Banish Those Drunk Rows. Forever
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The other weekend, I had a particularly bad Single Morning — when you wake up on a Saturday and both your flatmates are at their boyfriend’s houses and there is no milk in the fridge and you can’t really walk because you sprained your ankle dancing to Bruce Springsteen the night before. The kind of morning that makes you feel like everything might just be a bit easier if you were in a relationship.
I pick up the phone to ring my friend Helen, tell her about my ankle and hear how her Friday night panned out.
“Not great,” she says, flatly. “Ross and I had a row last night and now we’re not talking.”
“Oh no! What was it about?” I ask. She tells me. She can’t really remember, something silly. They were at the pub with friends, they’d both had a bit to drink, it went on for a while, then a girl at the bar accidentally smashed a shot glass against her leg.
“The whole thing went a bit ‘free jazz’ after that,” she sighs.
“Free jazz”. Isn’t that perfect? I think back on every drunk row I have had in past relationships and I can almost hear it. The frenetic hi-hat, the loud honk of a clarinet, the unexpected squeak of a tenor sax. None of it makes sense. You don’t know how any of it began – but suddenly you’re in the thick of it, outside the pub, in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night. Engulfed in a mad cacophony of loud, unharmonious accusations and questions that you have no idea how to stop.
Drunk rowing may not be the most serious problem in a relationship, but it certainly is the most annoying. More often than not, they mean absolutely nothing; the square root of sh*t-all. They spring from a misunderstanding or a miscommunication, out of hyperbole or semantics. In a state of sobriety, no more than 30 seconds would be spent discussing it but when one/both of you is drunk, it take limitless hours to get to the bottom of the phantom problem.
Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a handy list of the five most common drunk rows that happen in relationships so you can have a once-over before you head out with your other half.
1. The Lost Party.
Ah. A classic. A phone has run out of battery, they’re spending all their time talking to their friends, they go get cash out/to the bar/to the dance floor and they’ve disappeared into a black hole for a few hours. The other half is absolutely livid -– they feel totally ignored. The wandering partner returns to a Paxman of accusations, the abandoned party claiming that they are deeply unhappy in the relationship.
2. WHY WERE YOU TALKING TO HIM/HER
When a drunk person is feeling abandoned or unloved by their other half, they decide to remedy this by flirting outrageously with someone else. They lean up against the bar, telling the barmaid that they’ve always had “a weakness for Irish accents”, or they ask for a bloke’s number in the smoking area (all while in earshot of the partner). In a bid for attention, they push the person further away. This row descends into one party accusing the other of “making a fool” out of them, usually very loudly, over and over again.