“Oh my God, how are you?!” you hear in the crowded hometown bar the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.
All of the sudden, your voice gets higher when you’re talking to your ex-girlfriend that you’ve fallen out of contact with since you broke up in a college a while back. You look her up and down wondering who is currently winning the battle of attractiveness before realizing you had to size up in your Patagonia order this year to compensate for canceling your gym membership. As your friend starts doling out shots, you grab an extra and hand it over to her just to ensure you come off as the nice guy instead of the asshole.
After taking it and half-heartedly catching up about her new job and how she’s been seeing someone since spring, your mind starts to wander. Because, after all, there’s a lot of talent around.
The Girl You’ve Always Had A Thing For
It doesn’t matter if this girl was dating someone else all through high school or if she just went to a different school so you never got your fifteen minutes of fame with her — but you two always make eyes and know somethin’ is a brewin’. One of your buddies knows it too, so he gives you an elbow letting you know she’s around (which you already know) before you drop a “Dude, I wonder what her deal is.” And there’s only one way to find out.
Next thing you know, you’re one-arm hugging her while giving an eyebrow raise to your friend across the bar who starts making all of your friends aware that you’re talking to her. As he starts doing the fake air hump behind her back, you clutch your beer and have to look to the ceiling for fear of losing it (and her).
Fun Factor: 9.5
Good Idea: Yes
The Girl Who Turned The Ship Around Since High School
“Holy shit, have you seen ________? She looks good.”
“Wow, where’d that come from?”
You’re not sure where it came from, but one thing’s for certain: she done changed the game on everyone since enrolling at a mediocre state school only to realize her full potential. Not only did she take full advantage of the free gym membership the school offered, but she clearly got some help in the upkeep department by way of her sorority over the past few years. You’re not sure which of your friends is going to attempt to take her back to their parent’s house, but whoever does is going to have a shit-eating grin on his face when he tells the story Friday night at the same bar while everyone starts asking, “Well have you invited her out tonight?”
(He has, but he’s going to act like he hasn’t.)
Attainability: 6.5 (you were probably mean to her in high school and she still resents you)
Fun Factor: 7.5
Good Idea: Eh
The Girl You Dated In High School
She’s an ex, but not a real ex. She was your “first love” even though “love” meant she showed you what it was like to go beyond first base for the first time.
Once the conversation starts, it goes one of two ways. Worst case, you’re stuck there hearing all about her engagement while her fiancé looks you up and down thinking, “I bet I could take this guy.” Or, she’s clearly still single (like you) and you wonder whether or not taking a time machine back to high school is an okay idea or just a foolish night move that you’ll regret all Thursday as your parents explain to you “how nice of a girl” she was when you first dated.
Fun Factor: 4
Good Idea: Only if you’ve changed cell phone numbers since you originally broke up.
The Older Woman
Calling her a “cougar” would be unfair to her. Sure, she’s older. And yeah, on the surface, she appears to fit into the “cougar” category. But deep down, she isn’t necessarily a cougar.
She might be single, she might be married, and shit, she might even be with her husband. But just like you, she’s got the next day off and she’s reliving her glory days just like the group of people you carpooled to the bar with. Does she see your group of six high school friends mixing things up between the dance floor and the bar? Of course, and there’s a part of her that wishes she had been born a little early so she could mix it up with you. But unfortunately, for her and you, it’s just a situation that shouldn’t be entertained on any level.
Fun Factor: 10
Good Idea: No. Just… no.
The Wild Card
“Meet my friend, _________. She’s in town with me this weekend!”
You look over to your friend whose eyes just lit up like he’s won the damn lottery. All of the sudden, he starts standing at full attention with a twinkle in his eye because he knows it’s on. Between their conversations of where they went to school and how crazy it is that they work in the same city and have a couple of mutual friends, all the guys you came to the bar with start giving each other the silent eyes to leave them alone.
Once last call hits and the final rounds of ‘quila have been hastily slammed onto the table, someone asks the question of the night: “Hey, where’d they go?” While no one’s sure, you know it’s going to be a hell of a story the next day, because it wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving Day Lions game without it.
Fun Factor: 8
Good Idea: What are you, new? .
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