For those of us with inflated, romanticized images of ourselves, few things sound as utterly cool as “road trip.” So when in 2007 Lollapalooza announced that the headliners would be Pearl Jam, Muse, and Daft Punk, my best friend and I knew we had to make a journey to Chicago.
We had saved up enough money at our summer jobs for the tickets, food, and gas, but hotels were far out of our limited price range. Luckily one of my mom’s old friends lived in Chicago and so we set up arrangements to stay with her for the three days. The woman was a middle aged actor, recently divorced, and more than a slight alcoholic… But she had a house, so we were all set for our trip!
However the morning of our third day in Chicago, my mother’s friend told us that there was a change of plans. She’d booked a gig out of town so we couldn’t stay at her place that night after all! Oops! We weren’t sure what to do, so we went to the concert and decided we’d just figure something out.
While waiting in the giant crowd for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we started talking to the people around us and discovered two boys from our rival high school in Ohio. They were the year above us… they had flown in on Thursday… they had a hotel downtown- THEY HAD A HOTEL! My friend and I exchanged a look, reading each other’s minds the way all teen girl best friends can, and realized this was our opportunity to not spend the night on the streets of Chicago. We got their numbers, saying we should “hang out” later, secretly scheming to sleep in their hotel room.
The hitch was that we didn’t actually want to sleep with them. Both of us had boyfriends, plus, we weren’t whores. So, we needed to trick these boys into thinking we were going to sleep with them just long enough for them to invite us to stay over, but not actually put out. I had the brilliant idea that once in their hotel room my friend would get a “stomachache,” then I’d have to take care of her and we’d just go to bed. She was reticent but I knew it was foolproof! So that night, after rocking out to Pearl Jam, we called our new friends to hang out. They suggested going out for pizza or… “You could always come over to our hotel room and we could order in?” We leapt on it, saying we’d be right there!
The plan was working perfectly—it was late enough that the boys had suggested we “crash here with them.” My friend was just about to start her Great Abdominal Pain Act when suddenly my stomach rumbled. It felt like there was a creature inside, gnawing at my innards. Apparently the three days of eating nothing but greasy festival food was catching up to me. I ran to the bathroom and did terrible things. Terrible, terrible things. I wanted to believe the other three people couldn’t hear me, telling myself this hotel might have soundproof walls or something! After about an hour, I emerged, and knew my hope was wrong. The boys looked disgusted, my friend shocked, as if I’d just murdered a baby panda. I tried to speak but one of the guys interrupted me: “Let’s… just go to bed.” I agreed and lay down on the floor with my friend. Sure I was embarrassed, but the plan had still worked. We had a roof for the night, and those boys did NOT want to sleep with us.