “falling in trust”?! That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard and describes it perfectly. So sorry you were sick! He definitely sounds like a keeper. :)

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36 Lauren at KeepItSweet February 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

First of all, you are such a good reader! Despite being grossed out by the visual of non-stop vomiting, I couldn’t stop reading this post. Eric sounds like he did an amazing job taking care of you, it is amazing what a guy will do when you are a wreck and and he loves you (by “you”, I mean all of us that have been there!).

Now you may not want to think about it, but how did you make your blackberry margaritas?

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37 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

This is the original recipe: http://eatliverun.com/blackberry-margaritas/

Despite never having problems with it before, I could not find limeade anywhere on Saturday morning before we got to the party, so I used raspberry lemonade instead and it worked great. And, like I said, I didn’t measure any ingredients this time around. Not sure I really recommend doing that.

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38 Cameo February 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I can so relate. I remember assing out in front of my BF for the first time…and second, and third, and it always amazed me when he stuck around to pick up the pieces and make it all better. I think it is about being real and about recognizing that even with all of our faults we are still lovable. And let me just say, you sound like a very adorable and entertaining vomit-covered, lady. With regards to “ladylike vomiting” – reminds me of NYE 2011 – I was at a party and had some of the ‘magic punch’ which knocked me on my arse. On the cab ride back to Queens I felt it coming on. So at every stop light I would nonchalantly open the door and vomit out the side and then close the door and politely say, “I’m fine. You can go.” I was so proud of myself for handling my vomit like, well, as you said, “A lady.”

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39 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

LIKE.

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40 SoupDragon February 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

That’s the sweetest pink tequila vomit-themed story I’ve ever read. :)

I have a similar tale. Only I didn’t throw up like a lady…

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41 amanda june February 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Somehow this is more romantic than any fancy sentimental Valentine’s Day weekend could’ve ever been.

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42 Rachael February 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm

If only Whole Foods was less sociably responsible and gave away plastic bags …

(Also, take it from the crowned car-sick queen … ALWAYS keep a solid plastic bag in the pocket behind the passenger seat. Forever 21 bags are the strongest. Plus, that bright yellow almost makes you feel cheery and excited after vomiting … especially when you think of all the cute sparkly tops.)

I threw up on my boyfriends’s $200 dollar cowboy boots when we first met (did you know mixing Bud Light and Jose Cuervo all night will end in vomit too, yeah you probably knew that already) along with my $2 Old Navy flip flops (what a contrast, right?) and he was kind enough to hose my feet off, carry me to the truck, present me with a stuffed animal he’d purchased earlier and then he still took me home to cuddle, of course he stuffed a bowl next to my head … just in case. 8 years later … he’s married to me and snatches tequila from my hands before I even have a chance to bust out the salt.

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43 Jena February 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

What a great boyfriend! I’ve been in a similar situation except it was reversed. I was the driver and then boyfriend(now husband) was hanging out the window of my mustang puking down the side of my car. .. I’ll refrain from more details. I did not clean the car, he did. No way jose, that was his puke and he was cleaning it up.. I have quite a few puke stories that involve him and not me.. Hmm.. One where I’m holding his head up so he doesn’t aspirate his own puke.. changing the sheets @ 2am bc he puked everywhere in the bed… Aww, love is so sweet.

You will look back and laugh..probably not now, but in a few years.

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44 MoneyMaus February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

This is SUCH an awesome story! Isn’t it funny when the stories that should gross you out end up being ridiculously endearing? :)

I’ve been dating a guy since the beginning of January. A week and a half ago, I caught a nasty virus/cold that took me out for about a week. Three days of it were particularly bad but he insisted on taking care of me: bringing me chicken noodle soup in a can and buying me Nyquil. On the third of the worst days, the virus hit me HARD: I had night sweats/chills, my body could barely move and I hadn’t showered in three days. Basically, I felt/looked like a disaster but he saw/took care of me at my absolute WORST. Falling in trust? Yes. In my case, it’s arrived before falling in love…and I like that. :)

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45 Sable February 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

:) This story made me smile, despite all of the bodily fluids ;) It’s so wonderful to be able to rely on another person and let yourself be taken care of.

