Seven years, eight months, and 27 days. That's how far I got in my goal for a Puke-Free Decade. So tantalizingly close.
It all started on Boxing Day 2002: my 17 and 1/2 birthday. I was working my high school job selling tickets at the Duluth Omnimax Theatre when I started feeling odd. I was desperate to go home, but I had promised my big brother that I would comp tickets for him and his friends to see Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure at our 8:00 show. Shortly before he arrived, I upchucked. They came walking through the door joking and demanding a behind-the-scenes tour. "I can't," I groaned. "Jake, please take me home. I might die soon."
He refused, dedicated to learning about Shackleton's frigid plight. Then I upchucked again about 10 minutes into the show. I dragged myself up the stairs to find him at the top of the theater so I could stage whisper, "Jake. I'm begging you. I really need to go home. Please, for the love of Shackleton, take me home." Finally, he acquiesced.
I celebrated a much happier half-birthday the next year, and realized that it had been a whole year since I had puked. Then it was two, and then three years, despite my introduction to college drinking in general and UV Blue in particular. In '06 I had a Four More Years party, wherein my brother's friends tried to make me take shots and ruin my streak.
But nothing could ruin my streak. I apparently had a stomach of steel. Sure, there were times when I went one past my three-drink-per-night quota when I felt awfully dizzy and nauseated, but I refused to give in. Once I hit the five-year mark I set myself on a new goal: The Puke-Free Decade.
It seemed so easy, so attainable... until I jolted awake at 1:26 last night with terrible pains in my tummy. I rolled over, trying to find a more comfortable position. This wasn't just a normal stomachache, though. I felt an urge my body hadn't experienced in the entire life of the average second grader. "Am I really going to vom?!?" I thought to myself as I raced to the porcelain telephone. "I'm really going to vom! Noooooooooooo!"
I won't describe what happened next, other than to say it wasn't pretty. I trudged back to bed and wept salty tears of disgust and defeat. I mentally cursed everything I'd eaten that day, especially the sausage rolls appetizer I'd wolfed down at Brit's Pub last evening. I won't say they're full of poison, but I'm pretty sure they're full of poison.
Now I feel worthless. My Puke-Free Decade was the one thing I had going for me, the one thing that made me special and interesting. I have no reason to celebrate my half-birthday anymore. The streak was the perfect reason to throw myself a party. Celebrating your half-birthday for its own sake is just weird.
Sigh. I guess I'm seven hours in to my new streak...