For Halloween this year, The Gloss is posting reader (and, in this case, contributor) submissions for our Worst-O-Ween contest. Send in your story for the chance to win an amazing prize! For all our entries, click here.
Every time I’ve ever declared myself “not that kind of girl,” I’ve almost immediately proven to be exactly that kind of girl. Two Halloweens ago, I became the kind of girl who ends a party early by bleeding everywhere.
I was going through a breakup of Forgetting Sarah Marshall proportions—bathtub sobbing, Taylor Swift blaring, hygiene neglecting– and I’d decided Halloween would be my official reemergence into my social life. My plan was to dress up like Zelda Fitzgerald, as annoying English majors are wont to do, but my finalized costume was just lingerie. I was twenty-one and heartbroken. Whatever.
The first half of the party was great fun. I sat on a kitchen counter in my fishnets and talked loudly about being an “independent woman, just like Destiny’s Child” with a cigarette extender in mouth, occasionally remembering to use a bad southern accent. In order to prove to everyone that I was done being a post-breakup mess, I took very classy sips of straight vodka. I did shots in a decorous manner. I stumbled around wearing one heel like a lady.
Now is probably a good time to mention the turtles. The host of the party, a friend-of-a-friend whom I didn’t know, owned a large aquarium (terrarium?) full of pet turtles. They lived happily in their glass tank on the floor of the living room, minding their own business and causing harm to nobody. Unfortunately, getting-her-groove-back Zelda was also in the living room, also minding her own business, and stupendously wasted.
I spotted a sober friend, who was sitting on a rickety college apartment chair over by the turtles.
“Oh my god,” I told his chest as I hopped up on his lap. “I walked through the Happy Cat.” The Happy Cat was a drive-thru liquor store, which really truly actually existed, because life on the Ohio/West Virginia border is fascinating. “I walked through the Happy Cat because I couldn’t drive,” I slurred.
“Really? Why not?” he asked, playing that game where you egg on your too-drunk friends to say things that will embarrass them the next morning.
Adjusting on his knee, I said, “Because I am SO, SO—“
And that’s when I hit the floor. And the turtles.
I don’t remember the actual fall, but I remember in perfect detail how the music stopped, everyone went quiet, and a crowd of people surrounded me. “I’m fine!” I yelled, but the look on my friends’ faces suggested otherwise. I’d fallen off my friend’s lap and smashed my very drunk head into the glass wall of the turtle tank. It shattered in a spiderweb-like design—not enough to let the turtles free, but enough to lodge chunks of glass into my scalp.
My next memory is of being in a bathroom, my roommate gingerly removing aquarium pieces from my head-gash, and hearing the host of the party telling people to leave. The only sober people left in the house were her and two of her friends, and I rode shotgun to the hospital with a group of strangers who deservedly hated me.
“I’m not this kind of person,” I said to the nurse, Wendy, while she put in my six stitches. “I’m not the kind of girl who’s black-out at the hospital on Halloween in fishnets.”
Wendy laughed and gave me some ibuprofen. “Yeah,” she said. “You are.”