Valentine's Day, 2000. New Orleans.
It was my 3rd date with Keith, who would go on to be my boyfriend for 2 years. Keith had all the credentials I was looking for in a boy: 1) He had good looks 2) He had a car 3) He had multiple piercings 4) He had a record 5) The most serious of the charges, 4 counts of attempted rape, had been dropped.
So obviously, I was in love.
I've always really enjoyed Valentines day. I like candy. I like flowers. I like love. I LOVE wine. What's not to like?
Not knowing where he was taking me on our Valentine's day date, I was very meticulous about my outfit. I settled on this shiny deep blue velveteen mini-skirt two-piece that looked purple in some light, and 3 inch white heeled sandals. I looked trashy enough to go anywhere in New Orleans.
Armed with the carton of cigarettes I had carefully selected earlier that day for him as a gift, I was ready. If not at all classy.
He picked me up and presented me with roses, a mix tape, and a necklace. I was appropriately shocked/grateful/sheepishly apologetic for the missing packs of cigarettes that had mysteriously made their way into my purse. We then drove to the bar where he worked for pre-dinner drinks.
Now, I know this may be hard to believe, but there was a time when I didn't drink that much.
Yes, it's true.
And I certainly wasn't a big vodka drinker. Perhaps because I was nervous, perhaps because I was thirsty, perhaps because I was a moron, I slurped down two big vodka tonics in about half an hour.
By the time we got to the restaurant, (which was one of the best in New Orleans), I was more than a little tipsy.
We were seated in an outdoor courtyard amongst some of New Orleans finest. Keith ordered a bottle of wine, two turtle soups (delicious!), and I got half a chicken.
We drank the first bottle of wine in a matter of minutes. Out came the second bottle. Now, I must explain that i have a serious issue eating in front of people, particularly boys I like. I will address this problem in a future post, but I would just as soon everyone believe that I exist by photosynthesis.
I have never had a problem drinking in front of anyone, particularly boys I like.
We are now on the third bottle of wine. Because I have this eating issue, I had had maybe two bites of soup and one bite of my chicken. I had probably at this point had 5 full glasses of wine and two vodka tonics. I was shitfaced.
All of a sudden, I remembered something.
I had my period. But because I was weird and hadn't yet figured out how to put in a tampon, and because of the nature of my outfit, I had decided to just fold a bunch of toilet-paper into my underwear. I never claimed to be a smart girl.
I stood up.
You know when you stand up and the whole world flips and spins and you go rushing into the vortex of hell? I took a deep breath, and then teetered around the courtyard, briefly stopping at a table occupied by an elderly couple to check in on them during their date. I then tried to sit on the gentleman's lap.
Keith watched the whole thing, and found this all hilarious. The waitstaff, however, did not. The manager collected me off of the geriatric patients lap and escorted me to the Ladies Room.
I proceeded to hurl my face off.
I then made the executive decision to spend the night in the toilet, and laid my head down on the seat and passed out.
The next thing I remember is Keith busting into the stall holding a glass of wine and a cigarette. I remember him setting down the glass of wine. Still smoking, he picked me up like a rag doll and stuck his finger down my throat.
I barfed some more.
Then i heard:
"Oh my God! Is your nose is bleeding?!"
Even as I wiped vomit off of my forehead, I realized what had happened.
The tissues I had stuffed in my panties had fallen out onto the floor, and Keith, bless his soul, thought my nose was bleeding.
Post Script: I told him I loved him. He quoted True Romance in response. Thus kicked off a trend that would continue with all of my boyfriends.