I’m happy for you!!!!!!!!

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46 Kayla February 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Oh my god, this was one of the best reads I’ve had in quite a while.

I guess someone doesn’t really know you until you puke your drunkass guts out in front of them, no?

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47 Chrissy (The New Me) February 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

This is such a great story. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I got really drunk and spent an evening puking in his apartment, during a party. He held my hair back and was super sweet, and I thought this would be a great time to tell him, for the first time, that I loved him. And… I called him the wrong name. I *meant* his name, but we hadn’t been dating very long and, well, I was drunk and puking. Mortifying, but he forgave me and 8 years later we’re still together and in love! Also, I totally call him the right name all the time.

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48 Aj February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

This is so incredibly sweet. I have been in Eric’s position…(except with someone yelling out the car window for people on the street to “Go home!” and pulling over at the Washington Monument to prove we were in DC not Sacramento and for pulling over on the side of the highway for a close call and for sitting next to the toilet while hearing our cat get told “I hate you”and getting up the next day to go back to that same spot on the highway to look for a missing driver’s license just to find it in our apartment parking lot…but basically the same thing)…and it’s really awesome to realize that even though the person you love is acting not at all like the person you love, you still love them and maybe even you love them more because you love them despite all the nonsense they just put you through.

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49 Angela (the diet book junkie) February 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm

aw, i think it’s great that you’ve found such a great partner. it’s the times where the vomit comes out that you really learn about your relationship. ;)

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50 Leah (Nutritionista) February 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Eric is making me look bad for not being cool when Adrian was vomiting his life away a few months ago at the premiere after-party. Sorry I wasn’t as gracious a vomit-catcher. Or I mean, sorry I’m not sorry! He still owes me big time for that one.

But anyway, I mostly commented to say that these pictures are GORGEOUS!

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51 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) February 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

That is such a hilarious and adorable story. You have a keeper :-)

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52 maria @ Chasing the Now February 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Um, hello! Your boyfriend sounds AWESOME! Not even just like in the “I have a great boyfriend way” but in the “He’s a good guy” way.

Don’t give him up without a fight!

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53 Rachel February 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

my lord you are so Beautiful!! and I loved this story

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54 Angela February 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

He did very well. :D And yes, it is so lovely when you have that feeling, that you know you can trust someone to take care of you, that you can be your authentic self.

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55 Gracie February 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

RACHEL. I’m kind of dying right now.
One reason is because I cannot stop creepily staring at how gorgeous that last photo is/the two of you are.
The other reason is because your posts/stories always leave me hanging onto every word. You’ve been a favorite blogger of mine for a while, but you’re quickly becoming one of my favorite writers too.
Lastly, I’m slightly obsessed with reading about your love story. I don’t usually like using that term, “love story,” but that’s really what it is! I feel like I’m learning so much from your relationship experiences, so THANK YOU for sharing them.

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56 Rachel February 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I love this comment. Thank you so much!!

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57 Parita@myinnershakti February 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Rachel, this may sound strange, but that is a beautiful story! I love the whole falling more in trust thing because it’s “easier” to love than it is to fully trust (a lesson I’ve learned as well) someone. You are so cute! I look forward to reading your blog everyday! :)

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58 Katie February 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Rachel: completely endearing story. thanks for sharing!

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59 Jodi February 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm

As soon as I read Sweet Tea Vodka, I knew there was going to be trouble. I am embroiled in a dramatic love/hate relationship with STV. All my experiences end like this, minus the super sweet guy to mop me off and feed me. You’re a lucky girl, Rachel.

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60 jenna February 22, 2011 at 3:06 am

haha, same. my first blackout experience was with good ol’ firefly.

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61 Jackie (Peaces of Earth) February 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

TEAR. so very sweet

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62 Tara February 22, 2011 at 12:22 am

Um…you are so completely, ridiculously in love…and it’s so annoying. Good for you chica!!!

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63 Rachel's Mom February 22, 2011 at 12:35 am

I can’t believe Eric didn’t sigh or roll his eyes!

