Love And The Drunk Dial

We have all done it. After too many drinks we find ourselves doing what our sober selves would never do. We make that phone call to the one person in the world we know we should not be calling at two in the morning; the infamous drunk dial. It is the one mistake that we know in our hearts is a mistake even as we scroll through our contact list and press send.

I was in love just one time in my life; truly, deeply in love. It was not with the woman I married, nor the numerous high school/college/real life crushes I professed in my lifetime. It was with a woman whom I met just after I separated from my wife. I met her in a bar. Crazy, what were the odds that I would meet the love of my life in a bar? (Actually, those odds were pretty damn high)

As I sat there with a beer in my hand, a woman came up behind me and ordered a drink. I immediately stood up and offered her my seat. She thanked me and she said she had a funny story about a bar stool in Las Vegas. That was it; true love never had a more innocuous conception.

We spoke for a while, exchanged phone numbers and then I kissed her right in the parking lot (that’s not a euphemism — it was an actual parking lot). As soon as I got home I called the number to be sure she didn’t give me the number of the local Pizza Hut (she didn’t). From that point on I had never been happier. I had never met anyone I could talk to so easily, about anything. The first time she told me she loved me it was like I had never heard those words before. I asked her to marry me, she said yes and we lived happily ever after.

Ok, no — no we didn’t.

As usual, when we realize we don’t live in a movie that guarantees us a happy ending with the price of admission, life gets in the way. Prior to our meeting, and as her divorce from her husband was finalized, she decided it was best for her and her children to move back to the Midwest where she was born and raised. For a short time I even considered moving with her, but we both knew in our hearts that would never happen. I could have never left my kids behind.

The only people that think a long distance relationship is possible are those that have never tried to be in one. Too much distance and time will kill any relationship; ours was no different. After six months of back and forth visits, trying to figure out how to spend time with each other, it came to an end. The logistics of a romantic rendezvous proved too difficult to achieve and it ended over the phone on a cold February night. Of course we were still friends and often spoke to each other and wrote letters but it was never enough.

We both moved on and during the course of our continuing conversations even told each other of the people we were dating. Eventually our phone calls were few and far between. I found that when I did call her, it was usually after a few drinks and I would bemoan the situation and she would be very supportive and concerned but knew it would never work out between us. We had tried and we had failed.

Then, after for not speaking for a while and after a few drinks (and then a few more) I picked up my cell phone and called. It was late at night, and I knew it was a mistake, but I was happy to hear her groggy voice answer the phone.

I smiled a hello over the phone that quickly faded when I heard her say:

“Al, call me back when you are sober.”

The phone went dead.

I was embarrassed and sad and knew what a major mistake it was to call.

After that, I never talked to her again.

She did get married again (thank you, internet) and I am sure she is happy not to get any more late night drunken phone calls from me. In fact, I haven’t done a drunk dial since then. One reason is that I now know nothing good could ever come from a drunk dial. And another is that there is no one my intoxicated self is longing to call in the wee small hours of the night.

I will periodically butt dial someone, however, but only when my ass is drunk.

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