When I came to Penn, I thought of myself as a poster child for anonymous hookups. As a naive freshman, nothing seemed better, but the trouble with having a bunch of one-night stands began at my freshman year sorority bid party. I started making out with a good-looking guy. I was confident with him, kind of bitchy; it was hot. He asked me to guess which frat he was in, but I couldn’t. “You’ll see when we go there,” he said. It wasn’t a suggestion or a question—and I liked that, because it was obvious I was going home with him. He was teasing, being kind of an asshole. Exactly what I wanted. He never even asked my name.
We went back to his house, where we put on some music, drank more, danced around and made out. He finally asked my name when he was saving my number in his phone, but part of the excitement of the hook up—all hook ups, for that matter—was the anonymity, so I didn’t tell him. “Just save it as Wednesday Night,” I tried to say seductively (it was probably just embarrassing). After I spent the night, he never called. I was slightly disappointed, but I took it in stride.
Fast forward to my sophomore year NSO. I was dancing at a frat party when I thought I saw Mr. Wednesday Night in the crowd. Because we had never exchanged names and our only other encounter had taken place in a drunken haze six months before, I wasn’t positive it was him. We started dancing and he didn’t seem to remember me. After making out for a bit, one thing led to another and we found ourselves locked in the bathroom.
“Yeah, definitely him,” I thought to himself when he pulled down his pants. I was on my knees as he stood against the door. He was a moaner, and when we left the bathroom there would a couple girls waiting outside. I pray they were as drunk as I was and don’t remember me.
I finally got his name that night—Dmitri, or something—but I never wanted to run into him again. At least, never in a context where I would need to acknowledge that he’s a real person and I’m a real person who also happens to be a huge whore. Maybe at a party when we were drunk enough to go for round three.
Of course, round three didn’t play out the way I wanted. Fast forward away to the beginning of my junior year, when I walked into my 400-level math class of less than a dozen people in DRL—a haven for nerds, where you think you’d be free from the persecuting eyes of someone who’s seen you naked—and saw a face from a drunken night long ago: Dmitri. My reaction wasn’t unlike this:
I tried to turtle myself into my body, but there was no way to hide regret the size of an elephant in a classroom of only ten people. I decided to break the awkwardness instead. I had a name attached to a face now, so I figured I’d play it off: “Hey, it happened. Now it’s in the past. Let’s laugh about it?” or something like that. I finally worked up the courage to face him one day after class.
“Hey,” I said in a serious and understanding tone. “Your name’s Dmitri, right?”
He took out his earbud and hardly looked at me before matter-of-factly replying, “No.”
He walked away.
And then it hit me. Like a bus.
Like a fucking bus.
Wait. Wait. Wait wait wait wait wait. This couldn’t just be the worst déjà vu I’d ever had. No…I recognized his face from a hazy night long ago. But not Wednesday night. I couldn’t believe the scene that was playing out in the staircase of DRL: I had made the same embarrassing mix up before.
Rewind to sophomore year again, when I had been drinking in someone’s room at another frat party. I walked out into the hallway and was overcome by the same feeling of SHITSHITSHIThideNOW when I thought I saw—who else?—Dmitri. It seemed like he kept looking over at me, too…but probably only because he noticed me blatantly staring at him and wondered who the hell I was. Toward the end of the party I walked up to him and said, with not so much maturity as alcohol-fueled confidence, “Your name’s, like, Dmitri or something right?”
His name was not Dmitri.
“My name is Alex,” he said with a look of absolute disdain. I was still convinced that he was Dmitri. I thought he was playing games, and I pursued the issue that night for far longer than was comfortable.
Now back to the stairway in DRL. Not only must Alex think I’m that girl from the party who stared at him like a stalker and came out of the woodwork to ask him if he was someone that he’s not, but now I’ve mistaken him for Dmitri for a second time. Completely sober.
I could have died. There was nothing to say to save face. Staying silent was the best bet, anyway. It was just one semester of Ordinary Differential Equations. Four months was bearable, right? Except he showed up in a second class with me spring semester. A full school year of ducking from Alex. GREAT!
Later into my junior year, I was at a party when someone emerged from a crowd of people. “You’re saved in my phone as Wednesday Night,” he said with no introduction.
Finally. The real Wednesday Night. I replied so suavely. “Oh my God. It’s you.”
“I live close by, let’s go drink.”
We did. There was no third hook up. He was as good looking as I had remembered, but I had a boyfriend at the time. And I guess I learned some lesson about shame from the whole embarrassing debacle that had unraveled over the past two years, or something. Apparently he had tried to call me way back when after our bid party hookup, but my drunken self couldn’t even get my shit together enough to give him my correct phone number.
And his name wasn’t even Dmitri.
Sorry I’m not sorry…?