This week is my Uncle Richie & Aunt Carrie's 29th wedding anniversary. Which means that it's also the 29th anniversary of my first hangover.
I'll save you from having to do the math - I was 13. Just a touch under the drinking age.
This isn't going to be a bleak and sordid tale of teen alcoholism, so you can relax. It was 1983, and like many things that happened in the 1970s and 80s, it was a tale of adults not paying very close attention to the kids. With a bit of adults thinking, "oh, what the hell," thrown in there.
It all started during the formal photos after the ceremony and while the non-members of the wedding party were all at the cocktail hour. (I was a junior bridesmaid. The dress was lavender and floor length and incredibly tasteful for 1983.) The bride & groom had a lot of formal photos taken, and I'm sure it didn't help that photographers have no idea how to cope when the bride is a foot shorter than the groom. (There was a lot of making him stand in the gutter to lessen the height difference, but keeping their feet in the shot so that it was totes obvs.) This was a lengthy process that didn't require everyone's participation.
After a while, my Aunt Bea decided that the best way to pass the time was to introduce me and my cousin Kristen to champagne. (I'd had it before, but never in a "here, have all you want," way.) One hour and three bottles later, it was time to go down to the reception.
Where Kristen and I hung out with her two brothers and another cousin. Every time one of the guys went to the bar to get us drinks (3 beers and 2 champagnes), the bartender just handed them over.
It was 1983.
It was also a yacht club, so it may also have been completely legal at the time.
I can tell you nothing about the food, the music, the first dance, any of those things that people remember about weddings. But the champagne? Yes, this is a thing that I remember.
The next day was a Monday and my parents had decided in advance that we wouldn't have to go to school since we'd be out late at the wedding. My mother had also concocted a nice idea involving going out for brunch.
At 3pm, she woke me up, furious that I hadn't gotten up yet, killing the whole brunch thing.
Now, have you ever had a champagne hangover? It's not so much the alcohol, but the sugar. I thought I was going to die, or worse - live. You know, all the cliches about first hangovers.
And my mother did make me shower and get dressed and leave the house in this state. Because brunch. I'm also not sure exactly when she discovered that I was hungover. Because she didn't notice that I was drunk at the reception because I was off with my cousins the whole time.
And now we come to the part of the tale where you expect me to say that I never drank enough to get hungover again. But...no. I'd like to say that it was the last time I got drunk on champagne because of the sugar hangover, but there was a New Years Eve in my early 30s, shortly after I'd discovered Veuve Clicquot.
When was your first hangover?