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Got drunk at the Christmas party

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  December 14, 2009 09:43 AM

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It’s nice to be back from Los Angeles. I had a good time with family and I even made some time to do some interviews for the Globe. But I missed you. And I missed East Coast coffee. West Coast coffee is different. I don’t know why.

The holiday issues continue. And before you judge this woman … well, we’ve all been there in some form or another. Well, maybe not all of us, but most of us.

Q: I had a work holiday party last week and then a date after wards. This was our seventh date and everything was going perfectly (no red flags and wonderful chemistry). I showed up to the date unintentionally drunk and he was not impressed. We went to dinner and out to the movies. I am very embarrassed because I fell asleep at the movies and then was talking loudly to the cab driver.

He drove me home didn't say one word (20 minute ride). Then I couldn't find my keys. He came out of the car and said, "He really likes me but ...” I don't remember or he mumbled something ... said he would call me in a couple of days, then he left.

The next morning I woke up in absolute horror. I have scenes in my head—horrible because they’re real, and they’re of me behaving like a jerk in the taxi, talking Spanish to a Haitian cab driver, being too dumb (or numb) to see the insult, or be sensitive to him cringing beside me. I remembering ignoring him, the guy who I was there for, who, before the drinks took away my senses, filled them with joy and anticipation.

It was supposed to be a good night. An office party, a date—what could go bad? Looking back on it, I can’t believe that that at this point in my life (I'm 28 and so is he), I could succumb to peer pressure, ignore that for years now I’ve never had more than two drinks in an evening and have tried never to drink on an empty stomach. But the free drink tickets kept arriving in the hands of my office mates, whom I love, and of course there comes a point when judgment is, as they say, impaired. He got to witness it.

The next morning I wrote out an apology letter that was to the point and heartfelt without trying to defend myself. I had many of my close friends critique it.

He wrote back thanked me for the apology and said that he unfortunately didn't think we should see each other again. He then said I was beautiful, intelligent, and interesting. Saying it is a shame.

I'm in grad school and I work for a professor who is a non-narrative fiction writer. I got the email from my guy while I was working with the professor. My professor felt so bad and wanted to help so he said that he would write him back. Since I was in a state of shock, the professor took the reigns and we composed a beautiful letter to the guy. The letter consists of a well written apology about how badly I felt and how I would love to have a chance to fix it. A bit Jane Austin/ Wuthering Heights, but I believed what it said, it before email him.

That was nine days ago and no word from him.

I agree my actions were unacceptable, but I want to salvage our relationship even though we had just been dating for a month. I went to the restaurant (he took me to that night) and the movie and bought him gift cards, but I'm not sure if mailing them to him would be a good move. I need some advice please let me know what I should do. He is worth it.

– That Drunk Girl From The Christmas Party, Somerville

A: OK, TDGFRTCP, first of all, stop apologizing and do not buy him anything. You’re making it worse.

Boy would I like to see your professor’s letter. That is so great. And so … like a writer to take over. It’s all very … “Cyrano,” isn’t it?

Here’s my thought – when we really dig someone, we tend to be more likely to forgive their stupidity. Meaning, if this guy was totally into this, if he had been wishing and hoping that you were the one, he’d probably be looking for any excuse to undo what you did – to blame it on your co-workers, the booze, etc.

But he was so quick to walk – and he knew you for six dates sober. He had a basis of comparison and he walked away regardless. To me, that says that he either wasn’t committed to this to begin with, or that he was just so incredibly offended by your behavior, he couldn’t stick around. And if that’s the case, this isn't a good match anyway. Your behavior in the cab sounds horrible, for sure -- but you probably want to be with someone who can forgive the occasional night of ridiculousness.

Had the roles been reversed, you would have given him another chance, right? He hasn’t been forgiving, which speaks to his priorities and rules. They’re not necessarily wrong, just different than yours. Which means this isn’t just about your bad night. These differences would have come up anyway.

This is not to say your behavior didn’t contribute to the end of this relationship. Just don’t beat yourself up too much. Know that this is more about learning what someone is like after a few dates. You’ve learned that this guy can’t forgive an evening of stupidity, and that he had no interest in giving you the benefit of the doubt. If he shows up again, great. But if not, it would have ended like this anyway.

Readers? Have you been this person? How curious are you about the professor’s letter (I am quite curious, obviously.) Have you ever written non-narrative fiction? Is this the letter writer’s fault? Share here.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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