The Walk of Shame
Caitlin Reid, Los Angeles – After a night of hardcore partying there are few words more ominous, more heartbreaking, more dreaded than “Walk of Shame”. The glory of a passionate connection followed by a cuddly sleepover is almost always masked by this parade of embarrassment. You wake up in the morning and the panicked search for your underwear and dead cell phone begins, mascara burning your eyes, head pounding, nausea building; all of your normal hangover symptoms, however crippling they may be, take a backseat to the fact that you must gather what little pride you have left and march yourself home wearing the remnants of last night’s saucy outfit. Take a deep breath. Go to your happy place. Put one foot in front of the next and hold your head high, girl: this is your walk of shame.
Yes, I’m talking to you, ladies. And before you raise your manicured fists in feminist objection, lets talk this out for a minute. It is virtually impossible for a man to fall victim to the walk of shame. Think about it. Our society has pretty much painted an invisible crown on a man walking home on Sunday morning with bed head and George Clooney stubble. This man has scored, he got lucky, he’s beaming as he strolls into Dunkin’ Donuts to retrieve that coveted hangover breakfast sandwich. Pat that man on the back! Ladies on the other hand, are scrutinized and judged all the way home. We’re meant to be just that: “ladies”, who don’t wear pinching heels and an over-sized hoodie as little black dress accessories on a Sunday morning stroll. This uniform equals one thing in the eyes of the masses: SLUT. So prove me wrong if you will, but this article is a battle cry to the party-going women of the world, from a party-going woman of the world. The Walk of Shame fucking sucks. That being said, let’s talk about ways to soften the blow of this sometimes inevitable happening.
First of all, come prepared. You don’t have to roll in an over-sized suitcase with the 30-rack you brought to the party, but a discrete bag packed with the essentials can make all the difference in the morning. Opt for a larger sized purse if you even THINK you might be getting jiggy with it. It might mean sacrificing a little fashion know how, but having the opportunity to brush your teeth and throw on jeans and sneakers will be immeasurably worth it. Mom always said: be prepared. Mom really means, “It’s OK Honey, we’ve all been there. Don’t forget your face wash”.
If at all possible, have a BFF on call to save the day. A quick call or text mid-party to a girlfriend with some wheels and a big heart could save you from the awful trek through the living room full of dudes playing Madden (dudes who can’t WAIT to give you piles and piles of shit). Call a sister up and have her pick your sorry ass up. Sneak out the back door and leave your troubles twisted in the sheets. Treat her to brunch on the way home and allow her to rag on you for the entire meal. This can be a great way to soften the impending blow that PABS will cause to your ego. Nothing soothes the blues like a spill-session over a greasy spoon brekkie with a good girlfriend.
If it comes down to it and you are left to your own devices without support, the best way to handle a Walk of Shame is to hold your pretty little head high and get it over with as fast as possible. Sure, the gardeners’ creepy smile may haunt your dreams for a night or two. Sure, you may not be able to make eye contact with those little kids out for a family bike ride. But in the end, you are just as awesome as that dude ahead of you in the coffee line. That shower will come, and in a matter of hours you’ll be cozy in your bed, solo, watching your favorite hangover movie, shedding shameful memories one piece of delicious hangover pizza at a time. Anyone who judges you en route is only judging themselves, remembering their own Walks of Shame and feeling grateful that you’re carrying the torch today instead of them. When next weekend’s festivities begin, you’ll be looking as hot as ever, rocking the oversized purse, feeling just a little bit wiser thanks to your stroll down the Walk of Shame.
To all that have walked The Walk: send in your tales of woe! We’d love to hear your Shameful Stories. As good as the best story we’ve heard is, there’s always better out there. If you left your pantyhose behind or spent 20 minutes hailing a cab in a residential area, post your story as a comment on this article. The best three stories will be featured exclusively on Caveday.