Alternate Title #1: Don’t Get Drunk and Make Out in the Street and Not Expect to Get in Trouble
Alternate Title #2: Things You Shouldn’t Be Doing in Your 30s
Despite the constant warnings from my inner monologue, I began regularly hanging out/flirting with someone: a) who I worked with; and b) whose moral arrow pointed straight down. Toward his penis. And Hell.
Kevin and I became regulars on the Happy Hour scene and could talk each other into making really bad decisions. It was not optimal for our livers or our reputations. One Tuesday night in particular we tied an extra big one and at the end of the night, I insisted that he walk me from the bar to my car about eight blocks away (where I presumably planned to sleep until morning since I could barely say “motorized vehicle,” let alone drive one).
I decided we should make the walk go by faster by jitterbugging our way to my car. While time did go faster, it also helped my new bracelet fall unnoticed into a gutter and my laptop bag hit a passerby in the head.
Due to the alcohol, and perhaps dizziness from jitterbugging, suddenly Kevin and I began to kiss madly. We were both equally surprised at this development. I had thought about making out with him as a general concept before, but hadn’t pursued it because I didn’t want to ruin our drinking buddy status or make work unbearably awkward. I’d been in a meeting with someone I’d made out with before and it was hard to hear what people were saying over the sound of my career being flushed down the toilet.
For the next half-hour we made out in front of a hotel in downtown Minneapolis while my purse lay strewn on the sidewalk and my laptop bag a few feet away from it. I wouldn’t have noticed if a man wearing a neon tiger suit with a foghorn had marched up and taken my bags.
Finally, one of the bellmen from the Radisson (who clearly drew the short straw) came out to tell us we had to move it along or he would call security. Before I could even register my shame and/or embarrassment, Kevin said, “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t think it is possible for me to move right now because of my huge erection.” The bellman gave us both a look of genuine disappointment and walked back inside.
Finally we moved our little make-out session about 10 feet to a corner wall adjoining the Radisson. Kevin started making an argument for us going somewhere else, preferably indoors, such as his place located just a few convenient blocks away.
I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of going to Kevin’s place, mostly due to the potential for workplace awkwardness, but also because I had seen firsthand how Kevin handled his ladies and I didn’t want to be just another name on his revolving bedroom door. We’d managed to not sleep together for six months; surely we could handle ourselves for a few more hours?
I began stalling for time by telling him to shut up and kiss me, and this worked for awhile. I began secretly hoping a sober guardian angel would appear on my shoulder to tell me what to do. I didn’t want to burst the bubble of this magical make-out session and end up ruining the night, but the career flushing sounds in my head were making it hard to concentrate.
We arrived at a point where clothes were going to start coming off in the street if I didn’t make a decision. And that is when the decision was made for me by a member of the City of Minneapolis police force. He sternly told us to disperse before he had to cite us for public intoxication or indecent exposure. I can’t speak for Kevin’s erection, but that little dose of reality certainly ruined mine.
Why couldn’t this cop focus on the city’s violence or drug trade instead of busting up a romantic moment between two drunk friends? It was tragically unfair. And embarrassing. Christmas was two days away and this would surely be the incident that popped into my head when my grandma asked if I was seeing anybody. “No grandma, I’m not dating anyone but I was almost arrested for indecent exposure for making out in the street with my chronically single coworker the other night. Please pass the potatoes.”
While the cop stood watch, I told Kevin I was quitting while I was ahead and going home (Well, maybe not “ahead” but definitely not arrested). Kevin refused my offer of a ride, saying he needed to walk it off -- which made me giggle and feel bad at the same time. I walked the rest of the way to the parking ramp and easily spotted my car as one of the only cars left in the ramp at midnight on a weeknight.
My brain was working on convincing me that I’d made the right decision while my vagina was screaming, “I hate you! You ruin everything!” at the top of its lungs. I didn’t even notice that there wasn’t a parking attendant on duty and that I would have to pay for my parking in cash at the electronic ticket machine. I reached into my wallet and began feeding my $20 dollar bill into the machine. I abruptly came out of my post-make-out fog when dozens and dozens of little quarters began quickly filling up the change cup.
I started scooping up the quarters and throwing them into my ashtray, front seat and crotch in an effort to stop the overflow, all the while muttering to myself, “This is what happens to dirty tramps who make out in the street! Do you see what you’ve become!!? You are just lucky the machine didn’t decide to give you Buffalo nickels or cotton balls instead of cash as payback for your sins!”
The next morning I jingled my way through the skyway to work lugging my dirty whore’s worth of quarters in my purse. For weeks after the make-out session I ate only from the vending machine and parked in any metered spot on the street without having to scrounge for quarters. My relationship with Kevin stayed pretty much the same for a while, only now it included references to our drunken night of passion. When I left the company for a new job a few months later, he offered to provide me with “another night of unbridled passion” as my going-away gift, but I respectfully declined.