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Her eyes surveyed the rest of the rooftop patio through her sunglasses. The sun was hovering above the horizon of the buildings surrounding them which meant one thing and one thing only: the good light was running out.
She didn’t have to check her Instagram feed to know that she hadn’t posted a photo in three weeks. Between the moratorium on posting in San Francisco to her fighting with Todd, she simply didn’t have the opportunities or zest for life to put anything up.
Her planning for the night began at about 3 p.m. when she ran through a checklist of who would be at the happy hour (and what they’d be wearing). White pants were going to be the natural choice, which meant she had no other option but to wear anything but white pants. “Will a jumpsuit be a little too formal for the happy hour?” she wondered. “Maybe,” she confirmed with herself, “but whatever.”
When she arrived, she saw Katie and Caroline sitting at the bar both sipping spritzers while wearing white pants and ‘statement’ tops. “Thank G I wore a jumpsuit,” she thought while hugging them and telling them how cute they looked.
“Sorry I’m late – should we go upstairs?” she asked. “The reservation was for, like, ten minutes ago so I’m sure it’s ready.”
It was the perfect opportunity for a girls-only happy hour. Either working late or at the golf league they’d all decided to join for the summer, everyone’s boyfriends and husbands were occupied which created a perfect “when the cat’s away, the mice will play” situation.
They immediately noticed Victoria and Victoria’s friend who no one knew, Jen, sitting at the table already.
“Oh,” Caroline pointed, “They’re already up here.”
She looked beneath the table and saw exactly what she expected – two more pairs of white pants. Her decision to dress up for the night was already paying dividends.
“Classic Alex,” she laughed while clearing off her seat from the dead leaves that had fallen from the ivy next to them. “Always the last one to arrive.”
“Katie, what are you drinking? Looks yummy,” she said while pointing at her spritzer.
“It’s, like, this grapefruit champagne-y thing that tastes phenom,” she replied before taking a sip. “I better slow down, though, because these babies are strong.”
And it was at that moment that she looked towards the entrance to the roof deck and noticed Alex trotting along next to who appeared to be their waitress.
“Ugh, that bitch,” she thought while looking Alex up and down. “Of course, she’s wearing a fucking jumpsuit.” She stood up and brushed her butt off, again trying to avoid having any dead leaves on her. They exchanged the typical pleasantries: hugs, cheek kisses, and oh-my-god-you-look-so-cutes.
“Look at us!” Alex exclaimed while looking up and down at her jumpsuit. “Twinsies!”
“So cute!” she shot back, absolutely hating the jumpsuit Alex chose. “Like, it doesn’t even fit her,” she critiqued to herself while faking a smile.
It was moments after they’d settled in and served their drinks that the realization washed over her that time was running out to get the coveted photo. After all, the only reason she actually scheduled the happy hour in the first place was because she knew she needed to be present on Instagram before people became suspicious.
“Who can I get to take this photo?” she wondered. Her first thought was the waitress, but she immediately shot that idea down upon realizing she had what appeared to be a pierced eyebrow. “She probably doesn’t even know how to use Portrait Mode,” she thought.
She gazed over the entire deck, table by table. The group of guys who appeared to have come straight from work? No – they looked like a bunch of Todds who hadn’t gotten 50 likes in, “like, forever.” The group of aging divorcees situated at the corner table? Not the worst choice, but still untrustworthy. The teenage girls eating on their parents’ credit card? Perhaps. She considered asking Jen to take the photo considering “she didn’t need to be in it anyway,” but decided against it.
It was only then that she saw two girls who appeared in their mid-to-lower 20s taking a photo on the far side of the patio. One wore black jeans with a blank white top while the other wore a romper with shoes that just looked expensive. “Them,” she declared, knowing that one of the girls had to either have a blog or, at least, 3,000 Instagram followers.
She knew she had to move quickly before the two sat back down at their table, so she interrupted Katie’s story about her sister-in-law’s “totally miserable” bachelorette party and asked, “Should we take a group photo?”
They all, obviously, immediately obliged and began reaching into their handbags for their phones.
“No, no,” she assured them, “We can use my phone.” She knew Caroline didn’t have Portrait Mode, Alex had an Android (“Eww.”), and Katie would take the best photo for herself and only AirDrop the second-tier photos.
“Let’s walk over here and ask these girls if they’ll take it,” she gestured. In the 25 steps it took them to get from their table to the girls, she ran through her mind the order in which they should stand. Her biggest fear was that that she and Alex would be the jumpsuit bookends in the photo, so she immediately got next to Caroline and began huddling the rest of the girls around her.
“Jen,” she addressed Victoria’s friend who no one really knew, “You get on the far left next to Victoria.” After all, no one really needed to be next to her except Victoria. “I’ll stand right here; Caroline, you get in the middle; Katie, you get on the end while Alex gets on the other side of Caroline.”
The two girls waited with her phone in-hand for the go-ahead to take the first set of photos. “Everyone ready?” Black Jeans asked. They nodded and smiled while all assuming the positions they’d assumed hundreds of times before. Behind Caroline, she situated half of her body so she’d appear skinnier in the photo than the other girls who simply put their hands on their hips.
“1-2-3,” Black Jeans counted several times before snapping more photos.
“Can I see?” she asked, emerging from the group and reaching for her phone. She went through each of the photos and thought to herself, “Okay, meh, ewww, hell no, ohhhh, that’s a good one, nope, that one is terrible.”
She never once looked at anyone in the photos besides herself before asking Black Jeans to take a couple more. “Are you sure you don’t mind?” she clarified, truly not caring if she minded.
She turned around and faced the five girls telling them that they were going to take a few more before the sun went behind the skyscrapers in the distance.
“Okay,” Black Jeans counted again, “1-2-3.” She took another photo.
“Okay,” Black Jeans said a bit louder while turning the phone sideways. “1-2-3.” Another.
“Okay, last one,” Black Jeans declared. “1-2-3.” She snapped the final photo and confirmed, “Yep, that’s the one.” She didn’t really think it was “the one,” but it was her way of getting out of the situation without being asked to take any more photos.
“Thank you so much,” she told Black Jeans and her rompered friend, who simply stood there texting for the entirety of the shoot.
“No problem!” Black Jeans insisted before scurrying back to her table.
“Okay, I’ll AirDrop all of these to you ladies tonight,” she assured them as they headed back to the table. “But first, mama’s got to eat some spinach artichoke dip.”
As they sat down, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and went through the photos one by one, zooming in on herself with no regard for the rest of the group. Laboring over the photos, she finally saw one where she was perfectly situated behind Caroline and her exposed arm looked like Jennifer Aniston’s.
Upon favoriting the photo, she imported it into VSCO and got to work never even touching the spinach artichoke dip that everyone else foolishly engulfed. .