In my 30 years on planet Earth, I've woken up in someone else's bed looking like a complete hot mess in my Halloween costume MANY times.
I've woken up in a slutty "Alice In Wonderland" costume, as Esmeralda from "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame," as a velvet Snow White and I've woken up in a fucking corset.
You haven't truly experienced the gorgeous sinfulness of Halloween until you've woken up in full costume.
And more importantly, you haven't gained some really great, emotionally-loaded content for your memoir until you've had a walk of shame in a Halloween costume.
In hindsight, I'm pretty proud of my adventurous shame walks the morning after Halloween, so calling them "strides of pride" would be more appropriate. But when they were happening, I experienced the shame. The shame was unwarranted, but it was real, baby.
Luckily, shame can't kill you. So, I'm very much alive and very much enthused to share every exact thought that will go through your head the morning of November 1, and how you will survive such an emotional whirlwind.
"Oh, what a strange dream I had last night."
You wake up with your heart pounding outside of your chest. You attempt to open your eyes, but they feel as if they're stuck together — and they very well might be (lash glue is no joke).
As you look down and see your body is dressed in a sparkly, sequined, torn, tulle fairy costume, you close your eyes again and think, "Oh, I must be dreaming a very trippy dream."
And then, you turn around and see a warm body next to you. Who the fuck is that?
Suddenly, you remember kissing your ex and getting into bed with them. You quickly realize, "HOLY SHIT, THIS IS NOT A DREAM."
This is real life. And you're in full costume.
"I need to get the HELL out of here."
After silently screaming into the pillow, you go straight into crisis, autopilot mode.
You get out of bed and suddenly, you're laser-focused.
"I just have to get home. It doesn't matter my head is pounding, I'm wearing wire wings and torn stockings, and I can't find my purse. I just need to get the hell out of here. NOW."
Take it from me: I've stumbled through the bustling streets of Manhattan right past the runners of the New York City Marathon with false eyelashes peeling off my lids and mascara running down my face.
I've also held my breath on the London underground at 7 am with a torn, ruffled skirt hanging off my hips and clip-on fairy wings clutched between my fingertips.
During those moments, all I could think was "GET ME HOME." The thought repeated itself over and over like a twisted version of a meditation mantra.
"Where the hell am I?"
It's not a walk of shame if you know where you are, babes.
You peer outside a stained window, and even though you're a born-and-bred New Yorker, you swear to goddess you've never seen that deli sign across the street. Are you even in New York?!
This is when you love technology. You can simply grab your phone and drop pin yourself on Google Maps to find out.
You grab your purse that's resting on top of a sleeping boy dressed as Jesus, and you head out, jacket-less, into the cold, windy, fall air. Surely your phone is in your bag, it's always in your bag. Just get out the goddamn door of this sketchy ass apartment and drop that pin, baby!
"Where the fuck is my phone?"
As you reach into your purse to retrieve your beloved phone, you quickly realize it isn't there. Panic floods your entire body.
I can feel your pain because this has happened to me more times than I can count (there is a hidden lesson in here: Check to see if your phone is in your bag BEFORE you leave any party).
You freak out until the cold wind brushes against your bare arms. And then, you realize just how cold you really are.
"Why is it SO COLD?!"
Last night, when you were boozed up and high off champagne and magical Halloween adrenaline, you didn't really feel the freezing cold air.
But it's the end of October on the East Coast, and it's pretty cold out there, girl. A little too cold to be dressed in nothing but a tiny, little, slutty fairy costume, isn't it?
You go back into crisis mode, take a deep breath and just keep walking. Because there's nothing else you can really do.
"I'm fierce AF."
You know what? You might not know where the hell you're walking; you might not know where you phone is; you might be freezing to death. But that's not going to stop you from living your LIFE.
You're a soldier, and you're going to just keep walking like the bad bitch you are. You're marching through the city streets like a strong goddess who doesn't care what anyone thinks about her.
You had a one-night stand because you're a cool, modern girl, and if society doesn't understand you, screw them.
You're fierce. You're independent. You're sex positive. And you WILL get home. Somehow.
"I'm a RECKLESS LOSER, AND MY LIFE IS FALLING APART."
A car whizzes by you. "WHOOORRRREEEEE," screams the fuckboy in the passenger seat.
Normally, you would flick him off and scream something lewd in response. But suddenly, you feel really fragile and alone in the world.
You were already only subsisting on false confidence, and your hangover is putting you in a really vulnerable place. One nasty comment from a bonehead boy-creature, and you're in the throes of a very real meltdown.
Irrational, self-hating thoughts swirl through your hungover brain.
"I'm a loser."
"What am I doing with my LIFE?"
"... Am I pregnant?"
And just when you think you really might lose your shit...
Tears of joy stream down your face.
As you look up to check your surroundings once more, you see your local bodega in the distance. Suddenly, you burst into tears of joy that turn into MORE tears of joy.
Because you, my dear, just made it home.
You squint your eyes because it's too good to be true. So good, in fact, you think it might even be a ~mirage~.
You made it home. You yell "YES!" into the air, not even caring that a soccer mom is shielding her precious six-year-old from you.
You hardly even notice. Because YOU MADE IT HOME.
"It's not a walk of shame... It's a STRIDE OF PRIDE."
You walked a whole city mile wearing a ratchet Halloween costume, complete with mega heels strapped to your pained feet and sequins rubbing your thighs raw. And you survived.
Now that you've shame walked in a Halloween costume, no other walk of shame will derail you ever again. Your shame has instantly melted, and you're teeming with glorious pride.
And on top of everything, you made it home without a fucking CELL PHONE, honey!
Finding your way home without a coat and without technology really affirms what we knew all along: You're a genius.
So bow down, bitches. Bow down.
Wow... after reliving this emotional rollercoaster, I suddenly can't imagine my 20s without my Halloween walks of shame. I don't want to imagine my 20s without my Halloween walks of shame. They're like mile markers for the entire decade.
So girls, I invite you to share your walk of shame stories with me. There is safety in numbers. The more we talk about our shame walks, the quicker they turn into VICTORY LAPS.