You know you’ve done it at one time or another.
It’s the morning after the night before, and you languidly crack open one eye to see that noon has, in fact, already passed and at some point during the night your mouth has become a desert, as if the dentist took that suction tool and sufficiently removed any and all moisture found within. You try and focus on the clock on your cable box, testing to see if it’s blurry or not, a surefire way to see if you had managed to take out your contacts before falling asleep/passing out. As you groggily wake up and scan your outfit (surely including remnants of the night before or an alcohol-inspired choice of unmatching pj pants and no shirt), you have this overwhelming sense of foreboding as the memories — languidly, as well — come fluttering back.
It’s the jigsaw puzzle of drunken activity — pieces slowly fall into place as you inspect the clues. Start with your purse or your pockets. You see receipts galore, a dollar or two, and perhaps even some peanuts (and shells) swimming around in your personal contents. You may even find a random business card or two, wondering who was kind enough to offer you their information, either solicited or unsolicited. Checking your cell phone offers you even more insight on the stupidity of the night prior — the mis-dialed attempts at even the most normal of numbers, and (at times, worse), the successfully dialed attempts of ex, current, and (unless you’ve screwed it up big time) potential suitors. In the midst of your soporific sleuthing, you remember the worst of it, that memory that causes you to cringe in sheer embarrassment — pulling the covers over your head, you’ve just entered MAM: Morning-After Mortification.
It’s the little things that, at the time, seem like a great idea that are the true killers here. It’s the vocalization of a thought that should have remain unsaid, the action that should have remained undone, and the good intentions gone bad. (And sometimes, it’s the combination of the three.) Tracing the thought process that led to said mortification is an exercise in futility, and basically, it’s damage control at its very worst.
Next comes the character witnesses — those comrades that were either privy to your stupidity in person or can at least offer you some sensible advice in the aftermath. When you ask them if it’s really that bad, you depend on them to tell you that “it will pass,” “give it some time,” and by no means was it as bad as you’re making it out to be. These little PR agents of your ego can do the ultimate spin cycle on your action, offering you kind words and an invitation for a greasy brunch to at least try and mitigate the mortification.
At some point, you’ll come face to face with your embarrassment — either apologizing, attempting to apologize, or even just admitting to yourself that you’re nothing less than a huge dumbass. You make promises to others (and to yourself), swearing off all unhealthy agents, including the root of the problem, the provoking poison commonly referred to as alcohol.
And then, you’ve done all you can do. You realize that your little (or big, as it may be) snafu is NOT the center of the world. Stupid? Of course. Embarrassing? To say the least. But you learn to chalk it up as yet another dumb thing that you’ve done, and at the very least, hope that one day, it will be a good story. And until that day (hopefully) comes, you just know it could be worse, and hope for the best.