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Date Hacks: How I Caught my College Crush by Coughing in his Mouth

Date Hacks: How I Caught my College Crush by Coughing in his Mouth

This post originally appeared on Girl's Gotta Eat, Lauren's chronicle of her dating adventures. 

My friend Bryce always makes me tell this one at parties. I’m not gonna lie…it tends to be a crowd-pleaser.

Something you may have discovered about me whilst reading GGE thus far is – I’m kind of a puker. I puke a lot. I have a weirdly sensitive stomach and I just….barf. All the time.

You’re really turned on right now, aren’t you?

On top of that, up until about, oh, 5 months ago (#ThisIs27), I also had an incredibly low threshold for alcohol.

You can see where this is going, can’t you? You’re so smart like that.

When I was 19 and in the PEAK of my college glory days (thank you Swine Flu #BirthWeight), I started going out with the dreamiest of undergrad boys.

We’d been ‘dating’ (whatever that means in college) for a couple weeks when I got a really bad cough, we went to a party with a few friends of mine, and I consumed 2 WHOLE BEERS.

Watch out folks. She’s wasted.

We got back to his dorm room (*gasp*), and I realized that I probably couldn’t take Nyquil after consuming 2 WHOLE BEERS. So naturally, I made the dude google whether or not you can mix Nyquil with PBR.

Luckily for me, WebMD said YOU GOOD, GIRL.

I slammed back the shot of Nyquil, and we were good to go for one steamy makeout sesh with our clothes on. Or so I thought.

We were sitting on his twin bed kissing when we naturally started to lay back. And the second my head hit the pillow…I coughed right into his mouth.

And not like a cutesy “oooh, excuse me, I’ve got the slightest of feminine tickles in my throat” type of cough.

It was a full blown HACK, STRAIGHT down his windpipe. A true bark, if you will.

He immediately sat up, shocked by the sheer force of wind (and probably other things) that I’d just shot into his throat.

I followed, sitting up a little too quickly, saying “oh my god, I’m so sorry” *heave*… “oh my god, excuse me”. I bolted off the bed and into the bathroom.

I shit you not, the second I slammed the door behind me, I projectiled a sticky red beer vomit over the entire. Bathroom.

And let me tell you…this bathroom was completely unlike any other boys’ dorm room bathroom. Because it was PRISTINE.

These boys lived like kings! Except for the fact that there wasn’t a towel in sight. Nor even a SQUARE of toilet paper #typical.

I flung open the shower curtain and discovered one measly wash cloth hanging from the faucet. It would have to do.

I then had to ration out each square inch of that wash cloth to clean up my sticky Nyquil/beer barf. My man friend called out after a few minutes, “you ok in there?”

“Fine, fine, absolutely fine!!!!” I dramatically assured him.


I somehow managed to clean the entire dumping of my insides with that one rationed-out mini-towel, only to realize…where the fuck do I hide it? Even repeated washings still left it with a putrid odor/color combination. I couldn’t put it back in the shower! I couldn’t put it in the garbage!


Let it be said that if this happened to me today, I’d like to think I’d have been a bit wiser about the whole scenario. But I was 19. A lightweight. And just…really dumb. Just a true 19-year-old idiot who was *IN LOVE* with a cute boy she’d known for 2 whole weeks. Please take pity on me, dear reader.

Anywho, back to the washcloth disposal. I finally threw open the cabinet under the sink, only to discover a PLETHORA OF TOILET PAPER ROLLS (real amateur move on my part to not have checked there before). So I did the only natural thing, which was squish the used washcloth into a dark corner of the cupboard, and create a barrage of toilet paper rolls around it, hiding the sight and smell. FOOLPROOF.

I would say about 25 minutes had passed at this point. After brushing my teeth with toothpaste and my finger (#ForeverClass), I made my grand re-entrance into the bedroom. Only to find the dude asleep. THANK GOD – no explanation was needed.

I was so mortified, but I couldn’t just leave. And so, I delicately laid my body as far away from his as I could on the twin bed (about 6”, thank you Swine Flu), and allowed myself to fall into a tumultuous sleep, before forcing myself awake at the crack of dawn to RUN down the street to my own dorm.

On the way, I called my friend Bryce to tell her the news: that I’d completely ruined my chances with dream boy. I was truly crushed.

About 3 hours later, I got a text from him “where’d you go this morning? Wanna go grab breakfast before your rehearsal?”


Until about 3 months later, when he was moving out of his dorm room and called to tell me about the disgusting artifact they’d found under their bathroom sink. Of course, I knew nothing about such a repulsive boys’ bathroom discovery.

And scene.

Besides being generally entertaining and pretty dumb-funny, what’s the point of this story?

So many times, we count ourselves out for making a ‘mistake’ on a date (obviously this is an extreme and juvenile example).

We shouldn’t have shared that story, we shouldn’t have ordered such a messy burger, we shouldn’t have let them come home with us. It’s all related to the pressure of wanting to be perfect. To put the best version of ourselves on display. That instinct is only natural!

Am I encouraging you to get drunk, take Nyquil, and bark into a new boo’s mouth to reveal your true colors? Not exactly.

But I do want to challenge you to take the pressure off yourself.

Give that one a moment to sink in, will ya (I know I need to)?

It’s incredibly common to create this seemingly ‘perfect’ façade to put-on as a sort of defense mechanism – the one we think people will be most attracted to. The person that we so badly want others to think we are. I know I have a tendency to do so, to this day. For me, it’s the calm, cool and collected chick who seems to have it all together. Who wouldn’t want to be with someone like that?

Well, let me tell you – when I put ‘her’ on, the date never really goes anywhere. Because it’s not genuine. And people tend to be able to read that.

Whether we realize we’re doing it or not, this façade is doing us no favors.

The complexities we’re vulnerably able to reveal are often what’s most attractive to a new partner – they make us human. Who wants to date a carbon copy of someone they’ve already been out with before? Not me.

It’s certainly not easy to just “be yourself”. It takes practice. Isn’t that frustrating? It’s true though.

There’s a reason “be yourself” is the most popular piece of dating advice – because it’s right, but it’s not easy – like most good things in life. For me, it tends to come when I feel good, I’m an environment I feel comfortable in, and I’m with someone I genuinely like. It’s a rare combination, let me tell you. But that’s what makes it special.

Try not to be afraid to make a mistake on your date. Often times, what you see as a “mistake”, your date will see as something they like about you. Because it sets you apart from all the rest.


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