“You Were Perfectly Fine” is a simple tale of two people who are completely out of sync, but either not aware of it (in the girl’s case) or not quite sure how to get out of it (in Peter’s case).
Peter is a drunk, and when he’s drunk, he does and says things which he does not remember and does not–when sober–mean. He isn’t sure exactly what he said to her, but as the story goes on, it becomes clear that his words have had a great impact on her. She is planning a future for the two of them, even though we get the idea that Peter does not think of her in such a grand, long-term manner.
The girl attempts to justify all of his drunken actions because she must also justify Peter’s confession of love for her. She works very hard to make his drunken singing, stumbling, arguing, and general asinine behavior seem “not so bad” because if everything else he did while drunk was an embarrassment and a mistake, then his words of love were, as well–something the girl cannot bear to think about.
The “pale young man” (Peter) and the clear-eyed girl are recovering from a party where the young man was drunk and made quite a spectacle. He’s worried he’s been too over the top, she tries to reassure him.
“You were fine,” she said. “Don’t be so foolish about it. Everybody was crazy about you. The maitre d’hotel was a little worried because you wouldn’t stop singing, but he really didn’t mind…” She tells him of his singing, and claiming the waiter was his long lost brother stolen by gypsies, and insulting a man’s tie. He fell on the ice, but she tries to reassure him it wasn’t because he was drunk, it was just icy. Anyone could have fallen. They then took a “lovely long ride” in a taxi where Peter shows her his “true” self. A side she hasn’t seen before.
“You said such lovely, lovely things,” she said. “And I’d never known, all this time, how you had been feeling about me, and I’d never dared to let you see how I felt about you. And then last night—oh, Peter dear, I think that taxi ride was the most important thing that ever happened to us in our lives.” Peter has obviously said more than he meant to say and the girl has taken his drunken confessions to heart. She’s smitten and is holding him to the declarations of affection that he can’t even remember.
1. Not feeling so well today
2. Fascinating tricks at dinner
3. Singing for hour
4. Long-lost brother is waiter
5. Icy sidewalk
6. Pretty long ride in the taxi
7. Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear.