Retaining dignity: how to avoid the dreaded “walk of shame”

Halloween is coming up, and with it, crazy house parties where liquor flows like water, and people cast off their inhibitions, instead dawning a hobo bundle and Sharpie beard, or swanky (thanks for the auto-correct, MS Word, I totally didn’t mean a word that rhymes with “swanky”) nurse uniform.

As always, the morning after the deed inevitably arrives and, just as the sun of the new day dawns, the weight of the situation dawns on those who find themselves somewhere other than their own bed.

If you have the nagging feeling that this may be you, perhaps from previous experience, there are a few things you can do to in terms of prep-work to lessen the humiliating effect of the “walk of shame.” That is to say, the act of leaving the house, while everyone  else stares you down, fully aware of your deed.

First of all, know whom you’re going to bed with. The most important part of stealth espionage action is awareness of your environment, and remaining unseen. Having a good “partner” (in this case, the person you got down with last night) can go a long way.  They can leave the room ahead of you, and distract the opposition (parents, flat mates, etc.) in order for you to make a clean getaway.

Try putting a plan together in which your teammate draws everyone into another room, leaving the entryway unguarded. If this is not possible, use them as a physical shield, or have them at least draw attention away from your immediate area.

Sometimes, however, the bed-friend you befriended might not be up to the mission. Maybe you don’t know them too well, and they just want you out. Maybe they remain catatonic, or otherwise useless to help. Or maybe they aren’t there at all, and you wake up alone, a stranger in a strange land.

Accept the fact that this could be a solo sneaking mission. This is a bad scenario, since even if you were discovered with your partner, they could shoulder some of the embarrassment along with you. If you go alone, the awkwardness upon discovery is doubled. However, there are a few tactics that can be employed alone.

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Incorporate some form of mask into your costume. It’s Halloween anyway, so just go as something with a concealed face. That way it’s not “John” that bolted out the door after a walk of shame, but “Spiderman.” Be sure to stay away from cameras during the party, to avoid a Scooby-Doo-esque unmasking, or a Facebook scandal the following day. Also be sure to never take the mask off, or divulge your true identity to anyone you talk to at the party (it’s what the real Spiderman would do).

Even if it’s not Halloween, you can bring a balaclava with you to obscure your identity further. Be careful though, as you will look almost exactly like a home invader, and your chances of ‘action’ in the first place will go down.
If you can’t swing a mask, there are always alternate escape routes. Flanking corners and crawling around kitchen islands can only get you so far. If there’s a TV by the door, and all the hungovers are camping in front of it, there’s nothing your impressive stealth can do.

If this is the case, consider leaving out of the window (this is also what the real Spiderman would do, first floor or otherwise).

Hopefully you planned ahead and brought your shoes into the room, but if you were too inebriated to remember them, leaving through the window is still encouraged. You can always buy more shoes; you can never buy more dignity.