Quote of the Day: “The only shame is to have none.” –Blaise Pascal
TB always gets good blog material on my frequent trips to Oxford. Sunday morning I was in charge of breakfast so I drove to the square to pick up pastries from Bottletree. Cruising down Lamar I spied ahead of me through the light misting rain a lumbering, large and fast moving figure. “What in the world is that broad doin?”, I wondered. Her black skirt slightly askew, hair mussed, shirt partly tucked in, purse nearly dragging, and jewelry laden, what was most wrong about her were the heels. So high, so impractical for a Sunday stroll on an uneven sidewalk, so…..wrong. I am getting old. It was several seconds after I passed by her, recoiling at her fierce countenance, that I realized it. She was making the walk of shame, and to add insult to injury, the worst known version.
The mildest form of the “walk” is the one where you have to greet the roommates. Generally, everyone has a little slightly embarrassed laugh, followed by the offer of a soda and often a period of relaxing where walker and watchers can catch up on mutual acquaintances or an upcoming exam. Some walkers prefer to head straight for the door and make a quick exit. At any rate this walk involves only a brief period of shame and is possible when the walker has a car parked outside. Even a ride will do.
The next level up on the walk of shame scale of shame builds upon the first. Only no car and no ride are available so the individual with whom one has just shacked up is forced to provide a ride either home or to the shackee’s vehicle left at a bar. The stilted conversation and awkward farewell are the worst parts of this WOS. Sample conversation:
Walker–So, uh, what was your last name again?
Driver–Ummmm, Smith. Yeah, that’s it. Smith. Hey, I had fun last night.
Walker–Great. Did I?
Walker–You know, I NEVER do this. I can’t believe I did it last night.
Driver–Oh, me neither.
Walker–That’s me over there–the Sentra.
Driver–Ok, well….ummm….be careful. You didn’t forget anything did you?
Walker–If I did just keep it.
Sometimes a number is exchanged, sometimes even an uncomfortable hug and almost always a brief blank stare. No one ever looks back.
The poor lass I saw this weekend however was forced to endure the worst of all walks of shame. The one where she had to walk past the roommates, had no ride, had left her car back at the bar and received no half-hearted offer of a ride. I can imagine her host woke up and decided he’d made a damn dubious decision to bring this girl home last night and stayed in bed after she finally rose. Undoubtedly his roommates provided no Diet Coke. And it was raining. And she was on the main drag in town. She did the only thing she could do. She grabbed all her crap, slipped on those pumps and started hoofing it. Her shame was only matched by her ire. Though I kept my distance and quickly left her in the rearview mirror, I could read her mind.
But deep down she knows that’s a lie. Just like it was the last time.