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My Best/Worst Walk of Shame Ever: The Fairy Tale Ending (Or, How My Halloween Crush Became My Boyfriend)

Two years ago, I wasn't looking for a boyfriend but had a huge crush on Justin, a friend from high school who had just moved to NYC. Since he was new here, he had fewer friends than I did, so I was able to kidnap him and force him to go places with me -- bars, comedy shows, and in October, Blood Manor, a haunted house so un-scary you forgot to cry. (I am from Ohio, where they haunt you on hayrides. Now that's scary.)

I planned to make a night of it, inviting twenty other people on a huge group email. I didn't pay attention to who had RSVPed, and when Justin and I met at Blood Manor we realized nobody else was coming. Looks like it was just the two of us! How awkwardly romantic.

Related: The Science Behind Why Haunted Houses Make the Perfect First Date

I thought it was going to be really scary, so I was freaking out in line (which, thanks to the chain saw-wielding man at the entrance, was the scariest part of Blood Manor), and Justin reached over to hold my hand. Neither of us let go until we were spit back out onto the street, where we shook free, like "woah, how did that happen?"

We decided to get drinks at an Irish pub, Puck Fair, where we sat in a dark enclosed booth and my crush for Justin grew. Too bad we could only ever be friends. Too bad I could never tell him how much I liked him. On the way out of the bar we saw my lame ex-boyfriend. He was wearing lame pajamas and was on the way to Duane Reade (probably for something lame). I felt a surge of winning-ness.

Related: 5 Things To Say When You Run Into An Ex

That weekend, after the Halloween parade, I found myself in an East Village bar drinking heavily with my friends and Justin, who was wearing a bear costume. At one point we noticed Justin had gone missing, but had curiously left behind his cell phone, wallet and keys. Where had he gone? We wondered, and kept wondering, as hours and hours passed and Justin was still MIA. Eventually my friend Rob and I decided to go on a Bear Hunt, searching for him in all of the area's hospitals and jails. "Did a guy in a bear costume stumble in here?" we kept asking. I was pretty sure he had gotten into a fight or some other trouble, even though his nature is not pugnacious (and dressed as a fuzzy bear, most people wanted to hug him, not punch him in the face).

After a few hours into our fruitless search, we returned to the bar, where my friend Kristi (pictured above with Justin & me) had been waiting for Justin's return. She was still alone. So we didn't have Justin, but we had his keys, so we went back to his apartment to wait some more. Kristi, whose foot was broken and in a cast after she fell off a climbing wall when I was supposed to be spotting her -- oops -- had to drag herself up the six flights of stairs.

At about four in the morning, someone rang the bell and we buzzed them up. We opened the door to find Justin, still wearing the bear costume. We hugged him and hit him on the head the same time. We were worried! We said. Where were you? He had just wandered off because he was hungry, he answered. It sounded like a pretty bear-like response to me.

Related: 10 Halloween Costumes to Get You Laid

We were tired and it was late, so we crawled into bed -- me, Justin, Kristi and Kristi's cast. When we woke up I first noticed the glitter. In a drunken mess the night before, I had thrown glitter all over the apartment. Then I noticed I was still in my child's-sized Halloween costume and prepared myself for the journey home. I realized I was going to have to take the worst kind of Walk Of Shame -- the one where you didn't even get to have sex with someone but it just looks like you did and you are still covered in glitter and wearing a tiny, ass-cheeks-baring Tinkerbell costume.

To lessen my exposure to the public, I cabbed it home. But that happened to be the day of the New York City Marathon, and as we approached my apartment, which was right next to Central Park, we met several road blocks. "I guess I'm going to have to walk from here," I said, craning my neck out the window to see what looked like millions of spectators lined up along the street. Just as I was about to get out, the cabbie called to the police officer monitoring the road block, "Let us through -- this girl is wearing a fairy costume!" And the cop scooted everyone aside, and I got out in front of my apartment and then crawled up five flights of stairs to nurse my hangover. (Whatever happened to those days where you'd wake up on November 1 to a candy hangover?)

A lot has happened since that night. A few weeks later, Justin told me he had a crush on me, too, and now we've been dating for almost two years. In fact, because we live together now, I sometimes find glitter still crammed in the couch or between the fibers on the bath mat. And I think, Goddamn.

It could happen to you. My advice? Glitter. And maybe Blood Manor.

A version of this post originally appeared on Loop. Sign up for your weekly dose of storytelling at LoopLetters.com.

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