What a Mess (Real Life Stories)

Now you can read us on the go! Check out the BTRtoday app for iOS and Android.

First impressions, trying new things out, meeting new people, it’s always a gamble—you never know what’s going to happen! But hey, that’s part of the fun, right?

It’s said that first impression are everything, but it’s also an unfortunate truth that can put a lot of pressure on new encounters. We’ve all had times where we wished for a do-over. That time you met your crush for the first time? How about when you met your friend’s parents for the first time? Or that job interview that threw you a curveball of a question? Don’t be ashamed, we’ve all experienced it.

When Alicia Keys met her husband, Swizz Beatz, it’s said that she found him annoying with his flashy outfits and overly confident vibe, but look at them now! Justin Bieber straight up said on radio the first time he met Selena Gomez that he didn’t really like her, and they lost their v-cards to each other. So you see, first impressions aren’t the end-all say-all, but they sure can make one heck of a story!

Here at BTRtoday it’s no different. We have stories of our own of some chaotic times—things we thought were going to work out well and turned out to be total fiascos! We gathered some of them together for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Let’s begin with my own…


I had recently moved to NYC and was living in Manhattan—I had registered for an online NYU class so I was able to stay in their dorms for like a month. I’ve grown up going to shows and always find myself in the music scene, so it was nothing new for me to be going to a show by myself. The Pizza Underground was in town and I was not going to miss them! I went by myself and had a fucking blast! I drank a lot, made a bunch of friends, ended up getting free shots, and even had a guy pay for my cab (I mean, I think he thought I was going to invite him up, but what a fun surprise it was to see his face when I was like “nah, peace!” and walked into the NYU dorms. Lol).

Anyways, the fiasco portion of this story happened halfway through that night, directly after the show ended. If you don’t know who The Pizza Underground are, they’re a band that covers The Velvet Underground but changes all the lyrics to be about pizza, and, oh yeah, child star Macaulay Culkin is in it… The random friends I made that night ended up being friends with the band and invited me to the after party. Not going to lie, I was very drunk by the time I even got to the after party, so when Macaulay Culkin showed up, I wasn’t even phased.

He bumped into me on the dance floor and I turned around to him staring me directly in the eyes. I shouted “great show!” at him, and he didn’t respond at all, like at all. In fact, his eyes seemed dead. I kind of awkwardly stood there waiting for his response, too drunk to think of something else to say, and he creepily looked me up and down, and drunk-me got a little creeped out. I mean, he’s no Kevin McCallister anymore; he’s got long hair and dark circles around the eyes! So I just blurted out, “Okay, well I’m gonna go!” and proceeded to run to the bar where I ordered a shot and made friends with the bar-back.

The rest of the night was a riot, but yeah, I kind of wished that meeting could’ve been a little less weird…
-Elena C., 24


The first impression my girlfriend had of me was that I was a know-it-all, brown-noser, goody-two-shoes, stuck-up, closeted, hot lesbian perfectionist when she met me in JRN 3140 Copy Editing. Which may be somewhat true, because only a nerd would take that class and I was blushing and slowly dying inside over how hard I was crushing on her. However, she never made a first move and was overall a very silent, somber person, so I went ahead and added her on Facebook. Then I deleted the request because I’m neurotic, hyperventilating over a friend request. Great, just great. She adds me back and I have to pretend “well, I don’t know what happened to my initial request lol.” Just to find out she thought I was a fraudulent Russian because I had no accent and assumed I was just from Brighton Beach. Bitch, please, Moscow born and raised. Now let me be a borscht-eating-Starwars-loving-lesbian in peace.
-Irina G., TK


A little over a year ago I went through a tough break up. After a couple weeks of brooding and crying and relating every single song on the radio to my forlorn sorrow, I figured there was no better time to try something I’d always been curious about–stand up comedy. How could I feel any worse, anyway?

