September 19, 2010

Drunk-o, Dial-o, No Bueno

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“Yoooo. Thish ish JOE. It is … hold on, hold on the letters, the letters are blurring … it is … schmuuuh … 3:47 in the morning. And I am, I am … drunk-o calling-o you.” If you go to Cornell and you’ve got at least one happy-drunk friend in your phonebook, chances are you’ve got one of these gems tucked away in that little lockbox of love that is your voicemail inbox. There is nothing sweeter than waking up on a Saturday morning, checking your phone and finding a whole mess of incoherence from last night. Sure, you could see it as the perfect blackmail (should you and that friend be caught in a tight political race sometime in the near future). But more likely, that voicemail is going to live on in infamy as the ultimate pick-me-up when you need a good laugh (or excellent family-reunion material).  But in the case of the drunk-o message-o, believe you me, ’tis not always better to give than to receive.  Look me in the eye and tell me that you have never, in your Cornell career, experienced a morning sequence that went, roughly, a little something like this:“Oh… ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Oh god. Oh god. It hurts. Everything hurts. I’m dying. This, this is death. This is the end. Waaaaaaater.” Slunking out of bed, you grab your cell phone and check the time: 2:30 p.m. Perfect. You missed church. Your roommate’s mom still thinks you’re a “heathen.” And you’re pretty sure you can’t feel your toes.  You make your way into the kitchen and blindly lunge for the tap. You’re simultaneously chugging water from the faucet whilst shoveling Advil down your throat as fast as your impaired motor skills will let you. You still can’t open your eyes, so dosages for now are more of a guessing game than a science. With your left hand, you start fiddling with the espresso machine. Fiddle more. Throw the espresso machine across the kitchen and feel around for some Starbucks Via.  With enough feeling regained to open your eyes, you check your phone again. And there it is, in bold, red letters:Three outgoing, unanswered calls at 2:49 a.m., 2:53 a.m. and 2:57 a.m. “Shit.” Chances are, if you actually wanted to talk to someone last night, you would have called their number at least 15 times in a row until they picked up. But you didn’t. There are four-minute gaps between your calls. You left voicemails. Long ones. “Check the numbers, check the numbers … Melissa, the ex-. Merde. Lin Laoshi, my Chinese T.A. Double merde. Granny. MERDE!”Your mind starts racing.“What did I say? What the hell could I have said for FOUR MINUTES?! Why did I call her?? Why did I call my grandmother?! I am never, never drinking again…” With the text message, the morning after is a little more bittersweet. For one, you can tell what you’ve actually said. And if you’re at the point of not remembering, chances are your little thumbs were not nearly dexterous enough to text out something even halfway legible. But a voicemail? You’ve got to be doing some serious slurring before your words become indecipherable. At that point, I’m pretty sure your BAC card likely reads: “Dead.”  Kids, this is no big deal. Trust me. I speak from experience. You don’t have to worry about your political careers. Let’s be serious: Bill Clinton “didn’t inhale,” and I’m pretty sure he was still elected president. And Bush? Yeah, you budding politicians will be fine.And anyone else that cares doesn’t matter. If you can’t laugh off a little bout of irresponsibility, you don’t have a soul. I’m pretty sure there are at least 20+ text message inboxes floating around that hold some of my midnight manifestos. And while I’m careful with the phone calling, there is bound to be a voicemail inbox somewhere in the world that could play you this: “Yoooo … long time no see Granny! I … I misssss you. Now thish, yeah, thish is a song that I … wrote … for … you.” Cristina Stiller is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at cstiller@cornellsun.com. Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller