Ask JT! How to Deal with Hangovers and Anti-Gay Coworkers

Hey JT,

It’s been a while since college. I’m now an adult woman; I have a job and live with my girlfriend and take care of our dogs. We make a great living and have a blessed life. So what’s the one thing that wounds our otherwise ideal lesbian domestic bliss?


What the hell, man?

When I was in college, I could toss back half a bottle of Jack and be fine the next day. Now that I’m approaching the big 3-0? Yeah, not so much. My hangovers last for DAYS, and that’s even if I haven’t actually drank that much. I don’t know what happened.

I know you were a bartender and are currently a booze aficionado, so any advice?

Once Was Cool, Now Is Lame

Oh, man, do I feel ya, OWCNIL.

I, too, was quite the party animal in college, and when I think back to how much I drank without feeling any ill effects back then, I just shake my head in disbelief. The early-20’s human body is a freaking miracle on legs.

But it happens to the best of us. We get a little older, and suddenly our tolerance to alcohol – which we worked hard for, damn it – goes into reverse. It’s not pretty, girl.

There’s one solid approach to drinking that can lessen your hangovers, and that’s to not drink. Sort of like how abstinence is a fool-proof way to not get pregnant or an STI. But since we know how well abstinence-only education works, let’s move on.

Rule one: drink lots of water. The best thing to do is to drink a full glass of water between every alcoholic drink you consume. This will give your body more time to recover, will keep you hydrated, and will fill you up on water instead of just alcohol, so you’ll end up drinking less.

However, I can tell you from personal experience that even if you go into a night planning to do this, the more you drink, the more forgetful you become. So either have an accountabilibuddy along for the ride to make sure you stay in line, or chug a ton of water before you leave your home, and make sure to have a big glass of water waiting for you by your bed for when you get home.

Rule two: make sure you’re well fed before you go out. If you’re even the slightest bit hungry, you’ll drink more than normal, and this isn’t good, you lush. (I say with love.) The second part of this rule is to eat breakfast the next morning. Might I suggest a bacon sandwich?

Rule three: Plan it out so you can sleep a minimum of eight hours, more if you feel like you need it. Rest restores the body. No one wants to be that bedridden drama queen the next morning, but sometimes you need it.

Rule four: Don’t ever, ever, EVER text your exes. It can extend the pain of your hangover to last a lifetime. Trust me.

Hey JT,
I was really touched by the guy who wrote in last week who was looking for ideas on how to propose to his boyfriend right after DOMA was repealed. I’m a single gay man looking for love, and it really touched me. I spend so much time thinking about being in a relationship, I’d forgotten how important the laws are for people already in them.
Anyway, I brought this up with a coworker while we were in the lunch room, and another coworker who I have kind of an antagonistic relationship with overheard and said he doesn’t agree with gay marriage. We live in New England, where marriage equality is the norm. I knew the guy was a jerk but didn’t realize he was a bigot, and I said that to his face. He said I could call him whatever I like, but he knows right from wrong and is allowed to express it.
I want to file a complaint with HR, but am nervous about going that route. What do you think?
Nervous Employee
Here’s the occasionally sucky thing with free speech, NE: it has to work both ways.

I don’t like it any more than you do, but your nasty coworker has every right to publicly state that he’s opposed to marriage equality. It’s part of living in a free country. Everyone has the right to be an insufferably prejudiced douche bag if they so choose. And it sounds like he chose.

What he did in the lunch room was state his opinion when a conversation on that very topic had already begun, so even if your HR department was amenable – and I promise you, they will do everything they can to not be involved – all they could really do is issue a gentle reminder for everyone to be respectful of others, which accomplishes exactly nothing.

Now, if he brings it up again, unsolicited, then you might be looking at a harassment situation, which is a serious problem. But until that happens, my guess is there’s not much to be gained by going the HR route.

Of course, my advice is informed only by my specific experience with office jobs, so if any readers know something I don’t, by all means, speak up in the comments.

One thing that might give you a little solace, though, is that an environment where someone can boast about having “traditional” (read: anti-gay) values is not long for this country. I’m not saying it’s going away overnight, but same-sex marriage is traveling in a very similar trajectory as interracial marriage once did. There was a time when racists felt perfectly comfortable airing their disapproval of interracial relationships, because there wasn’t the monumental backlash that there would be now. One day, the same will be true of gay relationships. And with an overwhelming majority of people under 30 supporting marriage equality, that time is not as distant as it sometimes may seem.

Hey JT,
This is a pop culture question that’s been bugging me for basically my entire adult life. With all these millions of superhero movies that we see every month, why aren’t there any female-led movies? What gives? Do you think it’ll ever happen?

Frustrated Fangirl

This is something that chafes my man-parts, FF, so I feel ya.

Here’s the short answer to your first question of why aren’t there any female superhero movies: in 2004 and 2005, Catwoman (starring Halle Berry) and Elektra (starring Jennifer Garner) came out. They were both bad movies, and because they were were terribly written, horridly directed, and had questionable special effects and spotty acting at best, both films bombed. The execs in the studios then decided they bombed specifically because they were female-centric superhero movies, and now no studio will touch one.

Of course this has nothing to do with sexism, because after the abysmal Green Lantern, Superman Returns, Batman and Robin, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Hancock, Punisher, Punisher: War Zone, and Jonah Hex, they’ve also decided that male-centric superhero movies will never succeed, which is why we never see any.

Ohhhhhhhh, wait.

One of the things that would amuse me if it wasn’t so piss-offable was the way Hollywood insiders act surprised when a female-centric movie does well, despite the fact that a little more than half of the population is female and, as we all do, likes seeing a representation of itself in fiction.

Of course, when observing the source material, another problem rears its ugly head: female superheroes that are A) not part of a team (meaning they headline their own title) and B) not feminine versions of preexisting male superheroes are actually incredibly rare. I’m a huge Batgirl fan and would love to see her in her own movie (her current solo title is awesome), but I think people would be disappointed if the man with the pointy ears didn’t show up. I also love the character of Jean Grey over at Marvel, but her entire persona is based around her place with the rest of the X-Men.

But there’s a glimmer of hope. The breakout success of The Hunger Games showed everyone people will see a female-led action movie if the story and character are strong, and the movie well-made. And with Joss Whedon at the head of the Marvel films, we can expect to see some more kick-ass female character coming down the pike. And, of course, as fans, we have to put our money where our mouth is and go see the films with strong female leads.

Hey JT,
Isn’t this the part where you tell everyone you’re taking a week off next week?

Yes, JT, it is! Thank you for reminding me.

No column next week, guys, because my boyfriend Morris and I are taking a much-needed vacation. My blanket advice: be excellent to each other and party on, dudes!