You woke up with a headache and an intense thirst. You’re still wearing last night’s bar clothes. And your cell phone is lying dangerously close to the bed.
“Uh oh” is right. You were drunk dialing.
“That’s the scariest thing, to wake up Saturday and Sunday mornings and look at the outgoing calls,” says Scott Crosby, 26.
Not that Crosby isn’t a fan. In fact, he hopes to one day make those messages his job. Three months ago the St. Louis native and Westminster College graduate founded the Web site www.drunk-dialed.com, where people submit voice-mail messages they’ve received from over-served friends.
Crosby’s site gets about 200 hits a day and about 100 submissions a month, which Crosby thinks should increase when he finds a better way to collect the messages.
Users input 333 plus the number of their ex/crush/former boss, and for a mere 25 cents, they’re safe from embarrassment, at least for the night. Sarah Koenig, a Virgin Mobile USA spokeswoman in Warren, N.J., said the company is considering bringing the service to the United States, but plans are not yet firm.
With an increase in text messaging, drinkers have one more reason to dread the morning after.
A drunk text message could be as simple as “I know ur going ur going to bed but I need a place to crash please please please,” which is what a friend sent recently to Kimberly Martin, 23, of Overland Park, Kan.
“It’s not very normal,” Martin says, “But there’s a very drunk text message.”
In Martin’s case the message was sent by an old friend, but some would argue that bar-hopping dialers call only a) someone they used to hook up with or b) someone they want to hook up with.
It’s less likely you’ll want to make the call when you finally crash out on your couch, and texting makes it all too easy to send an “I’m over you, you heartless jerk” message while conversing at a noisy bar.
Obviously alcohol should be blamed more than technology.
“At the beginning of getting wasted, you’re a lot more assertive,” says Robert Jey, 38. Such assertiveness might be a catalyst for asking out a crush or standing up for oneself to a jerky ex. Both are arguably good things.
Jey says that once drinkers pass a certain point, they turn blubbery. “You’ll say all these things about how you were hurt. If you’re going to drink and dial, do it before you get submissive,” he advises. “No one likes someone who is pathetic.”
Jey should know; he’s a former bartender. “I saw how people changed as the night went on,” he says. “I’m the same way. (Tonight) I’m not picking up the phone after 1 a.m.”
Crosby says two things lure partying people to pick up their cell phones and start dialing: love and hate.
“Calling your ex is what most people associate drunk dialing with,” Crosby says. But instead, he says more often the calls are simply to get friends out of their homes to come join the debauchery.
“When you’re out and your friends aren’t with you, you do kind of miss them a little bit,” Crosby says. “Or you’re calling to brag that they’re not out. I’ve had e-mails from people who say that’s the only way they keep up with people they’ve lost touch with _ checking out the site Monday morning after the calls have been downloaded.”
Crosby is against drunk texting but says, “I’m all in favor of the drunk booty call.”
Even one you’ll regret later?
“Even one you’re going to regret,” he says. “Why not?”