“Just a little carsick….” Funny business.

Good thing you didn’t have a “Worst Case Scenario” where Eric had an accident, and the police would have responded to you just wearing the panties, cardigan, and cowboy boots.

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64 Tara February 22, 2011 at 1:04 am

Rachel’s mom,

You are absolutely my most favorite person here on all things Rachel Wilkerson (sorry, Rachel). Obviously, without saying, you are so incredibly proud of how amazing your daughter is and I love that I’m saying this in response to YOUR comment on her blog about standing behind Kroger in cowboy boots and a cardigan. At least you taught her how to keep it classy because seriously, a cardigan is the perfect addition to class it up. Trust me, I am never left wondering where Rachel gets it from- and you know that’s a compliment!

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65 Rachel February 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

<3 <3 <3

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66 Rachel's Mom February 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Thanks, Tara.
It’s a good thing I understand her, or I’d just be mortified all the time!

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67 Allison February 22, 2011 at 1:36 am

Oh Rachel, I love this so much. Love how you made this both funny and sweet, love how Eric responded pretty much perfectly, love how frickin’ cute you two are!

And thanks for idea to wear cowboy boots with a sundress…my old boots bit the dust last year and I’ve been half-heartedly searching for a new pair. Now I’ll be searching whole-heartedly.

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68 Allison February 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

This was very sweet. Sometimes it really is the little things like putting the pizza in the oven that make alll of the difference- I totally get it. I would also like to say that I have thrown up on the same exact route as you after visiting the beach in Galveston, TX and heading back to Houston! Although mine was not tequila +dip enduced, it was from an allergic reaction to peanuts haha. But anyways, yay for vomiting twins?

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69 Brittney February 22, 2011 at 9:23 am

Ah, that was kind of painful to read! I definitely cringed a couple times. I hate when stuff like that happens! It did have a happy ending though, and Eric was awesome at handling at all. He’s a keeper!!

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70 Pippa February 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Man of gold, Rachel, man of gold!

I’ve been sorely shy of spilling all the details of my life, but reading your honest tale of your experience, and realizing how much it touched me, I’m having a rethink. Of course, your writing talent is UP there, which is something I aspire to.

And that last photo? Wow!

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71 DebZ February 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

great post. i totally know what you mean about falling into trust, and how overwhelming it can be to not have to be the supreme caretaker (especially of your sick self).

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72 Debbie @ Live from La Quinta February 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Three words: He’s a keeper

I had a similar thing happen years ago. I also had too many margaritas, managed to avoid barfing on myself, but had to have the car pull over so I could puke out the door. Spent the next day so hungover I couldn’t move (and we were on a labor day mini vacation!). That man? We’ll celebrate our 12th anniversary this October.

A keeper I tell you

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73 Krista February 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Awwwww, this post warmed my heart. I like the concept of “falling more in trust”.

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74 Sarah February 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I love this story. It seriously warmed my heart.

I’ve had similar experiences with my then-boyfriend (now fiance). The first being our first date. He invited me to go to a St Patty’s Day party with him at a friends apartment. I stuck to drinking the jungle juice (because nothing bad could ever go wrong there…). My 3 cups probably had the alcoholic equivalent of 6 cups. Anyway, I’m drinking, we’re dancing, boy is doing car-bombs and im smiley. I know that there is no way I will make it back to my dorm so I casually ask if I can stay at his place. Obviously this is totally fine. We leave a little while later and he helped me walk back to his apartment. This would later turn to him throwing me over his shoulder fireman style and carrying me the mile or so back. But, I digress, we get back to his apartment and we’re making out – I excuse myself to the bathroom because I need to puke. And from there I proceed to pass out on his bathroom floor. He comes in a little while later, after his friend had walked in and been shocked to find a girl there, scoops me up – sees me puke and then I cry about how embarrassed I am and how I am usually never like that. Turns out, whenever we went to parties at that apartment – I was always like that!

