>>> About Last Night…
By staff writer Ali Wisch
August 3, 2005

Have you ever woken up in someone else's bed? Yes. Have you ever woken up in someone else's bed and not known who they were? Probably. Have you ever woken up in someone else's bed, whom you didn't know, with a hangover and feelings of regret and claustrophobia consuming every inch of your body? Hopefully not, but stop kidding yourself. Your average college student is about as likely to have a “morning after” experience during their four years at school, as they are to take a sip of alcohol…and as certain as we are that they will be taking more than one sip of alcohol in those four years, we also know that the morning after experience is not going to be a one time deal.

That being said, I am curious as to why this experience never gets any easier for most people. It's always the same story of utter awkwardness: clothes spread around the room like someone purposely placed them just out of arm's length, stumbling around in a flannel sheet until you have everything, dressing yourself while tripping over the sheet and holding all of your clothes under one arm, and praying on your life that the sheet doesn't slip to the ground leaving you standing there naked like a deer in headlights. So in order to make the situation a little less stressful, I have come up with some tips that should make the transition from “lying naked in a guy's bed” to “fully clothed and in your own home” a bit easier on you.

“If there is a box of bulk condoms by the bedstand, you might want to re-think your decision… unless you're comfortable being remembered as ‘Tuesday.'”

First, the are a few steps you can take pre-hookup. When you arrive back at the place of the girl or guy you will be spending the night with, make a few mental notes. Keep your eye open for the bathroom, other roommates, and the kitchen. If you already know where the bathroom is, you won't have to wake drunken, snoring Prince Charming for directions to relieve your aching bladder. If there are other roommates, you'll know to keep the noise factor in mind—and by noise factor, I mean the Sadé blasting on the stereo…dirty dirty minds. Also, if you know where the kitchen is, you can sneak out to get water or steal a few bites of something in the fridge to keep your drunken munchie cravings at bay.

Next, there's the bedroom. When you enter the bedroom, keep your eyes open for a few things. First, if there is a box of bulk condoms by the bedstand, you might want to re-think your decision to go home with this person. Besides the fact that it is distasteful, unless you're comfortable being remembered as “Tuesday,” you can go ahead and assume that this guy has a different girl every day of the week. The other thing to be aware of in the bedroom is the general pathway from the bed to the doorway. If you have to make this walk at any point during the night, it's much better to know where the walls are ahead of time so as to avoid toe-stubbing or head-banging.

Once you're in the bedroom and things are getting started, if you can, try to have some sort of control as to where your clothes are getting thrown in the heat of passion. If you can at least have a shirt within arms reach the next morning, it will make the whole “walking around the room in his sheets” escapade much simpler.

Now that the events of the evening have taken place and it's actually the morning after, you should be able to realize within the first five minutes of waking up when the appropriate time to leave is. If you wake up in his bed with your backs to each other, and he turns around and looks even the slightest bit confused, bolt. I don't mean get up and run, but the quicker you get out of there the better. Save yourself the awkward “what do we do now phase,” nonchalantly scribble your name on an old supermarket receipt, and bounce. If you wake up and your bodies are entwined, chill for a second. Physical contact is generally a good thing, especially if it involves no visible regret from either party. Getting pushed out of the bed, for example, is usually a sign that regret has teamed up with anger. In this case, you'll want to gather your pride and clothes, and get the hell out. Otherwise, mention the idea of leaving and gauge his reaction. For example, if a comment like “I should probably get going” elicits the reply, “Do you know where the front door is?” then you can take that as your exit cue. However if the reply is more along the lines of “Why don't you hang out for a little,” or “Are you sure you're not up for another triple orgasm?” then you might want to consider prolonging your stay. And if you wake up in the morning to a showering of kisses (anywhere), you probably won't have to think twice.

The morning after can be a lot of things. However, if you can keep from falling on your face on the way to the bathroom, casually get dressed without feeling as naked as a newborn on its birthday, and perceptively gauge the appropriate time to leave, the morning after can be something better than a punishment for a decision that you in fact made, the night before.