Does A&E have an Interventionist for this?

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you all about a very serious epidemic that is sweeping our nation. One of every four 20-somethings succumb to this illness every weekend. Everyone look to your left. Now look to your right. There’s no one there, right? Then you’ve probably already fallen victim to this crippling disorder.

Imagine this scenario: It’s Friday night and you’re out with your friends having a great time. This past week has been absolute murder, so you’re ready to unwind. Your best friend Erin orders a round of tequila shots, and who are you to turn down a free shot? One shot leads to two, two shots lead to seven, and before you know it, you’re performing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” karaoke (only later to realize there was no karaoke at that bar).

Now on your Fantastic Voyage to a hangover, you may have wandered away from your friends and lost your left shoe (and maybe a bit of your pride) but the one thing you managed to hang on to is your trusty cell phone. Good thing too, because when your blackout starts to wear off around 4 AM, you’re coherent enough to call a friend to tell them you are near a mailbox and a man with a beard, and can they please pick you up?

The downside to carting your phone around with you is drunk texting. As if your hangover wasn’t bad enough, you realize that you texted God’s entire green earth last night in varying states of coherence. I’m not saying all drunk texting is bad, but all drunk texting is definitely not good.

Let me break it down for you (but I promise to lay off the rap for a while).

Level 1 – Green – Low

This stage usually occurs in the beginning of the night, after one or two pregame drinks. These text messages are indistinguishable from sober text messages. They are mainly administrative texts to figure out where everyone is and where you’re meeting and who’s going to be there and OMG that place sucks, let’s go somewhere else. (This is assuming all of your friends aren’t already with you. I love texting as much as the next guy, but if you’re having an in person conversation via text, you may have a problem.)

Level 2 – Blue – Guarded

A few more drinks, and you’re feeling great. And you want everyone you know to feel great too. There is a lot of love going on at this level. You start texting your friends that you aren’t with. Sure, they might currently be 400 miles from where you are, but still, if they come out with you tonight it would be so fun! You are having an awesome time and want to drink awesome shooters and listen to awesome music and sit around and soak up each other’s awesomeness. Your friends on the opposite coast probably won’t be joining you for a beer, but they’re glad you thought of them. This is the stage where drunk texting is fun and yields positive results.

Level 3 – Yellow – Elevated

The night is taking off and those shots have just started to hit you. Now you’re texting everyone in your phone: the friends you’re with, the friends you’re not with, your cousin, that guy you met last week at Starbucks, any and all former relationships, somehow you even have the number of your high school English teacher. These texts are specific to the recipient. Your former roommate who you hated gets a passive aggressive text message about how great your current living situation is; your ex-boyfriend gets a sappy text regarding how much you miss them, etc. Whatever thought swims through the booze in your head when you see their name in your contact list is what you send. This is where the texting gets dicey, because you stop being polite and start getting real.

Level 4 – Orange – High

Once it hits your lips, it’s just so good. But since you’ve been channeling Frank the Tank, you’ve let your fingers do some unsupervised walking. Any text conversations you were having in Level 3 have been amplified. What started out as a harmless flirtatious text to that guy/girl you always flirt with has turned ugly; you keep sending romantic things (“i think ur pretty n stuff” or “cum here n make out with me”) to no response. One of the texts from your friend from high school struck the wrong note with you and now you’re furious at them for being such a douchebag. Your saving grace is that a lot of these text messages are grossly misspelled. Unfortunately the sentiments come through loud and clear. These text messages are never pleasant to read the next day.

Level 5 – Red – Severe

Prior to or immediately following a blackout, you reach level five. Ironically, while this is the highest level of drunk texting, it poses one of the lowest threats to your pride the following morning. This is because as much as you want to tell someone off, it looks like you’ve been typing with your elbows. The letter X appears in practically every word. Good thing Crackerjack doesn’t give away secret drunk text decoder rings, or your drunken/horny/angry/depressed true intentions would be revealed. The only thing being revealed by these text messages is your elevated blood alcohol content.

Once you can learn to recognize the stages of drunk texting, you can help to prevent Level 5 from being reached. If you do happen to ascend to higher levels of drunk texting, I highly recommend deleting all your outgoing texts the next morning, as now that you’re Dr. Jekyll once more, you don’t want to know what Mr. Hyde got up to last night. If you, or anyone you know, is prone to this debilitating illness, please share this with them. After all, friends don’t let friends drink and text.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I plan to have a Level 5 weekend, so you can all expect a text message from yours truly.


2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

I miss being at parties/bars/barties and watching you drunk text. You're normally squinting with one eye, thumbs flying every which way, tongue hanging out, legs half dancing, all low to the ground like.

God I miss seeing that.

Talia said...

i loved seeing all of that go down Toga night.. i think at one point we were arm and arm, squinting, and texting..
one point you forgot, when you are too embarrassed to look at your past texts and you delete you history.. then the next morning you kick yourself in the jugular for not knowing what you typed to someone..

*Jac* said...

I love your blog because it makes me happy to know I'm not the only one that does this stuff. The number of times I've called my friends to tell them I'm by a tree and a building... or lost a shoe.. and don't even get me started on drunk texting. How is it that X gets in every word at level 5? I've never understood that one. Anyways, I am, as always, impressed by your genius

Anonymous said...

I hate level orange. I never seem to have the foresight to delete my messages... and the next day I read them over and over as some form of torture, trying to teach myself a lesson. Which never seems to stick.

My most recent orange level message was accidentally telling my boyfriend I love him. Yeah. Good thing I was clearly drunk or I probably couldn't have played that one off.

Anonymous said...

My worst orange level text message was about 3 months ago. After an arduous night of making a drunken ass of myself in front of the boy I was into at the time, my friends and I inhaled a pizza and called it a night. Before my head hit the pillow, I managed to store said boy's number in my phone.
The next morning I discovered that when I THOUGHT I was typing his name into my phone book, I was actually typing it into the body of a text...and when I THOUGHT I was hitting "Save," I was actually hitting "Send." That's right, I sent him a text of his OWN name at 3:30 in the morning. Nice.

Unknown said...

I love your blog so much I could marry it...my last Level Orange was a few weekends ago, I texted my best guy friend something that looked like "I ammg ionh pre now haga haga haga.!" which roughly translates to "I am going pee right now!" Not too embarrassing since we are just friends but still...why am I texting while peeing? I didn't see that ;ittle gem until I was reading my sent texts a few days later looking for something. I started to laugh in public.
The same night it quickly escalated into a Level Red where I texted this guy I used to hook up with, luckily he got "xxfgne gje mmm22 fd" when I was probably trying to say "fuck you idiot, enjoy living with your cheating girlfriend". Whoopsie

Laurie said...

Absolutely amazing. I've had way too many of these nights where I've been completely horrified by the things I've texted the next morning. Good to know I'm not the only one!

lycocat said...

Hmm, is there a level 6: code fuchsia for people who don't have cell phones, yet still drunk text via other people's cell phones? I mean, not that I am that person, it's my friend. Yeah, my friend.

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