from The New Yorker.
JUNE 5, 2015
This is incredibly difficult for me, but I want to apologize in advance for my behavior at your party this coming Saturday. I know that you’re used to receiving these notes from me after an event, and you probably haven’t even had a chance yet to read the one I sent to say sorry for the other night (when I placed your frightened dachshund on my shoulder and chased people around your apartment pretending to be a pirate), but I really feel so terrible about how this get-together is destined to go down. It’s going to be BAD bad—like the time I chugged those Old-Fashioneds and moonwalked into your new TV, but worse.
First off: I realize that I’ve said this on more than a few occasions, at our bottomless-mimosa brunches, but I’m never drinking another drop of alcohol ever again. For the next week, minimum. I understand that the main reason you invited me to a bar on your birthday was so that I could spend as much money on beer as is unemployed-humanly possible and then act as if I know everything about everyone’s jobs (don’t forget, I was once a temp). But I’m afraid I won’t be drinking. Apologies also to the bartender.
Since I will not be imbibing, you can expect me to refrain from many, if not all, of the behaviors that make you so eager to hang out with me. It’s going to be pretty awkward, me standing around, not on top of a table, picking up on social cues. Who’s going to want to talk to me—a guy who isn’t slurring his words, who respectfully listens to other people’s opinions, and who, worst of all, is wearing a shirt? I’m humiliated just imagining how much I won’t be embarrassing myself. No yelling, no fighting, no flirting with your girlfriend. No spilling, no rambling, no drinking your beverage when you’re in the bathroom. I’m going to look like such an ass. And I just don’t know how I’ll ever be able to make that up to you. Maybe I could finally replace that vase of yours that I broke a few months ago while performing my smash-hit party trick of turning anything into a hat? The one that everyone kept calling an “earn?”
I know—you don’t even have to tell me—I’m aware that this is going to be terrible. My stomach is churning just thinking about how I might be well enough to join you for a run the next morning. That’s assuming that you ever want to see me again, after I make polite conversation with your other guests, conversation that in no way makes them feel uncomfortable or think less of you by association. I mean, yikes.
Reading this must be like some sort of nightmare for you, and I truly can’t express just how much that kills me. The last thing I want to do is cause you additional suffering by making you swallow this Big Gulp of a mea culpa, but I wanted to prepare you for what’s coming (namely me, ruining everything with my pleasantness, on Saturday). Thanks for being such a good friend, even when I make that as difficult as I am making it now.
P.S. Don’t worry about not having someone to eat forty dollars’ worth of dollar-pizza slices with at three in the morning. I’ll be there, bud. I’ve got to destroy my body somehow.