I Googled some open mics, found one to my liking and began throwing together a two-minute set from notes and jokes I’d been scribbling over the past few months. They cracked me up as I wrote them on a piece of paper, recited them for timing, and memorized them. I’d heard so many stories about successful comics bombing on their first try at the mic, and was amazed that might not apply to me. I wasn’t just confident I’d be good for a first-timer; I was a little worried I might be too good.

All the open mic’rs filled their names out on slips of paper and threw them in a bucket. The host got up on stage and began pulling names out, and I’ll be a hillbilly’s hickey if they didn’t pick my name first. I awkwardly shuffled up to the stage, where the host gave me a sideways look and muttered, “do you want me to take your name out?” “No,” I replied, “but that was my name you just called.” “Oh, well we read all the names first and then we actually get started,” she explained. Hot start.

Once the host had finished her jovial intro I trudged back up to the stage, stood in front of the mic (without even removing it from the stand) and proceeded to forget everything I’d written. It was as if the bright lights melted away all that material, which I found out wasn’t so great–during those two minutes that lasted an eternity, referring to my grandpa as racist produced a sarcastic chuckle, the closest I got to an actual laugh. Sorry, grandpa. RIP.
-Joe V., 23

Shortly after the shootings in Orlando, I was at a bar with a group of friends, including this guy I had never met before. Let’s call him Ben. I’ve got a very short, butch haircut. One of my friends comes over and says “hey so Ben over there is a photographer and in light of what happened in Florida, he wants to do a photo series with LGBTQ couples and wants to know if you’d be down to do one with your girlfriend, if you have one.” I snorted, walked over to Ben, and said “hey so I’d totally love to do this shoot where you photograph me with my lesbian life partner but that guy over there? That’s my boyfriend. I have sex with men all day and night.” He was mortified.
-Taia H., 24


It was the Cinco de Mayo from hell.

Leave it to a bunch of dumb and self-righteous post-grads looking to capitalize on hosting “Cinco de Drinko” as another appropriation masquerading in a loosely-disguised-excuse-to-get-smashed. Needless to say, the party at the Purchase College alumni village was in full and riotous sway by the time my friend decided to dose me with an LSD-laced crouton.

The sly bastard. I should’ve known, should have caught the diabolical gleam in his half-closed eyes, but my judgment becomes a whole lot less discerning after a couple dozen back-to-back doubles of Donkey Piss (which, before you cringe—that will come later—is actually the name of a top shelf tequila, but I digress).

I think our conversation went something like

Hey man, I’m hungry. Don’t you have anything to eat besides that bowl of guacamole filled with cigarette butts?

Yeah. HEY. Here’s a bag of croutons.

I don’t remember exactly. But what I do recall, more clearly than I’d like, is chatting with the beautiful girl outside on the deck approximately half an hour later. We shared an art history class together on Tuesdays, and I’d been crushing over her in hopes that I’d see her out on a weekend and strike up some conversation.

Well conversation struck, and it was going remarkably better than it should have, given my Promethean-impassioned full-bodied gestures and nonsense talk. She was laughing. I was laughing. And then I felt it: a distant rumble burbling up from deep inside of me, just as the crouton kicked into the final overdrive of my small intestine and the dimly lit pine trees on the edge of the quad began to warble and bleed together into a swirling fern mandala…

I like to imagine I was saying something suave like “you know, I also think that Barnett Newman’s late career paintings seem like a final rejection…” when my body shuddered with a final rejection of its own and, quite literally mid-sentence with tremendous force, blurted from my lips a green medley of infused stomach juices, Donkey Piss, congealed nachos, crouton, and a dash of some powerful LSD (now in full swing) together into a cannonball of slime that would have made Linda Blair proud. It fired right into the poor girl’s face.

The shock was mutual. But seconds later reality began its ugly settle-in—for her at least, since freshly-purged I found myself suddenly caught in the peaking throes of an involuntary acid trip. She screamed. I screamed. Both of us made fumbling attempts at cleaning up the mess, failing completely.

There’s only so low you can go after you hit rock bottom. We’ve been good friends ever since.
-Zach S., 26