You know that friend or family member who is always single and doesn't seem to have a problem with it? Maybe you are that person and you're just as sick and tired as I am of family and friends asking why you still don't have a girlfriend. Well, looks like the cat is out of the bag- I'm that person. And I’m reminded of it every Valentine’s Day.
Not to say I don't ever want to fall in love, but for now, sitting in silent solitude with a vodka tonic and the occasional PornHub visit is treating me just fine. I'm sort of like the non-grease head version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon, except I wouldn't have let Scarlett Johansson go. I find love in my friendships. It just so happens most of my friends are couples (no, it's not a group thing, gross). Most people would say I'm a third wheel. I like to think of myself as an emancipated, self-sufficient, drink-as-much-as-I-want relationship saver. Let me explain why couples need us "third wheelers."
Out and about…
If you think sitting there listening to you and your boo call each other "bae," then all of a sudden screaming at each other because one of you spewed a should-have-saved-it-for-home secret during your unintentional drunkenness is fun, well, it kind of is. If I didn't have to save the relationship by diverting the attention. If we’re in a nightclub I’ll say something that requires a task like, ”Oh, s—t! I dropped my drink. Can you guys help me pick up the ice?” or I’ll just embarrass them with my dancing more than they embarrass me with their fighting. It usually works. But when it doesn’t, it’s time to bring in the reinforcements: guilt and sadness. I’ll look stoically upset until one of them notices. “What’s wrong?” they’ll ask. I’ll respond with something that gets the girl to sympathize with me. “I hate when you guys fight. It hurts my heart and diminishes my happiness” is my favorite line. Dramatic, right? This will force the boyfriend to calm his ego and not say anything instigative the rest of the night because he sees how much it upset his girlfriend.
Unless they’ve grown numb to your pretend distress and involve you in their mess. Then the dreaded “Who do you think is wrong?” question will be asked. I don’t panic, naturally. So, I will simply shrug my shoulders and reply. “You’re both wrong for involving me.” Making myself the victim of this Oscar-worthy drama is always a win, win. Because that’s what third-wheelers do. We win. And we do this all in time before the awkward car ride home where the couple is forced not to argue in front of us until you drop us off. By then the couple has forgotten what they were initially fighting about and they go home and have yet another make-up sex session. You’re welcome.
It’s the small things…
We even win at little things. For instance, who else is going to hold your purse (sitting there with dwindled manhood) when you go to the bathroom? Who’s going to be the shoulder you lean on- literally- when you need somebody to help get your drunken corpse back to the car (definitely not your 90-pound girlfriend!)? Who else is there to take your dog for a walk or play with your kids while you get dressed to go out on Valentine’s (not that nanny you can’t afford)?
Third wheels are the unknown fabric of relationships. We help you navigate through choppy relationships, become middle men when you need us to pick up your belongings from your ex’s mom’s house, we make your relationships seem happier than they really are because we allow you to compare it to our lonesome lifestyle.
We’re not bitter about being third wheels, but just remember, when you and your Valentine are nose-to-nose at that restaurant you’ve been saving up for on this laughable holiday, that you’d be at Redbox renting “The Notebook” again without your third wheel.