What To Do When You Drunk Dial Someone You Shouldn’t Have

What To Do When You Drunk Dial Someone You Shouldn't Have

I know you’re embarrassed right now. It probably feels like it’s never going to get better but I can assure that this too will eventually pass.

What is left to do other than shrug it off and try to go about your day as if last night did not happen? Your mind races as you go back and forth trying to decide if you should look at your text messages from last night or just delete them all in one fell swoop.

The pit in your stomach tells you that you definitely called someone you shouldn’t have. You fucked up, and you know it from that taste in your mouth. It’s alcohol. It’s cigarettes. It’s shame and it’s humiliation and it’s pathetic. And the worst part you only have yourself to blame for all of it.

How could you be so stupid?


Literally. Why? Why would do this? You were doing so much better.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve asked myself those questions, I’d probably have something around like ten bucks. There’s a lot of pent up emotion at the core of a drunk dial or text message.

Thoughts that have been stewing every night before bed, waiting to be released at the first sign of alcohol lie dormant. They’re waiting for your guard to go on a coffee break.

You probably spend all week tossing, turning, and thinking about what could have been all while resisting that urge to text. To call. To reach out in any way.

But you won’t because common sense prevails. Friday goes off without a hitch until your friend buys you a shot of tequila at the dive five blocks from your apartment. This is when you start to think too much.

If you haven’t been in this situation, you really haven’t lived. It’s an errant phone call to an ex, a friend with benefits, or just someone you hopped in the sack with once or twice. You’ve been wanting to reach out and now is your chance.

Two weekends ago, I went about my usual routine before bed – brushing my teeth, flossing, washing my face, and lighting a candle – when a song called “That Old Feeling” by Chet Baker came on shuffle in iTunes. It was a Friday night, but I promised myself I wasn’t going out. I have over 10,000 songs in my iTunes library, so for this song to come on after I had casually drank six or seven beers with my roommates was fortuitous, to say the least. I got a little sentimental. I was feeling so many things as I flicked the light off in my bedroom and got in bed. And then I just did it. I made a phone call I shouldn’t have. I had one too many Michelob Ultras and decided that it was a good idea.

Do I regret it? Hell yes. But I’ve already come to terms with it because, well, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it now.

Butt naked, alone, and a dead iPhone on the nightstand despite a charger being a foot away is how I found myself after that call. While waiting for the phone to turn on that next morning I buried my head in my pillow and tried to collect my thoughts.

The drunk dial is something that usually comes to you after heavy deliberation. Maybe you’re in a cab. Perhaps you’re walking. You could still be in the bar with your friends. In all of these cases, the act of calling has been in your head for a few hours. The moment your buddy ordered those shots you started thinking a little too hard.

She wants me to call.

This is going to change everything.

Weighing the pros and cons is, in most cases, an exercise in futility. At the end of the day – whether it’s in the cab, on your walk home, or in the bar bathroom – you’re going to call and it’s going to be ugly.

So why do we do it? What is the motivation behind drunk dialing that special someone who wants absolutely nothing to do with you? More than anything, it’s the dialer’s stubbornness that makes the phone call go from merely a thought to a full-blown “this is happening” situation. Is everyone following this thought process or is it just me? About a month ago, I was driving home on a Friday and thought about calling someone who I shouldn’t be thinking about calling.

And do you want to know what happened? Seven hours later, with a belly full of sake I pressed the little phone sign on my iPhone and fifteen seconds later I got a really annoyed “What?” in my ear.

“I…I don’t know why I called. Sorry.”

“Are you drunk?”


(I was.)

“Okay…so what do you want?”


I hung up. I wasn’t so drunk that I was going to forget about it until the morning and I wasn’t so sober that I knew it wasn’t a good idea. I was in a sweet spot where I genuinely believed that it was a good idea to call her. And it crashed and burned because it should have crashed and burned.

Nothing good can come from a drunk dial. Pain. Nausea. Upset stomach. Maybe even diarrhea. It’s pouring salt on an open wound. Torturing yourself for no reason at all.

In short? It’s cruel and unusual punishment and there is no one to blame for this indiscretion other than you. No one will hurt you more than you’ll hurt yourself.

Did you enjoy that? Did you like what you saw?

I’m not going to stop you from making that phone call. You’ll sit in bed on Saturday morning and cringe about it for four hours while you half-watch a Netflix Original and check snaps from last night. There is absolutely nothing I can say to you that is going to prevent you from making that call. You’re going to do it no matter what I say.

Lust, love, or something in between the two will win over me telling what you should and shouldn’t do.

I’m encouraging it. Get it out of your system. Just don’t make a habit of it. You’ll recognize the error of your ways the next day when you’re splashing water on your face, looking in the mirror, and repeatedly saying “You’re a fucking idiot.” You’re not a fucking idiot, though. That’s old you. New You would never do something like that.

You’ll realize what you’ve done when you think about the call and remember little snippets of what you said in that voicemail.

You’ll delete the text message you sent him/her the next morning on your phone without looking at it, but eight hours later you’re going to get on your Macbook and look at what you said.

You’ll sit there with baited breath as the iMessage icon opens up and only half looking through your fingers with your hands covering your face you’ll read what you said. It won’t be good, but it’s not like you weren’t eventually going to look at it, right?

Image via YouTube

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Johnny D

fashion icon. @dudaronomy on twitter. e-mail:

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