1. The Paranoid Asshole
You will meet the paranoid asshole when you’re going through the checkout line at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is known as the place where the happiest people on the planet go to work, except for this guy who managed to slide under the smile radar with a frown and got a job as a hibiscus-wearing checker. The paranoid asshole won’t even look you in the eyes when he asks the obligatory, “how are you?” as he scans your groceries. When you start to make small talk about how you’re making a DIY wine cellar in your closet to store all the $6 bottles of wine you’ve found at Trader Joe’s he’ll look at you and say, “Dude, I have a girlfriend.” Part of you will want to respect that he doesn’t have a wandering eye and is loyal to his girlfriend, but nobody was hitting on him. When the guy in line behind you says something about the weather while his items are being rang up, the paranoid asshole will also say to him, “Dude, I have a girlfriend.” Again, NO ONE was hitting on him. So why must this guy’s pleasantries towards all humans (accept for his girlfriend and her mother) disappear once he is in a serious relationship?
Oh yeah, he is a paranoid asshole.
Symptoms may include: he is an asshole, thinks everyone is hitting on him, has a tattoo of an ampersand from that one semester where he took graphic design classes, lots of patchy facial hair, will propose without taking a knee, unfriendly, hates fat people, aspires to hold boom mics on the set of movies, attracted to women who make him paranoid, really nice to girlfriend’s parents, will propose in the timely one-two year frame, loyal to a fault, likes Larry David
2. The Karaoke Aficionado
You will meet the karaoke aficionado at your friend’s karaoke birthday party. And for the rest of time you will only ever see him at karaoke birthday parties. He’ll be super shy until he has a few drinks and suddenly turns into the life of the party. The karaoke aficionado is happy, carefree, goofy, and his karaoke repertoire is truly boundless (Dixie Chicks anyone?). His girlfriend is friendly, but hates having to yell out what she is going to school for because someone is singing an off key version of, “I’m Every Woman” at full timbre. She usually leaves the party early because she’s working on her dissertation on the man whose arm grew inside of his body and now he’s holding his own kidneys (don’t ask). The karaoke aficionado is good about living in the moment and not focusing on his phone too much until his girlfriend calls him asking him when he’s coming home. You feel bad for him because he is in the middle of belting out Ace Of Base right when she beckons him for the last time. But hey, they seem happy together.
Symptoms may include: will use girlfriend as a scapegoat for getting out of social events unless it involves karaoke (even after they’ve been broken-up for a month), never shows-up or leaves with his girlfriend, always looks confused, talks loudly when he’s drunk, poor sense of fashion, sounds like a squirrel when he laughs, friendly to everyone, likes singing Jamiroquai songs at karaoke birthday parties, pays for 5 rounds and will not accept any repayment, his girlfriend is proud of him, he is trustworthy, he is genuine, he likes to hang out at the dog park (does not have a dog)
3. The Immature Charmer
You’ll meet the immature charmer at work. He’ll be the guy distracting you and your co-workers from doing anything remotely productive (you were planning on refilling the stapler this morning? BOOM! Nope, the immature charmer distracts you with a game of human Tetris). The immature charmer loves everyone and everyone loves him. He’s not a lover in the hippie sense because he grew-up in a rich gated community in Connecticut, his last name has a roman numeral and sounds like a type of bread (e.g.- Tony Focaccia the III). The immature charmer’s girlfriend and frozen margaritas are of equal repute. Needless to say, he drinks at least three frozen margaritas a day i.e. he love his girlfriend a lot. Which makes sense because you will stalk her on Instagram and find: she volunteers, doesn’t take selfies, hangs out at wineries (and other boring, yet socially acceptable places), and makes cheap clothes from Forever 21 look not cheap. But the person who loves the immature charmer the most is your boss, even though the immature charmer never works and takes 100 smoke breaks per day.
Symptoms may include: he is the reason $92 billion is lost in productivity annually from cigarette smoking, talks about his mother way too much, says he’s Italian because his parents owned an Italian restaurant on Howard beach before he was even alive, has seen Mumford and Sons in concert five times, smells like chewing tobacco, has horse teeth, great smile, open about the fact he watches New Girl, treats everyone equal, generous, funny, raspy singing voice, sees the good in everyone, will randomly sing out the Full House theme song
4. The Senior Portrait Photographer
You will meet the Senior Portrait Photographer through a mutual friend at a fundraiser. He loves alliteration and is always, “seeing someone seriously”. However, after only two days of knowing him he will propose to you via text, but then again he proposes to every girl he meets. To the senior portrait photographer love, but more importantly a wedding, is the key to his happiness. He is the last person in his friend group to marry, and he feels the illusory pressure. He would’ve married a sack of potatoes with a wig on if it meant he could fit in and wear a ring until he died (but it is illegal in South Carolina). He means well, but when the senior portrait photographer meets the girl who finally says yes after two days of knowing him he will never talk to you again (then he’ll transition into married paranoid ass who thinks he is better than you because he is married).
Symptoms may include: can’t spell, no standard, wears tight vests (think chubby Justin Timberlake in the late 90s), wants a carnival themed wedding, can’t do his own laundry, smells like farts, overuses the word “serious”, happy to pay for a million dates with a million girls, unmistakably great hair, likes to brush his teeth, can make a cheese and meat plate that’s out of this world, has a chalkboard wall in his apartment, will plan his wedding down to the last monogrammed M&M
5. The Midwest Bartender
You will meet the Midwest bartender at a quaint and narrow dive bar on the lower East side. He moved to NYC a million years ago with his fiancée. They’ve been dating since middle school and have a pug named Chuckles. The Midwest bartender will be the most attractive person who knows your name by a long shot (Wouldn’t you like to get away? Thank you, Cheers). He will also be rip-roaring hilarious. You will ask the Midwest bartender and his fiancée and Chuckles numerous times if they want to hang out with you outside of the bar, but no dice. You and your friends will stay at the bar after hours a couple of ten times and watch him make out with some chick that is not his fiancée. The guilt of what you have seen him do will eat away at you while his fiancée is giving you a badass Sharon Stone haircut (but his fiancée is a great hair dresser and she’s only charging you 30 bucks and you can’t tell her the Midwest bartender cheats on her mid-chop). Eventually they’ll get married and you’ll regret that you didn’t risk your vanity to save her from being cheated on for the rest of her life. Oh well, she knew what she was getting herself into—you hope.
Symptoms may include: Cheats on his girlfriend more than he eats food, talks about his dog like it’s his kid, should have been a comedian (but it’ll never happen because he is not self-deprecating and way too confident), peaceful, craves the free nachos he gets at work when he’s not at work, has not seen a sober sunrise in ten years, owns ironic t-shirts, wears the same jeans everyday, has been the best man at a trillion weddings, never looks in the mirror behind the bar, can wink like Lucille Ball high on cough medicine, smells like syrup covered bacon, in great shape for someone who never works out, hilarious, mighty fine