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The hangover

I'm addicted. All I can think about these days is how it's almost here. I can feel it breathing down my back, staring over my shoulders, watching me. The pressure ripples up and down my neck and pricks at my brain.

I'm addicted.

All I can think about these days is how it's almost here. I can feel it breathing down my back, staring over my shoulders, watching me. The pressure ripples up and down my neck and pricks at my brain.

It's like prom all over again; except, this time, instead of dreaming about the day I finally get to wear a sea-foam coloured dress and pull my hair up into a magnificent bee-hive hair-do, I'm dreaming about the day I get to see bobsled teams walking through the village and watch fire works going off every night in Olympic splendor.

Sometimes I'm so excited I can barely sleep at night. Other times, I feel like my head is going to explode with the stress of getting everything done in time. But no matter what, I am constantly drooling over the fact that something huge, something momentous, something historic is about to happen.

Just like prom, I've already bought a pink and silver photograph album to slide my Olympic memory photos into.

People who live outside of Whistler occasionally ask me, "So... What are your plans this year? Are you going to sell your car? Buy a house? Get married? Come visit us? What do you plan to do for Easter vacation? May Long Weekend? Summer?"

"Piss off!" I shriek back at them in typical prom-zilla fashion. "Can't you see I'm too busy concentrating with all my might on the Olympic Games to even think about what I'll be doing after February!"

I'm basically vibrating, I'm so Games-time focused. I am getting headaches just from concentrating. I've started taking aspirin on an hourly basis to make sure I can sustain the momentum over the upcoming months.

And to be honest, I get the feeling that the rest of the resort municipality is going through these exact same mood swings, too. After six years of preparations and six years of political bantering, we now finally find ourselves a vulnerable three months away from the Games. And just like a prom dream, we can't wait for the night of our lives.

Luckily, like most 18-year-old girls, Whistler ironed out the details well ahead of time (for the most part). Our gleaming, state-of-the-art venues have been completed for years. Our sleek new highway has been perfectly tailored to accommodate the travel tastes of the international elite. Even our bars have started to polish their glasses and reconfigure their amplifiers to make sure our Olympic guests are filled with good times for an extra half an hour every night this February.

Now, all that is left before we realize our dreams is to put the last touches of makeup on our faces, strap on those high heels and wait for our hot dates to pick us up in their logo-covered Ferraris and whisk us off to Olympic heaven.

It will be perfect.

That is, until we are forced to deal with the Olympic hangover the next morning.

When the stroke of midnight hits, when the final dancer takes a bow at the Olympic closing ceremonies on Feb. 28, and when our prom fantasy is officially over, Whistler will be left to clean up the mess left over.

Unfortunately, as a town, we haven't yet talked about what that means. We haven't talked about the fact that we'll all be waking up with black mascara dripping down our faces and the worst hangover known to man splitting through our brains.

We haven't talked about the fact that we'll roll over to find our sea-foamed dresses now covered in mud and tossed in the corner and that boy we fell in love with last night mysteriously gone. (You know, the one who said we were the best girl he'd ever met and told us he'd love us forever. He got us to do things we didn't really want to do. I can't remember his name, but I believe his initials were I.O.C.)

And we haven't talked about the fact that we'll open up our purses and realize with horror we spent way more money than we meant to on the night of our dreams. Oh, and now we also have a dry cleaning bill to reckon too.

I don't mean to make mountains out of molehills, but I really believe lack of planning could be the beast that kicks Whistler in the butt if we don't start thinking seriously beyond the Olympics.

Right now spending any extra time on anything that doesn't involve amateur athletes feels like a waste of energy, but the reality is if we are going to find a way to pull on those sweat pants after the Games and start cleaning up the beer bottles littered around our village, we need to start preparing for the morning after.

And if we can start planning now what our world will look like this spring, we may just be able to make our Olympic hangover a little more bearable.