Gina Freeman/the Gauntlet

Of groin punches and the apologies that must follow

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We've all been there, some more than others. You wake up the next morning and fight through the haze to get across the bed, everything a blur because you slept with your contacts in-- again. Your bedroom (at least you're in your own bedroom) smells like your grandma's cellar closet after that time you puked in it when you were little and really sick. Reaching down off the bed you find the jeans you wore last night and let out a little groan as you see the mustard stain from the hot dog you bought after you left the bar. Grab the jeans, check the pockets, another groan as you see the ATM receipt letting you know you took out $100 on top of the $60 you already had. Open the wallet, at least your ID is still here, no money of course.

Stumble over to the bathroom and start pounding back water the way you were pounding Red Bulls last night. There's no Tylenol left because of last weekend's bender. Son of a bitch. Now back to the bed wondering, "How the hell did I get home last night?" Grab the cell phone and check the dialed calls. GOOD! Of course I drunk dialed the girl I'm crushing on for three minutes 39 seconds. Enough time to destroy any chance of anything positive happening. And who the hell is An##8ex? When did I get that number? Proceed to phone a friend. I think everyone has at least one friend that can be counted on to remember something of the night before. The conversation usually goes as follows.

YOU (raspy): Hey man. *cough* Hey man, how was your night? FRIEND: Alright, yours? YOU: I don't know, you tell me. What happened, how did I get home? FRIEND: Dude, you were a fuckin' wreck last night. I saw you yelling at some girl, then on the dance floor taking your shirt off and then again trying to fight the bouncers. We poured you in a cab before the cops could get you. YOU: Fuck. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. Who was the girl? FRIEND: That one you know from class. Oh and you told (friend's name) to fuck off. And then you confessed your undying love to (some girl). YOU: FUCK! I suck so hard. Alright, I gotta make some apologies. Thanks man. FRIEND: Peace. YOU: Payce.

Then the best part. The apologies. Not only are you in severe physical pain because it's like your eyes are being squeezed in their sockets and you can actually feel the vein over your temple pulsating, but now you have to humble yourself to someone you may or may not know very well. Nothing can put me in my place like trying to explain why I told a girl that I don't even know very well that I love her and always have. The real world equivalent of a minus four rating on Team Rockets in The Pit.

After about the 60th time I was forced to metaphorically prostrate myself naked for someone, I decided maybe it would be easier if I just set up a template for my apologies. Feel free to use this as a basis to go on the next time you wake up and realize five hours of partying the night before may have undone 10 years of friendship.

Hey (name). I just wanted to apologize for (confessing my love / yelling at you / trying to fight you) last night. I had way too much to drink and I don't want to use that as an excuse, but I hope you know I would never (do / say) that to you when sober. I'm sincerely sorry and hope that you can forgive me. Next time we party together I promise I'll be more presentable.

Of course sometimes you don't even know what you did wrong. Or maybe you feel you need to apologize just because someone had to deal with you the night before. That's when I usually toss out something like this.

Hey (name). I just wanted to apologize for everything that happened last night. I don't think my actions reflect my true character and I want you to know that I value the relationship we currently have. I'm sorry you had to deal with that and I hope next time we can have a lot more fun.

It always helps to start and end every apology with some groin punches just to keep yourself in check. But there it is. Drop one of those out there and if they still hate you then they aren't worth it.