I already blogged about how The Cup was this past weekend. Basically, about 70,000 people come to this tiny town in South Carolina called Camden for the day. Camden's main street, which you can see at the top of this page, looks eerily like my hometown. Anyway, all these people come out every year on the first Saturday in April. There are horse races (steeplechase) all day long. But no one really watches the races, as this is more of an excuse to party in a big field than a racing event. Everyone brings coolers and beer and lots of food. Sunglasses, sunblock and beer koozies are a must. It's always quite the fashion show. Women wear strapless sundresses and big straw hats. Men wear anything seersucker, pastel, madras or embroidered with little critters. Sometimes they even wear bowties, as corny as that sounds. In a nutshell, it looks like a giant, drunken, tailgating J.Crew-styled frat party. And I love every minute of it. It's how I hope heaven works. Any event that combines being outside with partying, eating and dressing up is my kind of shin-dig. I always meet cool people and eat yummy food. This year was no different.
Oh yes. There is an "until" in this post. But let me back up a little. The night before was spent shopping for a cooler, chairs, beer, sunblock, etc. Then K and I baked cookies and made fruit salad-- our contributions to the food table. We were going with the Church Group. I'm a friend of one of the families attending and they allowed us (me, K and our boyfriends) to tag along. After making the food and doing some general packing up, I helped K curl her hair with sponge rollers. Then we went to bed.
We were hoping to leave Columbia around 9:30 or 10am that morning. So I called Repo at 8am to wake him up. He was still sleepy, so I called him back at 8:45 to wake him up again. He didn't answer. So I went about my business getting ready. We had a small crisis. K had slept in the sponge rollers overnight. When she removed the curlers in the morning, she was left with a white girl 'fro. It looked like a wig. She looked just like this guy. It took us about a half hour to stop laughing and try to figure out what to do with her hair. Then we got pretty and packed up with the help of K's boyfriend. We brought a cooler full of beer, red champagne and diet coke in addition to the fruit and cream cheese cookies (recipe to follow soon). We were ready to hit the road and party. By this point, it was 10am. Wait, where is Repo?
Oh that's right. He fell back asleep and is just now waking up. We could have killed him. He didn't have any clothes ready, couldn't find his shoes, and had no sunglasses or beer. So we had to wait for him. Grrr....
Finally we hit the road and we were having a great time. Since we left a little on the late side, we didn't have that much traffic. The weather could not have been better: mid-70s, sunny and a light breeze. We arrived and began to eat and drink and socialize. And that's what we did until the "until" part of the day.
Then, around 4:30...Are you ready? Here is what happened. I was hanging out with Repo, my roommate K and her boyfriend, Navy Guy. We were standing in a big crowd of people, waiting for one of the horse races to end so we could cross the track to get back to the other side. (After visiting some friends, we were leaving the college side and going to the quieter adult side for a much needed snack break at our home base.) During the wait, people were getting crowded. When you have a large crowd of fairly drunk men, tempers will flare over trivial things. The two men in front of us began to sing the Clemson University fight song. This apparently was unacceptable behavior in the eyes of Repo and Navy Guy, because they are South Carolina fans, so our dumb boyfriends began to talk smack.
That's right. Repo and Navy Guy picked a fight. With guys who towered over them.
Now, I'm not very experienced with fist-fighting, but I think it's pretty obvious that picking a fight with people who A) don't know you, B) haven't done anything to you and C) outweigh you by 70 lbs. is a pretty dumb idea. So K and I are trying to calm our stupid drunk boyfriends. It didn't work. Apparently someone said something about someone's mother, and I guess in GuyWorld, this is a call to arms. So the fists started flying. It happened so fast K and I couldn't do anything but watch. I was mortified at first, then angry and finally worried as I saw Repo duck and swing before finally crumpling to the ground. The two victors ran off and K, Navy Guy and I rushed over to Repo to see if he was ok. I didn't get a good look at his face since he was doubled over, but it looked like he had broken his nose--there was a lot of blood. One of the victors had dropped his cell phone, which Navy Guy quickly snatched. And proceeded to snap into two. Navy Guy told us it was Repo's eye that was injured, not his nose. This made me worry.
