Streaked mascara. Tousled hair. Heels too high for 9 in the morning and a skirt too short for…well, anytime, really. What do all these things have in common? Three words: Walk. Of. Shame.
It’s not just the oh-so-memorable moment of the morning when, just as you come out of last night’s stupor, you realize in horror that you’re lying next to someone who, under ordinary (i.e.: non-intoxicated) circumstances, you wouldn’t be. Oh no, that would be too easy. It’s the shameful hunt for your keys/shoes/shirt/purse/shirt. It’s the trying in vain to discreetly slip away from your blissfully unaware bedfellow – which doesn’t work, he always notices. It’s like trying to walk a tightrope in Doc Martens – unavoidably awkward.
Though it doesn’t have to be. For some people, like my friend Christine Yamamori, there’s nothing shameful about it. “For me,” Christine said “Its a walk of fame.” Christine went on to tell me about a football related after-party where the final score was almost better than the main event.
“This one time at a party near campus there was this really cute guy who was on the football team that all the girls were gushing over. He was really sweet. I went over to him, started the usual chit chat and [we] shared a few drinks. One thing led to another and we headed back to his dorm. It was a fun night to say the least.”
For most people, the fun would have stopped when the sun came up. Not Christine.
“I got re-dressed and went out the door. Needless to say [since we were in a dorm], I had several guys clapping and cheering at me. I just smiled and waved back. One guy kept chanting ‘walk of shame’ but I told him that it was a ‘walk of fame.’ I had nothing to be ashamed of. He was a hot guy and he gave me a great night. I would gladly make that walk again.”
The thought process is simple for Christine, and my friend Alia Moore agreed. If you had a great time with a great person, then there’s nothing to be guilty about. “Recently, when I was going to see [my] piece, I showed up wearing nothing but a button down shirt, boyshorts and my ‘F— me’ pumps. Little did I know, his neighbors weren’t asleep yet. I got my walk of shame on before and after the deed was done. [But] if I got what I wanted,” Alia said “then I’m never ashamed of the deed.”
Though sometimes, even when you are okay with the person you spent the night with, your appearance on the way home is where the ‘shame’ part comes in. I don’t think anything tops the story I heard from my best friend’s boyfriend, Sam Galpin. (Not in regards to my BFF, btw.)
“A couple years ago when I was commuting to Drew [University], I went to the big Halloween costume party there. I dressed up as an old Chicago gangster, complete with suit, hat and plastic tommy gun. Best part was my Sharpie mustache,” Sam said. “I got really quite drunk that night, and ended up going back to the room of a girl I’d kissed the semester before. She was dressed up as Gary Busey [as his mug shot], complete with a black eye. Not much happened, as we were both smashed. We did manage to smear my mustache and her black eye all over both our faces though, so the walk back to my car the next morning was pretty sad looking.”
Hear that, ladies? Guys aren’t always running victory laps on the way home – sometimes they’re pretty embarrassed as well. Another guy friend (who wished to remain anonymous) had this to contribute: “One time, I hooked up with a guy that lived next door to his parents,” he said. “I had to walk to my car in front of his nieces and nephews playing in their grandparents’ yard on a Sunday morning.” Ouch.
Oh, the Walk of Shame. Everyone’s had one – and if you haven’t yet, you will soon. The best way I’ve found to get through it is just by avoiding tequila and making the walk as quick as possible – and taking off the excessive face paint pre-hook up. Or just avoiding it altogether. Think of it this way, ladies: it’s not a walk of shame, it’s a walk of fame.