I throw up kind of a lot. If it were acceptable to put Expertise in Vomiting on a resume, I totally would. Because it happens often. If I have a headache that goes unmedicated, I throw up. If I’m terribly nervous or stressed, I throw up. If my body decides it doesn’t like that I drank alcohol the previous night, I throw up (do note, however, that I’ve never once thrown up the night of drinking). And mind you, this doesn’t only happen when I overindulge. I’ve spent hours vomiting the day after drinking two glasses of wine at dinner the night before. There’s no rhyme or reason to it…my body is “special.”
That all being said, I have quite a bit of experience throwing up. Below are some of the stand-out places I’ve vomited in my lifetime.
Age 7, on my best friend at a performance of the Phantom of the Opera.
In first and second grade, I had chronic headaches. The cause was eventually revealed to be my need for glasses, but until that was discovered, I often suffered from terrible headaches that generally caused me to throw up.
It was during this period that my very best friend Vanessa invited me to a performance of The Phantom of the Opera with her family. I was elated. Even at the tender age of seven I was a musical theater nerd. The afternoon leading up to the show, I started to feel a whisper of a headache, but I was so excited I decided to ignore it instead of telling anyone. That evening after school we got all dressed up and ready to go; I remember admiring the pretty white lace dress my friend wore.
By the time we arrived at the theater, my head was unbearably bad. I finally told Vanessa’s parents, but they brushed it off, saying that I’d be fine once the show started. We sat in our plush red velvet seats and the curtain rose. It couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes in to the show that things became dire. I really couldn’t help it.
I threw up.
All over that fancy velvet chair, all over my friend in her lovely white dress. I’ve blocked most of the aftermath from my memory, but I do know we were quickly ushered out of the theater and I spent the rest of the night languishing on the couch, embarrassed beyond belief. And to this day, I’ve never seen Phantom of the Opera in its entirety.
Age 8, at home, dressed in my Halloween costume.
Like most little girls at the time, I was obsessed with American Girl dolls. I remember running down to the mailbox many afternoons, hoping a catalog from the Pleasant Company had arrived. If indeed there was one, I would immediately plant myself in the grass near the curb, slowly paging through that catalog, admiring all the dolls and their outfits and myriad accessories.
After coveting the dolls in that catalog for what felt like an eternity, I received my very own Samantha doll. From the time I got her until about age 13 (against my teenage self’s wishes), I was gifted American Girl paraphernalia every Christmas and birthday. The outfits, the furniture, the props, the books… The cult of American Girl definitely had me (and my mom) in its clutches.
Needless to say, one Halloween I insisted on going as Samantha. In addition to all the doll items, American Girl sold child-size clothes and it was my dream to get the sailor outfit she had. Traditionally, my mom sewed our Halloween costumes herself, so it was a big deal to purchase one. I was so proud of that white sailor dress with navy trim and jaunty little matching cap. I was so enamored with it I even looked past the thick, terribly itchy ribbed stockings that were a part of the outfit.
But wouldn’t you know, come Halloween evening I had a headache. It was unseasonably warm in Cleveland that year; I remember I didn’t even need a coat over my costume. I wanted desperately to go trick-or-treating all dolled up like Samantha and I really tried my very best to rally. But I only made it to the neighboring houses before rushing home to throw up. I spent the remainder of the night wallowing in bed. Thankfully I’d learned to better aim in the year since the Phantom debacle, so my beloved costume made it out of the ordeal scot-free.
Age 14, on an airplane, coming back from Orlando.
I learned firsthand that those barf bags on planes do come in handy. It was freshman year of high school and I was on the way back from a few days at Disney World with my Dad and little sister (and don’t you dare knock me for going to Disney World when I was 14, that place is magical at any age!). It was fall and Homecoming was right around the corner. This was my first introduction to the “big, important, exciting” high school dances and I wanted so badly to go. Most of my friends had already been asked – even the cynical, anti-school spirit ones (much to my chagrin) – and I was absolutely tortured that no one had asked me.
I was so worked up over not having a date I made myself physically ill. As I often do, I tried to push back the feeling of sick, but about halfway through the flight, I couldn’t do it anymore. At least I had the wherewithal to grab that barf bag in the seat pocket. I held on to the damn thing, full of my sick, for the rest of the flight because I was too embarrassed to let a flight attendant dispose of it.
The story does have a relatively happy ending. I ended up taking matters into my own hands and just asked a boy myself. I cornered the poor fellow outside the science building and thankfully he said yes. I wore a floor length red gown and in true fashion, I spilled cheese all down the front of it at a fondue restaurant before the dance.
Posted: Thursday, June 7th, 2012 @ 4:46 pm
Tags: American Girls, growing up, The Phantom of the Opera, words.
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