When I first moved to Boston in September, I was sure I would immediately join a group of unique and good looking friends who would entertain me during the day, while my evenings would be spent with a number of attractive, deliciously sculpted men who could be found everywhere from the streets to the bars.
Instead, however, the closest friends I’ve made in the city are my Starbucks baristas who memorized my name, while the highlight of my romantic life was a group date with two men who had pierced nipples.
Television shows exist for one reason only: to make us feel better about our sad lives while we binge on girl scout cookies and wear sweatpants that may not have been washed within the last month. As I cry into my Caramel De-lites wondering why my life has not turned out in the exact same way as these fictional characters, it’s safe to say the blame can be solely placed on the lies my shows feed me in each episode. Here are the four biggest non-truths television shows made me believe about life in a big city:
1. Everyone has a niche hangout space.
The Lie: You and your perfectly groomed group of friends will not only have one set location where you can discuss the wacky occurrences of the day together, but your favorite spot will never be overcrowded, nor will anyone ever steal your coveted seats.
The Truth: My coworkers and I do have one bar that we frequently visit, but for the most part, we only go on Fridays. Also — seeing as how we visit the bar at least once per week — we get kind of sick of it. You can’t honestly tell me the people from How I Met Your Mother never got tired of McFlanahagan’s* even though they went there seemingly once per day.
*Okay, sue me — I didn’t watch HIMYM. I did, however, see one or two episodes and I believe I’ve gleaned enough knowledge to make the general statement that the crew visits that place too much and if they were in the real world, they would hate it by now. Side-side note, there’s no way Barney could find that many new women to sleep with in one bar. If it’s popular enough to attract a new wave of hot women each day, the crew wouldn’t have the same table each episode.
2. One of your best friends will be a bartender/barista.
The Lie: Somehow, one of your friends will work in an establishment that will provide you with endless beverages, whether that be a bar or coffee shop.
The Truth: This will never happen. Realistically, the closest you’ll come to this is befriending the staff that works at the bar you visit so frequently. I believe our bouncer’s name is Joe, but even if you offered my $500, I couldn’t tell you the name of one of our bartenders.
If you are lucky enough to befriend a bartender, however, chances are that he or she won’t be in your core friend group like Nick from New Girl. Bartenders make the best money on weeknights and weekends — the only times you’ll realistically have free if you’re working a 9-to-5. This means there’s no way your free time will overlap. Also, bartending is one of the most competitive professions — especially in a big city like Boston, New York or Los Angeles. The chances of your friend working at a bar cool enough to not only draw in hot locals but be totally alright with all of their friends receiving free drinks is slim to none.
3. The superintendent/landlord will be creepy.
The Lie: The apartment may be spacious and beautiful, but chances are the landlord wants to either sleep with or kill you. He’s a running joke that characters will interact with for moments of comedic gold, is probably overweight and, for some reason, will only wear coveralls.
The Truth: This one is all about your own ability to research an apartment before living there. My roommate and I sifted through several seedy options before choosing the right home, but one of the driving factors was the reliability of the landlord. One apartment was run by a Russian woman who insisted on meeting in the basement and receiving funds in cash up front. Some renters will be a little sketch, but I doubt they’ll invite you into a threesome like Jess and Nick’s landlord in New Girl.
PS — Our landlord is totally hot and, thankfully, does not own coveralls (to my knowledge).
4. You will be having SO much sex
The Lie: Even though characters from some of the best shows about city living complain about how terrible their love lives are, they are having all of the sex with some of the most attractive people in the world (In Friends, Rachel and Monica even have the chance to sleep with Jean Claude Van Damme back when he was yummy).
The Truth: Your Saturday night’s gonna go one of two ways: You’re gonna spend that evening sifting through sad messages from your OK Cupid inbox that are both defeating and sometimes sexually confusing, causing you to give up and watch the latest season of Scandal on Netflix; or you’ll venture to the local bar, sit by yourself at the bar while the only men who want to hook up are over the age of 50 or have some serious issues that may not surface until they’ve forced you into a quick round of “Two Truths and a Lie” (see: Failed group date with the nipple piercings).