What The Drunk “I Love You” Really MeansOctober 23, 2010 No Comments
A young man wakes one afternoon to a crushing hangover. His brain feels as if it’s bleeding, his mouth tastes of dung, and he wants only to be bludgeoned quickly and painlessly into a nice, restful coma. But even through the bellowing cacophony of his pain, a tiny, insistent voice can be heard; a petit pois of nagging pokes through from beneath the heaped mattresses of his distress. And he reaches to his kebab-smeared jeans, lying messily on the floor by his bed, fishes out his phone and checks the call register.
Oh no. There it is. He called her. He called her at 2am for 3 minutes and 23 seconds. And then he remembers what he said. Well, he doesn’t remember exactly what he said, but he remembers the message. He told her he loved her.
Of course, things like this happen every day. Men get drunk frequently, all over the world. And often, when they’re drunk, they talk to women. And sometimes they say things like “I love you”. But what does it mean? Well, let’s turn again to our charming opening vignette. How could that story have turned out?
Our hero could have clutched his brow in renewed distress. Oh God! What on earth did I do that for? I don’t love her! I like her, of course I do, but I certainly don’t think of her at all in that way. What was I thinking? This is worse than that time I got mashed on sherry at a Christmas lunch, took £1000 out the bank and gave it to the Save the Stoat campaign. What have I done?
Or he could have clutched his brow in panic. Yes, I love her, but I didn’t want to tell her like this! I was being so careful, waiting for the right moment to maximise my chances of a favourable reception – even scanning the almanacs for approaching meteor showers – and now she thinks I’m one of those blokes who call up at two in the morning to dribble endearments they don’t mean and won’t remember. Oh arse!
Or he could have clutched his brow in a moment of epiphany. Yes! I do love her! Why did it take such a skinful for me to realize it? Oh happy day! I can’t wait until I stop feeling like roadkill, so I can crawl over to her house and renew my declarations, this time hopefully without the intermittent belching!
And there we have it. The drunk “I love you” can mean anything.
At times, we all need a little Dutch courage to express our true feelings. Sometimes, with too much Dutch courage, we can express feelings we never knew we had. Sometimes, with too much of the wrong type of Dutch courage, we start expressing feelings we never even had in the first place. In vino veritas, perhaps, but there’s a lot of crap in vino as well.
Human beings are complicated – even men. They say and do things for lots of different reasons: out of conscious desire, out of unconscious desire, or just simply because they’re a bit pissed.
So if you find yourself on the receiving end of a drunk “I love you”, your best move is probably to ask him what he meant once he’s sober. But give yourself a chance – wait until he’s feeling a little less close to death. Better still, pour him a hair of the dog. He’ll soon brighten up and tell you all over again.
We are pleased to introduce to you a new resident man at Morning Quickie. Unfortunately for us Reservoir Dad’s family commitments will no longer allow him time to work on our team. But we wish him the best of luck with his family and the new little one on the way. This article is the first of many to be written by Lobster. Lobster lives in west London and turns tricks as an economist to fund a wildly overgrown easy listening collection. His hobbies include shouting at the television and drinking. You can email him here.