Champagne and Novocaine: a festive and cautionary tale

If you’ve known me as a drinking adult for more than maybe two weeks, you are more likely than not aware of the fact that champagne is my alcoholic beverage of choice. Gin, yes, love. Wine, sure…great. I’ll drink beer at taprooms or for drinking games. But champagne, and anything else of a sparkling ilk, is my favorite.

Well, this weekend, champagne fought back and almost won.

Friends Alex and Rachel, and Alex’s wife Laura, host a giant Third of July party annually at Alex and Rachel’s parents’ lake home, and this year my little brother Jonny and I attended. Things are seldom tame with this social circle, and it’s rare to leave a weekend without some crazy war story. It’s just that usually I’m not the one in the story…

...which, to sum it up briefly and with as little embarrassment as possible, involves my face meeting the bottom of a champagne bottle at high velocity due to an ill-timed slip by Jonny. Three of my front teeth got cracked in half, I bit through a chunk of my bottom lip and lacerated the inside of my top lip, and my gums/mouth in general were bruised up. First thought through my head, post blunt trauma to the mouth? I felt the champagne bottle hit my foot on the bottom of the lake and immediately thought, “I wonder if I could still save it…” PRIORITIES, FRIENDS. Then I realized that I was missing more teeth than a jack-o-lantern, freaked out, and left the party in tears/gushing blood/spitting out tiny tooth fragments.

Fortunately, we’ve been going to the same dentist for years, and he was kind enough to answer my multiple panicked, incoherent phone calls and come open the Lakeville office to do an emergency repair. Picture this, if you will: I’m fairly drunk in yoga pants and a sweatshirt over a wet swimsuit, my dad is in grilling clothes (having abandoned his/my mom’s planned rib dinner to drive me over to the dentist), and Dr. Mike is legit wearing swim trunks and a bro tank, having abandoned HIS grilled shrimp to come fix my shattered mouth. Hilarity ensued, partially at my expense.

He got me fixed up after I stopped trying to tough it out without Novocaine and sent me on my way, with teeth that you could barely tell had just been extensively repaired. Stop 1 was heading back to our house to eat basically four bites of pasta salad with my swollen, numb face. Stop 2, however, was to head right back to the party, with Jonathan and two bottles of champagne in tow. The way I see it is as follows: they tell you that if you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on it. Similarly, the fact that a champagne bottle blasted out half my front teeth simply ensured I had to show champagne who’s boss…by drinking it straight from the bottle for the rest of the evening.

So there you have it…a day that started with champagne could’ve ended with Novocaine, but in classic Schwegman fashion, was totally saved. Even though I have a little more reconstruction to deal with (appointment this afternoon, woo!), it’s already crossed the brightline from “horrific and traumatizing incident” to “Schwegfam hilarious anecdote for all time.” Lesson learned though: next Fourth of July, I’ll be sticking with Solo cups.