Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Walk of Shame

Does everyone remember the walk of shame? It usually occured on a college campus somewhere (or wherever young people gathered and resided with other young people). You spent the night with someone we hope was your boyfriend but could have been your boyfriend of last night (one night stand - you sluts). You get up in the morning and put your clothes back on, don't brush your hair because you can't use the dude's brush because it likely was icky, then you walk across campus hoping no one is around because you haven't brushed your teeth and even that is offensive to you - but everyone always is. They see you leaving a dorm/residence, not your own, walking to your abode, disheveled and groggy looking. This is always made more attractive if you are also hung over.

I remember several walks of shame in college. Most of them (honest) were walks home from my boyfriend's dorm room or apartment. If it was his apartment, it became the "drive of shame" which wasn't any less noticable. There were some walks that made you regroup outside the dorm (hung over), glance at the building from the outside to remember which dorm it was exactly. Then, without looking as if you did that, get your bearings and head to your dorm. I had several 'friends' tell me about that one.....

Ah - those were the days.

Then I took the Walk on the road. At my sister's posh wedding reception at some golfing resort in British Columbia, I took a walk of shame when I partied until the wee hours with a groomsman (nothing happened, of course, how gauche) and found that I was locked out of my resort room. Turns out one of my cousins thought we were all accounted for but didn't think to check before making that assessment. So I spent the night on the floor of someone's hotel room. It wasn't at all comfortable. I later found out my brother did the Walk of Concern - the walk trying to find someone getting ready to commit a Walk of Shame. He was drunk also.

When I woke in the morning, I thought it was early enough to avoid everyone. Have you ever seen a hung over bride's maid in the morning? Let me describe it for you: hair is beyond disheveled because it had more hairspray in it than ever before and after sleeping on a floor, it looks as if it has been ironed into a topiary. The excessive makeup is now smeared all over your face in a universal Rorschach test for whore.

That was nothing when faced with avid golfers, perky and ready to hit balls at 6 a.m., crazy bastards. They had to giggle when they saw me walking, barefoot (wedding shoes are never comfortable) up a small hill to my hotel room. I tried not to make eye contact and I tried to look perfectly casual and normal. But they'd apparently been there also and knew exactly what was up. I thought, good god. If I am going to have to go through this, I could at least have gotten some the night before. But I digress.

That was the most humilating of the walks.

But now I do the ride of shame because I am gainfully self-employed and have an automobile. And I am not in my twenties. At 35 with a new boyfriend, it isn't humiliating as much as it is - hey look at me - I have a sex life! And now I bring a small little bag with me that has a change of underwear, hairbrush, and a toothbrush. At least I don't look like Medusa when I leave. I find it quite practical.

Which is also depressing. The point of any walk/ride of shame is to suffer some sort of humiliation - it's in the name. Of course it could just be, hey, who cares what the neighbors think. At this point in my life, I know everyone has pretty much done what I have done (reasonably speaking) so this shouldn't come as a shock. If it does, all the better. I don't often shock anymore so I will take whatever I can get.

Perhaps next time I will walk. Barefoot.

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