I'm going to refrain from posting any of the videos I found relating to this post. Because all of them end in puke.
Last Sunday, I was talking to one of the kids at church, an 18-year-old boy. Let's call him J to protect his privacy. J told me how much he hates bananas and we started talking about food loathings, which led to my detestation of milk. I literally cannot stomach the stuff. I can eat it on cereal, on occasion. And very very very rarely, I will dip Ooreos in it. But, mostly I drink water. Unlike several other foods that make me retch at the thought of passing them through my lips, I know why I hate milk. It all started the summer before I turned 18.
That summer, I stayed in Vegas with my cousin Jen for a couple of months. I no longer have any idea how it started, but two of our friends bet us that we couldn't drink a gallon of milk in an hour and keep it down for an hour. We both looked at each other, looked back at them, looked at each other again and said, "Are you serious? How hard can it be?" Because honestly, in Vegas in the summer, it's pretty easy to put a few quarts of fluids in your system on a hot day. And it was a hot day. And we both liked milk. And since I've always been pretty cocky and sure I was capable of anything, I agreed. Jenne, being smarter than me hesitated a little, but figured it was a slam dunk.
We pulled two gallons of milk from the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table. There was chit chat, a serenade or two, lots of bantering and cup after cup of milk went down. We were having a great time, feeling pretty cute and pretty sassy, showing the boys how it's done. As if we weren't awesome enough to win this simple bet. Whatever. . .It's funny. I totally remember knowing that I was capable of this. Not based on past experience or anything, just the overconfident vanity that strikes most teenagers. Some harder than others. And oh my, how I was stricken.
Lucky for me, there is a rapid descent into the pit every single time I allow pride to get the better of me. I know, I'm so blessed.
And the milk was no different. Because 2 quarts went down nice and smooth. We were still laughing and joking. I suspect we were even flirting with the boys. And then we started on quart number 3. 10 cups into the gallon- more than 1/2 way through- and it was sitting in my stomach like a brick. Jen, being smarter than me and also now more humble, quickly realized that if she didn't want to puke, she'd butter stop drinking and fast. And she didn't want to puke. She hates to puke. She calmly asked one of the boys to return her undrunk milk to the fridge, almost half full. The green was in her gills, but the milk did not come up.
I, being stupid and arrogant, felt the milk sitting in my stomach like a glob of wet cement and decided that I was no quitter. I would drink it down and keep it down, no matter what. Mom, you can at least be proud for instilling the tenacious tendencies. . .I think.
11 cups down, my stomach felt like I had eaten a whole turkey, feathers on. It was swollen and extremely painful and I was starting to feel some serious queasiness creeping up my throat. So I waited a few minutes. I figured I still had 25 minutes to drink 5 small little cups of milk. And as I poured another cup out, there were murmurs of respect from the boys. They were impressed by my abilities. Jenne, feeling nauseated, just cringed. She may have even begged me to stop. But, with 5 measly itsy bitsy cups of milk, only 40 oz of 164 left, I could feel the victory.
And I started to sip, because my throat was catching, making it almost impossible to swallow. Which in hindsight, really should have been a clue.
I was almost to the bottom of the 12th cup when I gagged. I could feel myself gagging so I breathed deep, sucking in air to stave off a full on puke. To no avail. And suddenly, I knew I was dead in the water. I hurled myself from my chair, leaped across the kitchen, and careened down the hallway, slamming into the floor with my face in the toilet as 3 quarts of milk solids spewed back up. Yes, spewed. Like a white lava volcano. Chunk after chunk, it caught in my throat as my body desperately expelled it.
I don't remember ever being so sick in my life. And mad that I lost. And pissed that the boys were howling with laughter in the other room. And mortified that I couldn't stand up and wash my face because my stomach was a distended agonizing fire ball.
After telling J this story, his exact words were, "I could totally drink a gallon of milk in an hour." So of course, I bet him $100. Because being older and wiser has some benefits. One of them is the sure knowledge of an easy $100.
Even better, he pulled someone else in on the bet. J is motivated. After one more warning for me, which was met with my very own words of, "How hard can it be? Honestly, you have no idea how much I can eat," he has $200 riding on his stomach being 3 times the size of an average human. And let me reassure you, notsomuch. Honestly, every time he opens his mouth to tell me how easy it's going to be, I can hear the exact words I was thinking so many years ago when I sat down with my first cup of a newly opened gallon. A tune I no longer whistle, to be sure.
I just hope that I am not so soft in my old age that I can't break into peals of laughter when he is doubled up, crying from the agony that is milk which turns solid when it hits stomach acid. Because it would be such a pity if I actually felt sorry for the kid.
It's going down Friday night. I've already told you how it ends. I just hope I don't start puking when he starts puking. 45 months of morning sickness in 7 years will do that to a girl.