How To Handle Being Hungover In Public

You’re standing in line at the grocery store buying a roasted veggie wrap and a kombucha, as if that small dose of health is going to somehow undo the large volume of whiskey and beer that you ingested all weekend. The line, which seems like it will last forever, is at a screaming halt because the cashier and person in front of you seem to think that their small talk is more important than actually ringing up the damn sale. It’s taking all of your will power to not let out a “Are you fuckkkkkking kidding me?”

And then, because God is already throwing you zero bones today, you hear the following dreadful sentence come from the person behind you: “Hey, how are you?!” Be it an old teacher, your mom’s friend, your hairdresser, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that you’re hungover, you’re in public, and you need to get it together. After all, you don’t want to put out the Sunday vibe of “I just devastated my body for the past three days because I’m unhappy at my job and pretty much live for the weekend.” You want to appear as a fully functioning member of society who makes a good impression on anyone you see.

So, when you’re hungover and casually small-talking with an acquaintance in public, how do you ensure to not appear hungover and disheveled? Allow me.

Avoid Eye Contact

Be honest with yourself: if you’re hungover, your eyes are probably pretty shot. And when your eyes are shot and you lock into hard eye contact with someone, you feel like they’re literally staring into the depths of your soul and analyzing everything you did over the weekend (even though they have no fucking idea and you’re just rocking hard Sunday Scaries). If you have to, just stare at their eyebrows or bridge of their nose to ensure minimal pupil-to-pupil action.

Gum. Gum. Gum. 

The last thing you want is to turn around and breathe Fireball onto an unsuspecting person. The most surefire way to analyze the depth of a person’s hangover is by seeing if their breath smells like a moonshine operation. Yeah, you can brush your teeth and tongue all you want, but if you really indulged over the weekend, you’re going to need to call in the gum reinforcements to get your breath game on point.

Ask Questions

You know what’s not fun when you’re hungover? Getting put on the spot. Your brain isn’t operating at a high frequency, and the best way to deflect from your stupidity is by putting the ball in their court. How’ve you been? Where are you living now? How’s the family? Are you still big into golfing? Just anything that doesn’t allow them to ask you a question that makes you look like the wide-eyed emoji while you rack your brain for relevant information.

Be Brief

Brevity is close to godliness when you’re riding shotgun on the struggle bus. If they deflect your questions and force you to run the conversation, don’t drone on like your 9th grade social studies teacher. You’re bound to fuck up somewhere and/or run the risk of making zero sense at all. Stick to what you know and be the strong silent type. Coming off as an uninterested dickhead is better than coming off as a drunk.

And, under ZERO circumstances do you tell them that you’re tired and/or hungover.

Hands. In. Pockets.

Do you really want to get caught in the “I don’t know what to do with my hands” territory? If you went big over the weekend (and let’s face it, you went BIG), then your hands are either shaking or sweating. There’s no middle ground here.

If you’re forced to shake their hand, you wipe your hand on your coat or pants and act like it was wet from touching something in the drink aisle. After that, return to pocket position and stay there for the duration.

“It was great seeing you.”

If you drop the “It was great seeing you” bomb, it effectively ends the conversation and allows you to turn around and go back to being your hungover self. Every part of you wants to do an about face and get out of the situation, so implementing some friendly closure is a must on all levels. Always be closing.

And if that doesn’t work? Then everyone’s just going to think you’re a hungover degenerate with no self-worth or motivation in life. Just kidding. But not really.