The Morning After: The Oriental Rug Incident



It was a couple days after Christmas and my sister and I were at my parents’ cherished retirement pad in Florida. I was hungover and menstruating, so basically my mouth and vagina tasted like cat piss and pennies. We decided mimosas were in order… until I had a sip, remembered single handedly slamming a bottle of bubbly the night before and replaced the champagne with vodka. My mother came home two hours later, and was not happy that A. I had broken into her emergency alcohol supply (this actually exists) and B. that we had decided to get drunk before noon rather than returning/exchanging Christmas presents for her like we said we would three days in a row now.

The two man party kept going until 7 p.m., eight hours later, and somehow we convinced our dad to drive us to a local bar to watch a highly anticipated NFL game. In exchange, we would let him have our McFlurries that were in the freezer. (Also, true.)

The first thing I did when I walked into the bar was buy a waitress’ entire tray of Jell-O shots. The following things also happened at the bar that night: My sister, 21, made out with a 60 year old bartender for a free bag of Jay’s potato chips, I face planted in front of a young family having dinner and the mother says to her daughter “do not talk to that woman”, and as my father pulls in to pick us up I have my pants around my ankles (definitely on the rag), pissing in the parking lot terrace and using the hands of two old geezers to balance myself. (Apparently I had called my dad to tell him he couldn’t eat my McFlurry afterall and spoke like “someone had stapled my tongue to my chin” therefore, he felt compelled to come get us. A**hole.). Meanwhile, my sister is sitting Indian style in a handicap parking spot across from a child who couldn’t be older than twelve, ripping menthol cigarettes and telling him about the Christmas presents she got.

My father got out of the car, collected his two homeless slut daughters, and took us home. Apparently I tried to make my own McFlurry when we get home and left two cartons of ice cream out overnight on my mother’s antique wooden table. I also must have opened a bag of chocolate chips and ran around the house doing the helicopter because they were EVERYWHERE, including in my seventeen year old dog’s food bowl, the next morning. Oops.

Anyway, I woke up around 1 p.m. the next day feeling not good (I literally think childbirth will feel like a fart after this hangover) and walked out into the living room area blissfully unaware of the storm that was awaiting me. I said good morning to my mother whose response came in the form of stopping in her tracks, pivoting in slow motion, and staring at me with a mix of utter disgust and genuine pity for a solid ten seconds. No words. My sister motioned me over to the couch with saucer eyes and whispered, “you went to the bathroom on mom’s oriental rug last night,”  as she choked, basically gagging, on stifled laughter. My jaw dropped and out of the corner of my eye, I see that the rug is indeed rolled up and standing against the porch door.

In the next few minutes, with jaw still dropped, I vacillate between feeling utterly horrified and thinking this is the funniest thing I have ever done. (Really mature.) However, there was a serious miscommunication between my sister and me, because while she was trying to tell me that I pissed on the carpet, I, for some sick reason, was under the impression I went #2. So, without further ado, I decided that my best approach is to pretend that I remembered what I did, that I was mortified and sickeningly remorseful. So I went up to my mother who was at the stove making lunch, tapped her on the shoulder and actually uttered this sentence:

“I am so sorry I pooped on your rug last night.”

She tossed the spatula onto the counter and started running around the house inspecting the rest of the rugs screaming, “where is the sh*t? WHERE IS YOUR SH*T? Jesus Christ, you’re like some kind of animal!” At this point I realized I had not in fact taken a dump on the floor. That was simulataneously the best and worst realization of that year.

“No mom, I didn’t. I thought that’s what happened but I guess I just peed.”

“Just peed, Suzy Just PEED? I walked out here in the middle of the night, and you are buck naked, barely standing, peeing all over my grandmother’s rug.” At this point she proceeded to show me what I looked like; my mother, a little waif in a taffeta pant suit, waddling back and forth, bending slightly backwards, with her hands bent up at her chin and her tongue hanging out like a drunk, dying stegoceras. “You were so incapable of standing up that you looked like a jumbo shrimp urinating all over my house.” At this point my sister is behind my mother literally suffocating herself with a pillow trying not to lose it. If it didn’t hurt so bad to laugh, I would have cracked. I am sure of it. But my heartbeat was in my eyes, my brain in my ass, and my vital organs barely keeping afloat somewhere in between. “And you just stared at me, Suzy, like a goddam freak. And your f’ing tampon string was dangling between your legs, like you were some kind of wind-up doll. What would you have done if your father had walked out and you’re standing there with no clothes on and a wet rope hanging from your vagina?” (Um, probably physically fought him for the rest of the ice cream, I’m thinking.) “It was disgusting, Suzy. You just stood there, laughing, pissing all over like it was your job. Like it was your goddam destiny. I HAD TO WIPE YOU, SUZY. I HAD TO WIPE MY GODDAMN TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER.”

And with that comment, my sister lost it and the only thing that I could muster was “at least I didn’t poop.” Disgusted, my mother stormed into her bedroom and slammed the door. It was only after the smell of burning garlic took over the house that my sister and I realized we needed to stop cackling in order to prevent the house from burning down. The odor must have hit my mother at the same exact time, because she came out, saw my sister and I frantically tossing water all over the kitchen, and started laughing – hard. We made amends, and decided it was almost 2 p.m. and therefore time to hit the bottle. We were on vacation, after all, and in some twisted way, celebrating the fact that I hadn’t scattered my feces all over the house seemed right.

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