Dear Baroness, I broke someone's bed . . . .And I need some advice.
I need some advice. What is the protocol if I broke someone’s bed? How and what position we were in is, ahem, irrelevant. I just want to know if I’m supposed to fix it, or pay for a new bed frame, or maybe just buy her dinner? I’m a skinny bastard and she’s not exactly big, so I’m not sure how this happened . . . maybe the bed already had issues? This has never happened to me before and I just want to make sure I’m handling it correctly. Also, I don’t know her last name, and can’t remember where she lives (I may still have been drunk when I left the next morning). What to do? I’m not a jerk and just want to do the right thing. Please advise.
Doesn’t Know His Own Strength
I love picturing how this could have happened. So many possibilities. Congratulations. This is an accomplishment to be sure.
Was it a one night stand? I’m assuming since you don’t know her last name that it may indeed be the case. Fabulous. I love it.
Just how skinny are you? Are you tall? Short? Dark hair? Light? Bald? Brown eyes? Blue? It just helps me create a better mental picture. Thanks.
In the end, it does not matter whether the bed was brand new or if she’d been entertaining elephants nightly before you came into the picture. The reality is, it happened while you were doing some variation of the horizontal mambo and so it’s your fault / responsibility. At least it happened while you were having a bit of fun. It wouldn’t be such a great story/visual if it had happened when you were sitting putting your socks back on the next morning. (Though it would still be your responsibility to make it right.)
I have a friend (be warned, this story is not nearly as sexy as yours) who has a little place in the mountains. She and her husband bought all the furniture at a little second hand place and got great old Swiss Chalet-type stuff. They had people over for the weekend and one evening, a woman broke one of the beloved dining chairs. So what should the guest who broke the chair do? The correct answer is: She should apologize to the homeowners and then offer to replace/repair the chair. Simple as that. Whether you are a dear old friend or a first time guest, the etiquette is no different. Apologize and then offer make things right.
In this case, the woman did nothing. She may have been embarrassed or uncomfortable, but this is not any reason not to handle things correctly. Making jokes to ease the tension is understandable and even forgivable as long as, in the end, one does the right thing. Chances are, the person who is in ownership of the now broken thing will not ask you to fix/replace said item, but that is up to them. Addressing and offering is a gesture of good faith and kindness and good manners. But do be prepared for the worst case scenario - you may have to shell out some dough. After all . . . you did break it. (Though, in your case, there is an accomplice and that accomplice is most likely the owner of the broken piece and so may be more apt to let it go with an apology, a huge bouquet of lilacs which you cut yourself from your garden and an expensive bottle of bubbly. And the promise that next time you’ll rent a room at the Dolder.)
I say you should find a way to contact her. Surely you have some mutual friends? You can remember something about her? Where she works? What she drinks? You’re a smart boy, I’m sure you can figure it out. You like a challenge. And now you have one.
Apologize and offer to fix the bed. Humor is always a good way to go with these things. Maybe there is some joke you can make with screws/screwing? (Stop rolling your eyes. It’s a start . . . I can’t be expected to hold your hand the entire way.)
She may not want to see you ever again and perhaps she has already fixed the problem, but again, it’s a matter of manners, class and karma, all of which are terribly underrated (especially good manners). Just do it. You’ll feel better, and either you’ll end up back in the rack for another round of fun, or good friends, or perhaps never see one another again - but here is where karma comes in. Do the right thing. You will help restore her faith in men. Seriously. That is until the next horny, drunken jerk comes along and breaks her bed again.
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