The Girlfriend Always Phones Twice: How Many Calls Are Too Many?

ny observer drunk dial final The Girlfriend Always Phones Twice: How Many Calls Are Too Many? “Were you drinking for the entire flight?” Mr. Goody Two-Shoes asked as I deboarded my plane from Antigua. While he sounded vaguely amused as I slurred a denial, in my defense I had been through quite the ordeal.

I must have been really engrossed in The Jersey Shore while booking my trip to St. Barth’s, because rather than flying directly home I had somehow agreed to an itinerary that had me connecting in St. Martaan and then again in Antigua. Upon my arrival in Antigua, I was informed that my flight had already departed for Newark and that my bags had never even left St. Martaan (I can’t blame them). So with nothing but the clothes on my back, I was shuttled to the ghetto of paradise–my safety-barred window looked out on a quaint, pastoral scene of raw sewage and stray dogs. Being the good little WASP that I am, I responded by drinking heavily for a full 24 hours. And drunk-dialing my boyfriend.

Yes, my former one-night stand Goody and I are, against all odds, dating. And, as is so often the case with women who find themselves in new relationships, I have fallen prey to the temptation of calling him every time anything goes even slightly awry. What can I say? When safely ensconced in the honeymoon phase, it is easy to believe that you are charming and funny when you call to tell your new beau that you nearly set fire to your apartment while trying to make breakfast.

I’m sure that men don’t mind the occasional call to arms, but I’ll admit I’d been abusing my newfound “in case of emergency” number. A week earlier, when I’d run out of gas on 86th Street with what seemed like all of Manhattan honking behind me, I bypassed AAA in favor of Goody. As I placed the call, my mother (regrettably my co-pilot for this misadventure) informed me that if I wanted to find a lasting relationship, “you need to get it together.” Of course, by the time I reached Goody, I had already procured gas with some assistance from a passing good Samaritan. I know that I can handle these things myself, but I can’t seem to resist making the SOS call. (For the record, Goody was no help at all, responding to my roadside disaster with a baffled “What’s wrong with you?”)

So, while my mother’s words of warning were harsh, I have to admit that she has a point. No woman wants the sight of her name appearing on her boyfriend’s Caller ID to prompt an eye roll. Which I’m sure mine did, as I had also recently phoned Goody, my voice shrill with rising panic, to complain about an unidentifiable beeping noise filling my apartment. “Did you check the batteries in your smoke detector?” he asked drily before I’d even finished. He was right. And he sounded so sexy while problem-solving–no wonder I lunge for my phone at the slightest provocation.

I can’t remember exactly how I worded my airport greeting to Goody; given his reaction, it couldn’t have been terribly articulate. But seeing he had wised up and ignored one or two of my calls, I was in dire need of someone to whine to, and saw myself as a fair maiden in sassy distress. (Never mind that no Disney princess, to my knowledge, has ever mainlined mojitos for seven hours prior to wooing her prince, or that I was hardly in the condition to have a level-headed catch-up chat, being so drunk that I actually heckled the young Antiguan boy sitting next to me when he refused to let me play with his Nintendo DS.)

Lesson learned: No guy, however helpful, wants to be on the receiving end of your crisis speed-dial, let alone your weepy drunk-dial or your sloppy airport reunion rant. Contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t find it hugely fascinating that you’ve just missed the dry cleaners or that, thanks to the trusty airline, you have no underwear and, on top of that, your hotel room has no mini-bar. New Year’s resolution: I will try to refrain from dragging poor Goody into all my life’s trivial disappointments.

That said, though he did vow never to travel with me, Goody has, for the most part, remained generally good-natured and understanding. Maybe he’s a keeper.

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