The next thing I know, this crowd of Good Samaritans (bless them!) swarmed around him and carried him off into the crowd to get some medical attention. We tried to follow, but lost them in the crowd of people. The three of us spent the next hour and a half walking all over the place (in shoes that give you lots of blisters, I discovered later) looking for Repo. We couldn't find him, and to make matters worse, the cell phone network was clogged, so Navy Guy couldn't use his cell phone. Out of frustration and worry, I started to cry. We were totally helpless.
By now it was about 5:30 or 6pm and The Cup was basically over. We realized that the Church Group had no idea where we were and couldn't call us since they only had my number and my cell was with them. They were probably going to leave soon--with our car keys, cell phones and purses. One of the medics told us that a man with an eye injury was taken to the emergency room. So we decided to just go get our stuff and leave. We walked back (again) to the other side of the field, feet throbbing as we hobbled in our wedge sandals and strappy heels, and explained everything to the Church Group. They offered to take our cooler so we could hurry off to the hospital. Then we were stuck in traffic for a while as we went over to the hospital. Luckily, the cell network cleared up while we were driving.
On the way over, The Czarina called me to see how The Cup went. She knows I really look forward to it. I told her how this year's was not as fun as it usually was. I explained what had happened and she said, "Leave his ass! He needs to learn a lesson!" (Hey, I call her The Czarina for a reason.) As angry as I was with him, I wasn't quite that unsympathetic. We were an hour away from home and there simply wasn't anyone else to pick him up. So we went over to the hospital, with me bitching the entire time. I was FURIOUS with their immaturity and short-sightedness. So many people were inconvenienced with their thoughtless actions. K and I could have been hurt. His mother is getting married this week. He could have been arrested. Or hurt even worse. My mind was spinning--I had every desire to chew Repo (and Navy Guy) a new one. Until I saw him.
Poor Repo had a laceration to his eyelid. Basically, it was split, starting at his eyelashes and going halfway up his lid. When I arrived, the surgeon was just finishing the stitches. He had to have inner and outer stitches. Can you imagine having stitches on the inside of your eyelid?? Ouch! Repo was miserable and totally embarrassed. Not to mention he was in excrutiating pain. He had to get a novicane shot to the eye area in addition to a tetanus shot. Poor baby!
I took care of him all night and all day yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. The first night was the worst, because we hadn't gotten him his painkillers yet. Since he had been drinking, the doctor said he couldn't take anything stronger than Advil. Yeesh. After he got the medicine, he felt a lot better. I changed his bandages, got him food, held his hand, etc. I have been super sweet and caring--I went into Nurse VB-mode. Big time. But I did give him a HUGE lecture yesterday. "I am sorry! I hate myself! I just want to die!" he moaned. "Shut up! You can't die yet. I'm not done lecturing you!!!" I replied.
His mom decided to come up from Charleston and take him to the doctor. His eye is fine--he just scratched the cornea, so he didn't lose any vision or anything. The eye doctor said he will feel much better in about 2 days. And he had an eyelash stuck in his eye all that time, which was a source of much of his pain. So now he's feeling a little better and he's in Charleston with his mom. She is getting married this weekend, which you'd think would make her pissed off to the extreme, but she's not too upset. She's disappointed in him and told me she will lecture him later. But mostly, she is just worried. (And she loves me now!)
I am trying hard to be upset with him, because I am very angry and disappointed, but for the most part it's all out of my system. I think he has learned his lesson and realizes he needs to keep his temper under wraps when he drinks. (Actually, he hadn't been drinking all that much at The Cup...I don't know if that is more or less troubling...) Here's to knocking on wood. Unfortunately, if this becomes a pattern or gets worse, I will have no choice but to stop seeing him.
I'm taking Friday off so I can go see him and attend the wedding. We'll have to just see how it goes. Hopefully he'll be up and feeling better soon. He seems like he's gradually returning to his old self--he wants to wear a pirate patch to the wedding.