As anyone who has gone to college or seen an episode of Jersey Shore can attest, alcohol is a cruel mistress, at best a social lubricant capable of turning an awkward evening to one filled with lively conversation, at worst a life or relationship-ruiner.

Sometimes, an evening can go from delightfully socially lubricated so too slip n' slidey and you decide to extend a beer-soaked olive branch of friendship and camaraderie to someone who is a non-participant in the evening. Sometimes, these communications are embarrassing, and sometimes they require an apology.

Since most of my getting-drunk-and-acting-dumb days are behind me (I act plenty dumb on my own nowadays, without the presence of alcohol, thank you ), I felt I'd share some knowledge that this last decade of stupidity has brought me.

The drunken email to your college friend.
This is pretty simple, and pretty safe. Usually riddled with misspellings and often full of proclamations of unending love and allegiance,
1. I love (friend's name).
2. So does (other friend).
3. I also love (other friend).
4. We drunk dialed (original friend) together.
5. Dudes suck.
6. I am 50 seconds away from sending a really bitchy text message to said dude.
7. But I won't.
8. The End.
Damage: None, because this email is awesome.
Damage control: High fives.

The drunken text to that guy you used to sleep with. Usually an innocuous, open ended question, it's loaded with the expectation that a response will eventually lead to "Want to hang?" which will lead to "Doing it."
Example: Wut r u doing?
Damage: If you are single and the recipient is single, no harm, no foul. If either you or the recipient is taken, you're venturing into tacky territory. And if you two ended on a sour note, you may be opening up some old wounds (yours, or the other person's)
Damage control: You don't need to do anything beyond a quick text apologizing if you were out of line. If you're interested in severing the relationship entirely, consider sending an Edible Bouquet.


The drunken phone call to your friend who is sleeping. Your friend decided not to go out with you because she has to take the MCAT in the morning so OF COURSE you're going to call her and tell her how much you miss her.
Example: (indecipherable screaming punctuated with the musical strains of T-Pain)
Damage: Depending on why your friend decided to stay in, this could range from minimal to
Damage control: If your friend's butthurt that you woke her up, just bite the bullet and apologize the next day. If she's amused, laugh about it.

The drunken phone call to your friend's mom, who is sleeping.
Example: We actually used to do this to my friend Molly's mom when we were in college, and she found it both irritating and hilarious, and our tradition of drunk dialing Mrs. S continued for years after college. A typical Mrs. S dial consisted of us calling her at about 3 in the morning, announcing where we were, and telling her a story from the evening. She'd listen patiently, tell us to wear condoms or not throw up or refrain from driving, and then go back to sleep.
Damage: If you are not calling Molly's mom, this is not advised, as your friend's mom will probably be irritated or angry and tell your friend that you're a drunken loser, which you might be, considering you're drunk dialing your friend's mom.
Damage control: You should probably apologize to both your friend and your friend's mom.

The drunken showing up at your friend's apartment to get her to go out with you at 12:30. Because you're having so much fun that you can't not share it with your friend.
Example: (self-explanatory)
Damage: Minimal; most people would just find it humorous unless you tried to break in or something.
Damage control: Bring your friend a bottle of wine or Diet Pepsi or whatever they like to drink, for their troubles.


The drunken showing up at your ex-boyfriend's apartment to try to reconcile with him.
Example: (self-explanatory)
Damage: He's your ex boyfriend for a reason, and thus showing up is probably not a Thing That Is Advisable.
Damage control: Apologize and don't do it again, unless you're Rachel McAdams and your ex boyfriend is Ryan Gosling, because the world needs those two to be together in the end.

Bar fight.
Example: You punch someone in the face and/or get punched.
Damage: Heavy, especially if the punchee is someone you already know.
Damage control: You can't really be friends with someone after getting into a barfight with them. You may also have to go to jail for awhile. Don't do this.