The Morning After: The Vampire Bite
WTF good does a hickey ever do?
WTF bad does a hickey ever do? Now that’s a question I can answer. Unfortunately my answer involves parents, family friends and some big league embarrassment.
It was freshman year and I’d just started hooking up with my next-door-neighbor (hell yeah, co-ed floors!). It was one of those “big secret” type things and only my BFFs on my floor knew what the dealio was. But not for long… After a rough night of… watching TV (cough cough), I hopped a train to Philly to see a friend. Of course, it was my ex-boyfriend’s best friend who I was visiting and who had the pleasure of being the first person to tell me about the giant vampire bite I had on my neck. (A “looks like you’re enjoying college” comment included.)
I could only imagine what he’d be relaying back to the ex about my new moral compass, but that wasn’t even my biggest concern. That trophy would probably have to go to seeing my parents, neighbors, family friends, etc., the next morning at a giant football tailgate. Another train ride later, I’m sitting in my best friend’s dorm room and we’re brainstorming ways of how to avoid this whole mess. Makeup. Northface. Hair down. “Why not try all three?” I figured. Wrong answer.
Come next morning, I’m standing amongst literally my entire hometown (miraculously, my entire high school went to the same two colleges who happened to be playing the homecoming game against each other). Neighbors, families I babysit for, and my priest (okay that’s a lie, but it certainly felt like it) were lounging around, chowing down on some juicy burgers. Next thing I know, the ex boyfriend (who of course heard about the tailgate) wanders over chuckling to himself. Obviously having already received word from his friend about my little mishap, he grabs a burger and front row seats to my life falling apart.
Naturally, I ignore him and start chatting with friends, eating some beef and sipping some beers. It starts getting warm so I take off my North Face. No harm, right? I’ve still got the makeup and my hair covering the hickey. Wrong. Like every other time I’ve held my head in shame, taking off any clothes was a bad idea. Low and behold, all that makeup we’d so expertly applied had rubbed off on my sweatshirt.
And who is the first to notice?
“Hmmm… what’s that on your neck?” she asked me, the comment dripping with sarcasm. She already knew (they always do) and couldn’t wait to see what I had to say about it.
“What? Oh, my cross-body computer bag must’ve rubbed my neck on the way to do my lab yesterday,” I reply, thinking I’m fairly witty for coming up with that on my feet and making myself look studious. I should’ve seen the fault: my mom knows I’d never buy a cross-body bag (they always make your boobs look funny, right?!). “Its Maggie’s bag actually,” I add quickly, throwing my new college friend under the bus. She’ll never know; she’s not even there to argue.
“What’s your computer bag’s name?” my next-door-neighbor’s dad asked. Everyone turns to stare. So funny, my neighbors are. Sooo funny. I glared at him in return, while the entire tailgate crew continues to comment on my love bite. I tried to change the subject, brush it all off, drink away the embarrassment. And then the ex saunters over, a look of pure bliss on his face.
“You should’ve seen the look on your dad’s face.”
The remainder of my day was spent dodging comments from the adults and questions from my friends. While they all basked in the glory of my embarrassment (fueled by the fact that I always get made fun of for being an uptight tease), I wallowed in my own self pity and just had to try to laugh it off; which, by the way, is a lot harder than it sounds when I’m maintaining the lie to my mother (“yeah, my text books are really heavy!”) and avoiding reality…