“I’m gonna head downtown and meet up with (friend you haven’t seen or talked to since last Thanksgiving) and (acquaintance who is friends with friend A and occasionally likes your Instagrams),” you tell your mom. It’s Thanksgiving Wednesday and you’ve already spent too much time humoring your Aunt Dorcas when she asks why you’re single for the third Thanksgiving in a row. So, under the guise of reconnecting with old friends, you’re on a mission to get drunk and get away from your families. It’s likely the only thing you and said friends have in common anymore.
You swap out your traditional fall Han Solo costume for something a little more daring. You try on your suede pants you bought a month ago and haven’t worn yet. You want to stand out, but maybe not go full on Lizzie McGuire. “Why am I being such a pussy?” You ask yourself. You live in the city now. You’re unstoppable. You would rock it, you assure yourself, but this town just isn’t ready. You put your Han Solo costume back on but with heeled booties and a plaid accessory. Perfect.
You pay your 19-year-old sister $10 to drive you to the bar because there appears to be a total of three Ubers in your town as indicated by the 700 percent surge. You meet your friends, and with the first “Long time, no see!” the focus of the night quickly shifts to the wide spectrum of the local talent. If you need a heads-up, this is who you will see on Wednesday night in ascending order of appeal.
The Guy Who Never Left
Your hometown is a vortex. It was a fine place to grow up, but the 18-35 crowd is hardly represented. And when they are, it’s by this guy. You know him, or at least recognize him, as the underachiever in high school who went on to spend 6 years at the local community college before dropping out to work at Best Buy and post racist memes on Facebook. Vague plans to become an EMT. Still drinks Jagermeister.
The 25-Year-Old Divorcee
He married his high school sweetheart after a year of dating because her parents wouldn’t let them move in together until they were married. They divorced after one year because she realized how shitty of a roommate he is, he moved back with his parents, gained 30 lbs., and started spending money on Candy Crush. His only friends are the other regulars at the strip club, none of whom are under 60.
The Bullshit Mogul
Gelled hair, fitted suit, aggressive approach to fragrance. He assumes everyone is looking at him, and is not necessarily wrong. His attempt at creating an illusion of success is as good two kids stacked in a trench coat and a fake beard applying for a loan. Cute, but not fooling anyone. In high school, it was Cutco. In college, Vemma. Now it’s whatever shitty startup he posts three Instagrams a day about. He rocks a knockoff Rolex and pushes an 3 Series that he also lives in. You would respect his commitment to the image if he wasn’t such an inflammatory douche.
The Late Bloomer
It takes you a minute to recognize him. His round baby face has developed a jawline and is accented with subtle scruff. He got rid of that dumb haircut. He’s wearing the blue checkered J. Crew shirt that every guy has but would still melt your ovaries if worn by Humpty fucking Dumpty. What he’s got going on is almost enough for you to forget about all the cartoon penises he drew on textbooks and that time he blamed a fart on you.
The “In Another Life” Dreamboat
You’ve either never been single at the same time, or never been in the same place at the same time, but you’ve always been into each other. You’ve done your requisite Facebook stalking and have come up with no evidence of a girl he likes enough to post pictures with. He lives across the country, but he’s here tonight and looking as good as ever. “How’s It Gonna Be” plays in your head as you watch him from across the room. You chug enough vodka-cranberries to replace your cogency with the confidence to approach him before you realize you have no viable endgame. You settle for the conclusion that, if anyone is worth the ~$40 Uber of shame back to your parents’ house, it’s probably him.
Set the vibe, shoot your shot, and if it all works out, walk in on Thanksgiving morning flipping double birds all the way from the front door to your childhood bedroom. You brought the Got Laid Parade to your hometown, and for that, Aunt Dorcas can kiss your ass. .
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