Dirty 1920s Stop Out

The Dirty Stop-Out Kit // four things to have about your person

There are very few things that a Dirty Stop-Out (DSO) really needs in her emergency kit. If she’s a hardened DSO then she’ll have seen (and done) it all.

Dirty 1920s Stop Out

At this point I’d like to say that by no means am I a DSO. I’m far too obsessive about having my own things around me, being in my own space and enjoying my hard-earned creature comforts. In other words, when it comes to raving it up and staying up all night, I’m a boring twat.

I have never used an ‘anonyomous toothbrush’ in a shared bathroom. I have never used ‘somebody’s’ discarded underwear as toilet paper and then thrown the underwear in the kitchen bin wrapped in three torn out pages of Hello! magazine. I have never had to use bathroom cleaner as an emergency deodorant, I have never had to cleanse my face with a pube-furred soap. I have never freshened my breath with a swig of absinthe; never scraped my tongue with a guitar plectrum that was left in the sink and I have never, EVER made a DIY tampon. I don’t actually want to even know anymore about the DIY tampon.

All of the above are true anecdotes and it didn’t take me long to gather them. Which just goes to demonstrate how many DSOs there are in existence. It’s (apparently) nothing to be ashamed of – in this day and age, being a DSO is normal. Indeed, celebrated. You will, if you please, add your own anecdotes to this post by leaving comments below. Do so anonymously if it helps – let’s see how dark this can really get.

Anyway, back to the DSO kit. You’ll need this to be as tiny as possible so that it fits discreetly into the corner of your handbag. In it you will place:

1) The Knickers

These may end their unfortunate life as make-shift toilet paper, unless you have:

2) The Tampon

The Tampon can be used as a tampon (for this it’s very useful), but it’s also great as emergency bog-roll. Or not roll so much as ‘swab’. Unused, obviously. Should your tampon survive pub, club and overnight stay, you may want to use it the morning after to take your makeup off. With a cleanser. Apparently it’s possible to floss with the string…

3) The Mint

You only need one – taken the following day at approximately 8am. It will change your day. You won’t have to spend the morning holding your breath and you won’t have to ‘eat toothpaste’ which is surely one of the most unpleasant bathroom activities. Especially if paired with the ol’ ‘finger brushing’ trick.

4) The Concealer

If there’s one cosmetic item you will need the next day, it’s concealer. Everything else can be fixed and/or hidden; smudged mascara, red-wine stains on lips (use any fabric to buff it off. I mean any. A scatter cushion, denim jeans, the curtains, a tablecloth) bits of kebab in eyebrows… Everything can be fixed, but not dark circles and not blemishes. You’re likely to have both. To save yourself from looking like a case-study from some kind of refugee documentary you just need to dot on the magic (I like Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place) and pat it in place.

Now all that’s left to face is the Walk of Shame in the morning… and don’t forget to share your deepest, darkest DSO secrets below. We won’t tell anyone.

Ruth Crilly

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