Among a few other, more profound lessons, my time in college has taught me an inevitable fact about hookups: The phrase “It couldn’t get more awkward than this” is always false, and continues to be proven every weekend. It can and will get more awkward than that, especially if you’re a member of the “Fuck me, right?” population that could fill an encyclopedia-sized novel full of horrifying hookup stories.
So, if you are a confident, sexy, go-getter of a human being who has game like Kobe and a magnetism that puts, well, actual magnets to shame, you will in no way relate to this.
Instead, I’d like to propose a toast to those of you who consider the worst-case-scenario more of a lifestyle than an extreme, who walk around campus expecting an uncomfortable run-in because, let’s be real — the list of people you can no longer make direct eye contact with is starting to outnumber the other one.
Despite being competent in most areas of social contact, some of us are destined for hilariously ungraceful hookup situations. You can be a firecracker in the sheets, a sensual god(dess), a carnal connoisseur or, to put it bluntly, just damn good at sex — but that by no means prepares you for the dreaded small talk as you’re both waking up and becoming intensely aware of just how naked you are.
Although charming moments like these may spur the desire to vow abstinence and get thee to a nunnery — I guess Shakespeare understood? — it’s easier to just laugh it off and accept that, in a decade or three, you’ll probably stop blushing, and he or she won’t remember that your exiting phrase was “later, skater.”
After three years of this shit, I’ve pretty much concluded that I gravitate toward all things awkward. In fact, I may be a bit of a masochist if the definition includes the desire to humiliate oneself to an unreasonable extent in front of as many people as possible, in the strangest way imaginable.
My junior year, I fell off a bunk bed mid-hookup, cascading off a dresser and landing on a side table, waking up his alarmed roommate, who was probably wondering why some spastic girl was going on a rampage around their room.
Another time I was dancing at a party and things were getting sweaty (since I’m not one of those inhuman girls who won’t even gently perspire at the gym). Everything was going smoothly until I felt one half of my adhesive bra slide off and, not knowing what to do, ripped of the entire thing and shoved it in my pocket. This almost went unnoticed, until I looked down and saw that the left boob had fallen on the ground and attached to the shoe of the guy I was dancing with. It’s all a bit of a blur now, but in the next few moments my instincts took over and I ended up rushing off before we had to discuss why I’d just torn a boob off his foot.
But my finest hour by far was one afternoon when I was coming out of the morning’s thick delirium that causes me to take on one of many wildly inappropriate, hungover alter-egos. Afternoon goodbyes are much more risky than morning ones because the night’s intoxicants have almost worn off entirely and you’re likely to run into 20 or so acquaintances on your way home. At the very least, I expected the stretch from the bedroom to the front door to be painless, until I emerged into the living room, looking like I’d just returned from the war, only to be greeted by a standing ovation of five to 10 guys. The welcoming parade didn’t end at the door though — they followed me outside, chanting my name and fist-pumping as I sprint-walked down the street, entertaining Bagel Café diners and a house full of laughing college boys, sending me off the classy way.
So we all rack up a few gems after years of navigating the I.V. hookup culture. I’m here to tell you to just relax, and possibly even relish in the fact that you have some funny ones under your belt. Literally.