The “Hot Mess”.
We all know that guy who takes fun to a whole new level, partying twice as hard as his age should allow, and continually reeling in people who, like myself, have a chronic case of FOMO. There’s at least one in every group of friends, and during a monstrous lapse in judgement, I just happened to fall for one. (Now keep in mind this was years ago and I will continue to stand by the excuse that I was drunk the entire time we hung out).
In all seriousness, though, Mr. Hot Mess isn’t a bad guy…when he’s sober. He’s the lovable comic relief that seems to come around just when life is getting too serious. He’s the life of the party (the first half, anyway) and the source of endless stories, each more hilarious than the last. He’s also notorious for being a “Redeemer,” one of those people you just can’t, in spite of yourself, stay mad at for very long.
Mr. Mess and I have known each other long enough (and have been through enough shenanigans) that when my friends say his name, it’s usually accompanied by an eye roll and a long, judgmental groan. I always know they have my best interest in mind, and I also knew it was going to take something pretty major for me to lose that soft spot I had developed for him over the last few years.
Sure enough, that day came a few months ago. I was out to dinner and he called me to report that he was in town, drinking at a bar that was conveniently en route back to my apartment. As usual, my irrational fear of missing out on fun got the best of me, and I soon found myself in a crowded college bar. Despite being the oldest human there, I was downing shots of Fireball in between rounds of 90’s karaoke. I’m more than a little embarrassed to say that I was having a total blast. But I did kill some Salt ‘N Pepa that night, so there’s that.
We met up with some friends, including my roommate at the time and the guy she was dating. As the night flew by, Mr. Mess became more affectionate – and less articulate – and soon all of us were cramming into a cab to head home. We sat around drinking beers (unnecessarily) in our living room, which was scattered with boxes of my things in preparation for my upcoming move. In order to avoid last-minute stress, I had been slowly packing items that weren’t in use. In my bedroom were several boxes of kitchen appliances and a bright green binder where I had organized and filed all my important documents. I would soon come to regret being proactive, but I digress.
Fast forward a few blurry hours later when we all decided to go to sleep. And by sleep, I actually mean it. In his drunken stupor, Mr. Mess had inadvertently blurted out that he had a new girlfriend, abruptly putting an end to any flirting that was going on between us. Despite his best efforts to back pedal, he quickly resigned to the fact that he would be spending the night on the couch. (Admittedly, I don’t make the best of choices at times, but fooling around with men who are spoken for is not one of them).
Anyway, back to when I was sleeping. And soundly, might I add, which is why I was shocked when I became increasingly cognizant of a low, faint noise. At first it sounded like rain falling onto a cloth umbrella and soon grew to a loud noise that I somehow recognized instantly. I shot up in bed, screaming for him to stop.
The sound I was hearing was a stream of PEE hitting a cardboard box, the same one I had packed my kitchen appliances in.
I grabbed Mr. Mess by the shoulders, yelling, and shook him until he awoke enough to realize what was happening. He was groggy and stumbling, and I shoved him out of my bedroom. Furious, I continued yelling at him as he walked right into my roommate’s bedroom. At that point, I forfeited all regard for my sleeping roommate (sorry) and directed him to the bathroom, shouting the whole way. I stormed back to my room and slammed the door, making sure it was locked this time.
I was too exhausted and pissed (ha) to even turn on the lights and deal with the mess he’d made. I quickly surveyed the damage, brought my blender to the kitchen to pour out the urine that had collected, and collapsed back into my bed.
The next morning (AKA three hours later), I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed and glanced around the room. In the morning sunlight, I realized that he had not only peed into my box of kitchenware, but also into my work bag..and ALL OVER that bright green binder that held everything from tax returns to my birth certificate.
Now let me ask you this: What on earth do you do with documents soaked in urine? Wash them? Throw them out? Make him bring my social security card downtown and explain why I needed a new one?
Besides my hangover, the worst part was that he had no idea. I had to explain the entire ordeal to him, in detail. He shamefully sat on the couch and my roommate stifled bouts of laughter while I berated him like a child. I did feel a little bad after I realized he was completely (and understandably) humiliated, and he offered to replace everything in order to fix what he’d ruined. Through clenched teeth, I calmly explained that most of the things he peed on were un-fixable.
After brainstorming for a bit, it seemed the only option was to carefully separate the papers, lay them out around the house, and let them air-dry.
(Side note: If anyone has a better solution, please feel free to comment below…Pinterest wasn’t very helpful).
Mr. Hot Mess offered to buy the blender, which I happily agreed to since I couldn’t bear the thought of making pee-smoothies every morning, and he apologized profusely before grabbing a cab home.
While I can laugh about it now, (the thought of him doing the walk of shame with a blender under his arm never gets old), I was exasperated at the time.
Soon after he left, the cleaning lady arrived at our apartment. I had completely forgotten she was coming that day, and I told her to skip my bedroom in fear she might realize what she was cleaning and never come back. As she was cleaning the bathroom, however, she unassumingly brought out the rug, asking why it was soaking wet. My roomate and I looked at each other, wide-eyed, and quickly told her to just put it aside. How was that much pee even possible? We made sure to giver her an extra-big tip that day.
If nothing else, that morning made me realize that I’m just too old for this.
Isn’t there a saying about people coming into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime? For me, it’d become glaringly obvious that the season of “Mr. Hot Mess” had abruptly come to an end.
Sure, my friends laughed hysterically when I told them later that night, but I knew it would be the last ridiculous story I’d be telling about that man. We haven’t spoken since, and although I’m going to miss some of those great, fun times, I’d much prefer my life to be mess- and pee – free.
Lesson #6: Urine charge of who you associate with. Don’t mess it up.