The People You’ll See Tonight At Your Hometown Bar
Your hot high school teacher. Mr. I’ll-S-Your-D-for-an-A isn’t quite as impressive now that you have friends working his vocation, but it’s still cool to see the dude who wrote things like, “??” on your psychology paper wearing a muscle tee and embarrassing himself for the attention of a bartender. Teachers, just like us!
The friend you inexplicably need to make out with, tonight. The kid who used to name his bongs and was universally regarded as “too short” by the female population of your high school is now a well-spoken, well-dressed, “not too short” dude with an interesting job and what the hell are we even talking about, just make out with me.
The Sliding Doors friend. This is the person you see every now and then who reminds you what could have been had the two of you stayed attached-to-the-hip. The answer is typically cocaine dependency and a toddler.
The first boy/girlfriend. Chances are, no matter how much teenage angst this person caused you, they’re goddamn saints compared to the people you’ve dated since. God bless ya, first boyfriends and girlfriends of America.
The best friends. The best friends are the only reason you went out tonight, and you’re not sure whether to hug them or strangle them. For the last month, you’ve been inundated with Facebook threads, emails, and text “parties” in preparation for this, the night before Thanksgiving. Try to enjoy yourself; you have less than a week before the Christmas cycle begins.
The person whose name you forgot. Also known as, “Oh, heyyyyy..!” You know him/ her from camp/ your first job/ school/ somewhere completely unrelated to your hometown; who the hell knows? Not this guy. Don’t feel too bad, it’ll all come back to you 20-30 minutes after they leave the bar for the night.
Your college friend. This person was under your nose the entire time, but it took moving across the country/ 20 minutes away to meet one another. When you found out you were from the same place, you spent at least one semester at college obsessively comparing notes. Then you sort of drifted apart, because your hometown is basically the only thing you have in common.
The unattainable hometown hottie. You could cure AIDS, adopt a three-legged dog, and win the Miss Universe pageant and this guy would still be all, “Hey kiddo, nice to see you. Please excuse me while I go talk to this less-attractive, impoverished grad student over here. Cool about that AIDS thing, by the way. Nice work.” What is your deal, guy? Are you saving it for marriage?
The surprise. This person moved cross-country, enlisted in the army, or doesn’t have Facebook. You were pretty sure you’d never see them again, but surprise! Here they are, likely being the most interesting person in the room. Corner them and don’t let them escape until you’re intoxicated enough to deal with all of the above.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”