Several weekends ago I went out with L. We met up with two other friends from undergrad, B and T. They had come from a wedding and had been drinking since 3 PM. It was now 11 PM. And what happens when you come from a celebration of white rose petal romance that includes an open bar and you're all effectively single happened. B's goal for the end of the night? To go home with the bartender, or at least not pay her tab.
"I've never hooked up with a tattooed man before," she said.
Now T is not actually single (as of this writing, I should stipulate). I thought it was a long distance relationship, but she clarified that they lived in the same city - just not together. When B and L went to the restroom, I asked point-blank - because why not? - if her boyfriend proposed tomorrow, would she say yes?
"Hell no," T said. "I'm not marrying him!"
In fact, while T and her boyfriend had been together since high school *collective gasp*, B informed me that she had a "manstress" - my term, not hers. "He's gorgeous, and he's smart, and he has a job. He buys me dinner, too! He told me he loved me. I told him he couldn't do that."
"Does your boyfriend know?" I asked.
Well then. "What if the manstress proposed?" I hypothesized.
Me: "Well, on the topic of weddings, my cousin got engaged yesterday. The photo got 462 likes. I'm going to get 500 if I ever get married."
This somehow led to my past, nonexistent relationship history aka my two girlfriends in seventh grade. One of those relationships lasted eight hours. Both of them asked me out. Nothing's changed.
"I had a boyfriend in seventh grade," T slurred. "He's gay now. W, W, W," she moaned.
Me: "Wait - I know W."
T: "No, you don't."
Me: "I do! I met him at a conference."
Three summers ago, I attended a conference in a faraway city where my roommate was W. I suspected W was gay because he kept suggesting we go to gay bars. (We didn't go.) We spent the whole conference plotting where else we could go in the city that night and should we pregame the candlelight banquet? (Heck, yes.) During a breakout session, we walked to the liquor store. Youth is fun.
When W added me on Facebook, I remember noticing T was a mutual friend - and he said that was his ex-girlfriend.
Now here I sat, three years later, proving my Facebook friendship with W to T. "Get out of here!" T said when she finally accepted the truth. "B, did you know Cazey knows W?!"
"You do?" B asked. "Oh, yeah, I think you texted me that one time."
Meanwhile, B's bartender-hookup-wannabe had gone south. A woman had appeared who simultaneously flirted and co-bartended with him. "I think that's his girlfriend," I whispered to B.
"He's been flirting with those two blondes, too, so I gave up," T replied.
T and B soon left. L and I sat together nursing the drinks it looked like we were going to have to pay for since B hadn't stayed on the bartender's free side.
"Who are you texting?" I asked L.
"Just this guy," she replied.
"What's he look like?"
She showed me a picture. Me: "FORK. I know him."
L: "You do?"
Me: "Yeah, but I don't remember his name. He's, oh my God, I can't believe you're talking to him."
I cackled. M - the guy L was talking to - was the ex-boyfriend of the roommate of my former unrequited love. (Did you follow that?) I have run into M a few times separate from my former entanglement, and it wasn't awkward, but I always had that lingering "Do you know how much I freaking liked your friend? Gosh, embarrassing. (But oh, have you talked to her lately? How is she? Are you going to mention you saw me?)"
L interrupted my reverie: "I asked if he knew you, and he said yes. I said you wouldn't say how."
Me: "You didn't!"
But she had. Wtf?! Good thing I didn't still like the former entanglement. Right? I don't still like her, right? Oh gosh, this is awkward. I guess I'll finish this drink.
Me: "Did he tell you how we know each other?"
L: "He said a mutual friend. With a period. That's the first period he's used all night."
Sometimes you appreciate a small world, and sometimes you're glad when night sets on the world.