Last week me and some Dirty Old Women got together for some happy hour and some sangria and some eating in between. If you live in the peninsula, I highly recommend the happy hour at Mantra, as well as many pitchers of the sangria at Joya as you can possibly handle. We would have ordered Pitchered No. 3 had it not been for a rather daunting moment that took place near the close of our GNO.
So we’re just about finishing up the red pineapple sangria (We had the white peach sangria first.) when we notice a tall woman teetering toward the restroom. In her pencil skirt and matching blazer, it was quite obvious that she must have come to Joya right after work. She was clearly not “clear,” and looked incredibly unstable. With her hands feeling the wall, she followed the hallway to the back, and by this time, every table in the more private area of Joya was focusing on this odd scene of a woman. It was strange. It didn’t make sense that a lone person would be walking around so poorly without any sort of assistance from his or her dining party.
A gentleman (obviously on a date) near our table rose and walked up to the woman, asking “Are you okay? Do you know where you are?” It was impossible to watch her and not presume that she was hammered out of her mind, but we tried to assume positive intent and debated the probability of her being nauseous or experiencing a spell of inertia.
And then she fell.
FACEFLOOR, really. Her entire body slammed down on the floor where she lay, unmoving, for probably a solid one to two minutes.
With her high heels she must have been 5’8″ to 5’10”. It seemed utterly impossible for any one of us to expect the possibility of a grown woman collapsing on the floor, let alone one so tall and still showing the well-groomedness of the Peninsula yuppy workday.
While people rushed to her side, someone said “Call 911!” I got up and found the hostess, told her someone had collapsed, and followed as she got the manager. By the time the manager and I had reached her body (Sounds so extreme, doesn’t it?), someone had already called for an emergency.
Side story: Some random woman whirled around, locked her eyes on me, and asked, “Do you work here?” I told her no, gestured at the manager and said, “He does. I just called him over.” She whirled around on me again and said “Someone needs to call 911.” Seeing as how two people were just putting away their cell phones, I said “It looks like someone already did.” She whirled around to face the fallen woman again.
She must have seen my black shirt and assumed I worked for Joya. Allow me to be the first to admit that I have too much acne to be a waitress in a double-to-triple dollar-sign restaurant. There is a reason I work in computer retail. Anyway.
The whole group of people surrounding the girl, minus the manager and the guy who must’ve just won 1,000 Brownie points on his date, was just a bunch of rubberneckers, so I went back to sit down. Suddenly the fire department arrived. By now the girl had come to, and she was seated at the fortunately empty booth in the back. They spoke with her, took her blood pressure, had her stand up with the cuff still on her arm, and continued to talk with her.
Things had nearly returned to normal among all the tables surrounding the episode. We had just gotten over the “Okay, maybe we don’t need to order any more alcohol” stage and passed through the “Let’s be fair, maybe she’s just woozy or something” phase. Then one of the girls across from me announced “Oh no, now she’s throwing up.”
By now a tall older man who we all gathered to be her boss was stuck pulling back her hair while the firemen collected her vomit with the restaurant’s dishwashing towels. It was such a scene. The way the older man looked at her, he was clearly disgusted and also very obviously not emotionally attached to her in a special way.
We discussed how maybe hitting her chin (assumed since she was rubbing it earlier) may have caused a concussion that may have caused the vomiting. We didn’t need to discuss how embarrassing it was to be That Girl throwing up in the corner. Based on our lip readings, she rose her head to continue telling the firemen how she didn’t know what had happened or how it had happened. Digging into my purse, I said, “Let’s get her a hair tie.”
I walked over to the booth, asked the older man if she wanted a hair tie. He said dejectedly “I don’t know.” “Do you know her?” I asked. “Yes,” he said, in one of those disapproving parental tones. He didn’t extend any grateful hands for a hair tie, so I turned to a fireman. “Can you give her this, in case she needs to hold her hair back?” He looked down at the elastic, and said, “Yes.”
I walked away as the firemen were re-explaining to her how she could not deny a trip to the emergency room.
The whole thing was strange. I’m very harsh on people who can’t hold their own in public, and I usually think it’s up to a lush’s companions to keep a lush in line. (To a point.) Quite frankly, I’m surprised that I did anything for that girl that went beyond getting the management. I didn’t feel a particular soft spot for her and her situation. It was clear by the smell of her vomit (Sorry.) that she had consumed plenty of alcohol. The clueless way she kept trying to “have someone pick [her] up” instead of go to the ER meant she didn’t get it which hinted at the exact type of no-responsibility girl I can’t stand. She really ticked off her otherwise composed Probably Boss, and the firemen who came to her aid musta been like “Maybe you’re not getting the point. You can’t take care of yourself.”
I just feel like if you’re gonna go out and do adult things, you’ve gotta act like a fucking adult. People have varying limits on how many times you can pull the “I’m emotional” card, but personally I feel like if you’re emotional, then you should not compromise your judgment in a crowded place. If you’re starting new medications, you should know how to deny alcohol. If you “don’t know what happened,” then I just hope you aren’t a repeat offender of complete naivete. (With this girl, I was not convinced by her act. If I fainted and I didn’t know how it happened, I’d be more inquisitive with the firemen about what might have occurred, and at least ask what the ER might be able to find out.)
All I can do is wonder what really happened to her. Hopefully she grows into her big girl panties soon. (And on a kinder note, that could just mean she needs to learn more about her biological self.)