Friday, 18 September 2015

Drunk Texting

One of the best things about quitting alcohol is not having to reach for your mobile with trepidation in the morning, to see what havoc your drunken texting wreaked the night before.

How many times have you wished there was a 'retrieve' button you could press before some hapless recipient could read your alcohol fuelled rants, lurking like unexploded land mines in their message folder?

I was even worse with e-mail. I thought I was so erudite after a few vinos. I'd write embarrassingly emotional mails, professing undying love for the recipient, or brimming with self righteous anger over some perceived slight. Or both, simultaneously.

Back in the day, I nearly lost my job over an e-mail, sent after a boozy 'work' lunch (see Alcohol Induced Rage).

I thank my lucky stars that the internet didn't exist for much of my wild, single past.

Today's teenage girls can so easily, fuelled by that heady mixture of hormones and booze, send pictures of what #3 would call their 'noo-noo' to a trusted boyfriend. Then they discover that, once the relationship's ended, they're posted on the internet for any prospective employer to see....

Apparently, it's this fear of being haunted by their drunken exploits, stored forever in the Cloud of Shame, that has led to more and more young people shunning alcohol.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the proportion of teetotal young adults rose by 40% between 2005 and 2013. As a result, Grazia magazine (my only remaining shameful habit) has declared that 'Square's The Thing, the fashion, the new black.'

It seems that going sober is a bit like wearing sequined hotpants and tongue studs: if you're under 25 it's cool and rebellious, but if you're middle aged it makes you look sad and borderline insane.

Much as I love the immediacy and convenience of texting, I miss the tradition, beauty and safety of letter writing.

It's really hard to send a drunken letter. If you're wasted enough to write one, you're too plastered to find an envelope, stamp and make it to a postbox without falling over. Instead, you leave it till the following morning when, now sober (more or less), you see the error of your ways and sigh with relief as you shred or burn it.

The Sunday Times have published an anthology called 'More Letters of Note', and one of my favourite extracts is from a letter written by Katherine Mansfield, author and wife of the literary critic John Middleton Murray, to his mistress, Princess Elizabeth Bibesco in 1921.

Imagine what a drunken text to your husband's (much younger) mistress might look like..... get ur hands off my bloke you b***h, or similar, and compare it to Katherine's masterpiece of anger and condescension, disguised as polite advice:

I am afraid you must stop writing these little love letters to my husband while he and I live together. It is one of the things which is not done in our world. You are very young. Won't you ask your husband to explain to you the impossibility of such a situation. Please do not make me have to write to you again. I do not like scolding people and I simply hate having to teach them manners.

Game, set and match to Katherine!

So I say ban texts, and bring back letter writing.

Or, at least, stop drinking alcohol....

Have a great weekend everyone!

SM x


  1. Oh SM, I used to wake up in the morning and then 1. Assess how bad I felt 2. Try to remember who I texted, emailed and what I had facebooked/tweeted 3. Get up, drink large glass of water 4. pluck up courage to check phone/computer 5. Gag down coffee 6. Sit in misery trying to figure out damage control, while attempting to answer my husband's question...."What did you mean by this post??" .......thank God those days are over!!

  2. ugh. I remember looking back over my sent message/emails/facebook posts. Morto. I had no off button when pissed. I said really inappropriate things to inappropriate people. Even worse was the trying to find out what i'd said/done to people if I was out the night before. Catching snapshots of who i'd spoken to and letting my imagination run riot. So glad I don't have to do that anymore.