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75 Barbara February 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Isn’t it funny how it takes something like that to look at your boyfriend in a different way. Like you, I’m pretty independent and also have a “mothering” personality – I’m always the one taking care of my boyfriend Matt. So a year and a half ago, I went out drinking with friends and got a little too wasted on Long Island’s, since people kept ordering them and had to leave, so I was all “WHOO! Free alcohol! Don’t mind it I do!” My friends eventually called Matt to tell him to come pick me up (he stayed home because he wasn’t feeling well.) About halfway home, which is literally about 10 blocks from the bar, I felt REALLY sick and asked him to pull over. He refused since, with my luck, we were RIGHT by the police station. So he drove another block and pulled over.

I mentioned he stayed home because he was sick. So while I leaned out of the car and tossed my 4 Long Island’s, he was reached over, rubbing my back and quietly gagging every time I heaved. Then we got home, he put me to bed. The next morning was the moment I fell in trust that he could take care of me and I could depend on him – it was the worst hangover of my life and I was stuck in the place where I felt too sick to eat anything and had such a headache but couldn’t take anything on an empty stomach. I also couldn’t sit up. So I laid there pitifully for a while before he ran to the store and picked up a box of Cheerio’s and sat there for the next hour slowly slipping dry Cheerio’s between my lips until the room stopped spinning. We’re still together (May will be 2 1/2 years since we met) and even though I mostly take care of him, between the Long Island incident and this past fall’s upper respiratory infection, I have no doubt in my mind that he can take complete care of me when I need him to.

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76 kate February 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I have to put mine in here… since all the other stories are so great. I was at a party while my fiancee (then BF) was at the red sox game. We had a planned booty call at my place, because at the time I lived right by Fenway. It was the end of the school year and we played drinking games with “whatever alcohol people had left” which included, for some reason, A LOT of Wild Turkey. I kept texting him asking when he would get done at the game, so I could leave and we could, you know, do it. I didn’t want to be incoherently drunk at that point, but that was where things were going.
Finally when the game ended, I booked it out of there, and convinced my friends I was able to BIKE home (about a mile). Needless to say, drunk girl took a dive down the middle of mass ave – people were stopping to try and help me, and all I could think was OH GOD I AM SO DRUNK. When I made it to my place, the boy was there, unawares as to my predicament…I told him I “had a little tumble” and “might have hurt myself”. He calmly helped me into my sorority bathroom and got my jeans off to reveal my totally busted and bleeding knee….then when down to the kitchen to find me some frozen pees to put on it, and helped prop me up so I could sleep. I remember how sweet he looked, he had gotten us ice creams to have for dessert, which of course I could not eat. And the planned booty call did not take place, naturally, due to my injured state. He’s a champ.

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77 Michelle @ michellegmason.com/blog February 24, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Rachel – I literally have the exact same puke-in-the-car story, except I wasn’t drunk (just hungover), and instead of having a 75-minute drive, we had an 11-hour drive (back to NYC from Ohio). And it was a rental car. In December, so rolling down the car windows was not an option. My nauseous-ness didn’t subside after the first puke, either, so I proceeded to vomit several more times into my WATER BOTTLE during the drive as my husband and dog looked on.

Worst day ever.

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78 Rachel February 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm

HOLY SHIT. You win.

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79 Nicole February 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I’m soo far behind (life is crazy sometimes!) but I just wanted to comment. This is an awesome story. not the vomit part, but, you know…the “falling in trust” part. I had a similar experience with margaritas and I was mortified because it was WAY past my drunken prime, and as many times as my boyfriend had seen me tipsy, he’d never seen me so drunk that I was power vomiting. On everything. He also smiled, and said, “it’s really not a big deal, it’s happened to all of us” as he held my hair back and listen to me sob my apologies. We had already been together a few years when this happened, so I already knew he was a good guy, but since I never drink like that, I was afraid he’d be like, “WTF?”
It’s a good feeling to know that he cares about you. Looks like, more and more, you made the right choice. He’s a keeper :)

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80 Kaitlin With Honey February 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I’m not going to lie… this post kind of made me tear up. Who knew? A vomit story with an adorable ending.

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81 Rachel February 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm

CUTEST COUPLE AWARD. For real. And I couldn’t be more happy for you <3 Great story!

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