Sunshine tickles your eyelids, gently urging you to arise. Birds circle the skies outside, twittering in all their loveliness. The sound of children giggling and playing on the dewy grass outside make you smile wistfully, remembering with fondness when you used to do the same.
Just as you are enjoying this moment of reverie, the moment between deep sleep and a raging hangover, you are interrupted by a voice.
It is not loud. It is not judgemental.
But it is very, very real.
“Phone. The phone”
You sit, bolt upright. Your heart pounds against your chest as panic, adrenaline and the remnants of your last forty euro you spent on jagerbombs course through your veins. Your throat is dry, your head has suddenly been attacked by the world’s worst migraine. There could be monuments in its name in years to come. Your senses suddenly become gargantuan in their strength. You are suddenly aware that you reek of that fake tan you didn’t get time to wash off and now your natural perfume is some sort of vile concoction of biscuits, tequila and shame.
Flashbacks of last night’s mortifying activity come flooding back, mostly in black and white because though you got so drunk last night you could see sounds, your ability to take heed to the flashing red warning lights of common sense was eclipsed by the 2for1 offer on vodka shots.
But you can’t focus on any of that right now! Nor the montage of your night out which is playing to an (oddly) emotional rendition of Simply The Best. It is something to ponder later but, again, there’s no time! There are more pressing matters at hand. You’re not quite sure what it is that you have done to warrant that stirring feeling in the pit of your stomach but you know the cause: the fear. And you know the source: the phone.
You reach one trembling hand over to the side of the bed, the other hand pressed tightly over your eyes as though you can telepathically close the eyes of the other person at the end of that phone just by sheer will and determination.
But it is fruitless.
Slowly, you unlock your phone. You click on the relevant app that is the source of your fear.
And there it is. Like a disappointed parent staring blankly back at you.
THE MESSAGE OF DEATH
But it gets worse.
“Read at 9.02am”
You let out a guttural groan, and rock back and forth. You wonder if your phone insurance covers it being lit on fire or thrown in the sea. You sit down at your desk, tear a page from your notebook and scrawl ‘I am running away, do not try to find me’ but then scribble it out because you remember you spent all your money last night, you absolute waster. Then, go tobann, the claustrophobia begins. You whip off the bedclothes, thus inducing the dreaded hangover spins and you begin to pace. And then you wail, a workhouse wail, sinking to your knees and hoping that someone – anyone – will rush in to erase your plight. (You have no actual tears of course but you have a penchant for dramatics so the wailing helps.) You find yourself torn between what to do next.
Welcome to Drunk Texting 101
You can search but you will find no one more qualified than me to help you, my woeful friends. Sizing up your next course of action during times like these can be a daunting prospect. But your next course of action is DETRIMENTAL to how you will survive your hangover (lasts approx. 12 hours, though there are only short periods of severity) and absolutely CRUCIAL to how you will survive the fear (lasts approx. 4-6 weeks depending on: (a) if you get a response, and (b) the type of response received).
So here’s a handy guide for you to slot into your handbag/purse/bedside locker/ bible so that you never need to Fear alone again. A response is a rarity in these kind of situations so I would prescribe a communication ban to your recipient until the next drunk text.
“Omg hey, just saw this msg now. Soz, that was my friends on my phone. Lol”
…Honestly if you attempt to send a text like this, get out of my fictional classroom. What are we, 12?
The Discreet Denial
The discreet denial is a favourite of mine and quite useful for the “lengthy” texts. This is also acceptable in circumstances when you have no idea what possessed you to text a particular person. To invoke the discreet denial, simply delete the message. So what if they have already seen it? That doesn’t mean you should have a glaring reminder of your shame anytime you open your phone. So delete the message (it is absolutely VITAL you do not reread before doing this). And finally, never ever talk about it/think about it/refer to it ever again. It didn’t happen. It was all a dream. Feel better yet? Of course you do!
Listen, I’m all for a bit of dramatics here and there but unless you have started a war it is really not necessary to block the person just because they didn’t text you back. And besides, you’ll only re-send a friend request next time you’re drunk so why not save yourself the double serving of shame?
The Dead Horse
It’s been several hours. And there’s still no response to your message. But honestly? Did you really expect one? No. Of course you didn’t. But what do you do anyway? You send another message along the lines of “hey sorry about that, don’t know what I was at last night” (you might also possibly include the monkey with hands covering eyes emoji). Look, stop kicking a dead horse. Don’t send another text. Again, just leave it until your next night out. You’ll have plenty of time to re-shame yourself then.
The Teacher’s Pet
Ok so it has, again, been several hours. But wait. What’s this? They have responded? Oh sweet merciful lord!!!! They’ve responded!!!!
“Haha bit drunk I see”.
And they don’t think you’re a nutjob! Wedding bells ring in your ear. You see the toasts being made by your future husband, as he tinkles a silver spoon of the champagne glass ‘And it all started with a drunk text’ to guffaws of laughter from the crowd. You see your parents wipe a tear from their eye, so proud that someone has taken on their daughter for the drunken Shakespeare she thinks she is.
Don’t be so naive, you absolute melter. They absolutely think you are a nutjob. This is a pity text. This is not a window to start a 24 hour long chat that you twirl your hair and chat to your friends about later. If you have to respond with something, keep it brief and close ended. But best not to respond at all. You know you. You will end up trying to be over-funny, over-friendly and you will absolutely overdo it. You may as well leave an apple on his desk for when he comes in in the morning.
This is my personal favourite and has seen me through a lot of hard times (*wipes tear*). And no, I am not saying go to a priest.
“Bless me father for I have sinned, it has been three weeks since my last drunk session. I have committed a sin and continued to drunk text”.
Seven Hail Mary’s won’t fix this. Feck it, twenty won’t. But talking to your friends will. Own your shame! You can do it. Waltz into your friend’s house with a slush puppy (for the hydration) and wield your phone with a laugh and let them see your dirty work for themselves. Let them slag you to high heaven (that is your penance) until it is time to invoke what we learned from The Discreet Denial and delete the message. Warning: do NOT let your friend read the message out loud or you will be back to square one.
Finally, some parting words of hard won wisdom. Regardless of what you choose to do, it’s important to remember, it’s only a drunk text. As long as you aren’t being a nasty heap o’ shite in your messages, just chill out. Laugh it off, get out for a walk in the fresh air with your friends, put on loud music or a comedy to block out the shame and get on with things. Keep yourself busy and in several weeks’ time, when the fear starts whispering it again, ignore it. We’ve all sent them, we’ve all received them.
And for any of you smug few who haven’t drunk text? Trust me. You will. It is a rite of passage. And at least now, thanks to me, you will know what to expect when you’re drunk texting.