The Walk of Shame

It’s easy to spot them. They effortlessly stick out like a sore thumb. Frequently sporting dishevelled hair, smeared make-up, wrinkled clothes and scabby feet, and are usually sited on early weekend mornings aimlessly wondering down the street in their unfamiliar environment, high heels in hand. This occurrence can succinctly be subscribed as ‘The Walk of Shame’.

The walk of shame (wikipedia definition: where a person must walk past peers or strangers alone for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy) is rife in modern day society; of course it’s always easier to identify the culprit by their dishevelled appearance when they're a woman. Men are more likely to go about unnoticed given the fact their clothes don’t vastly fluctuate according to the occasion; jeans in the day, jeans to the club. For most women it’s usually conservative during the day and provocative at night, which leaves them in a bit of a pickle when it comes to the morning after the spontaneous night before. What woman wants to wake up feeling like shit, with a gruelling hangover in a munters bed, and with the steady realisation (and embarrassment) of last nights antics? Well…last nights antics obviously seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, the last thing we want to do is stroll round looking like a prostitute in broad daylight, unable to catch a cab home with the £3.97 that we have left in our purse while onlookers smirk at us with judgemental glares.

I was in a dreadful pickle once. As I recall it was the morning after my school leaver’s ball. I’d like to point out that on this particular occasion, my walk of shame wasn’t the result of an impetuous, burning night of passion (although part of me wishes it had been because it would have made the walk more bearable). After staggering around scraping the linings of my handbag, searching in hope for some coins to get a taxi home, my girlfriends and I drunkenly (and stupidly) thought it a marvellous idea to catch a cab with the boys and continue the fun and games back at their house. And it was fun…until I woke up the next morning and realised I had to make my way home in a skin-tight mini-dress with no make up and no money. Not wanting to walk the streets looking like a daytime hooker, I had no choice but to borrow whatever suitable clothes were available. I ended up looking like a tramp for want of a better word. As I stumbled out the house in the early hours of Sunday morning, I received looks of distain left, right and centre. The only thing that made the whole incidence more tolerable was that I was with friends, although prancing about next to them, I looked wholly inadequate. They’d neglected to tell me they’d stuffed a spare pair of clothes in their bag the night before. While they wore trainer’s, hoodies and jeans, I had no choice but to wear an ensemble of high heels matched with ankle swinging pyjama bottoms and an unsightly, vomit-stained hoodie. To top it all off I had taken the liberty of borrowing some ‘poundstretcher’ sunglasses to shield my bloodshot eyes from the light. Unfortunately for me I was still so drunk I didn’t even realise that one of the lenses had fallen out. I looked like a pirate, but nonetheless strut with panache.

After seeing me leave their house in such a state, I decided the boys wouldn’t be getting their clothes back any time soon. The embarrassment of having to return and deliver the hoodie and broken sunglasses overrode my good will. (This is usually the case when women borrow a man’s clothes the next morning to make their way home). Men, let me tell you now, if you give your clothes to her 9 times out of 10 you will not be getting them back. Ever.  If you’re a one night stand she’ll probably never want to see you again. If you’re a friend she’d be reluctant to return them for fear of reminding you of the state she was in when she left your house, preferring instead to forget that night and her ‘mish-mash’ fashion disaster/walk of shame ever happened. So a little word of advice to you; one night stand or a friend, if you ever want to see your hoodie again, don’t give it to her. There’s no need to be a gentleman and you’re not a charity shop. At any rate, if you make a frequent habit of inviting girls round to stay and let them borrow your clothes, your wardrobe will eventually be left bare.

But the plus side for men is that they aren’t forced to borrow clothes for their walk of shame. They’re not going to need a fresh pair of pants or a hoodie to cover their modesty the next morning. They know that whatever person’s house they end up in the night before, they can roll out of bed and walk home in appropriate, albeit matted, clothing. It’s no wonder they stay at people’s houses on a whim after a good night out. They can wake up and go home without the grievance of having to endure sniggers and stares from members of the public. If they get lucky and go back to a girls house the only (potential) item they’ll be needing is a condom. Women on the other hand need to predetermine the situation and stuff items in their handbag accordingly. Face wipes, make-up, trousers, spare pair of knickers and even possibly some flat shoes if there’s any room left in our bag…which ends up looking like a rucksack. I can’t speak for all women out there, but if I end up at someone’s house on a Saturday night without all of the above equipment, I will be making my way home before daylight to ensure I avoid the walk of shame at all costs. So guys, next time you’re out wooing a girl who’s reluctant to come back to yours, it may not be because she doesn’t want to stay over, it’s more likely she doesn’t want to deal with tomorrow mornings inconvenience; the walk of shame. So go back to hers.