What It’s Like Being The Wild Card Friend
I’m the wild card in my friend group. I know it, I accept it, and I’m even proud of it. My close circle of friends consists of two therapists, two lawyers, and someone who oversees the movie campaigns at a major studio I can’t really name. Each of these live in very nice apartment complexes that have amenities and security guards. Some have kids. I have some friends who you could definitely say have their sh*t together. I, meanwhile, have what to them seems like a rather quirky life. I’m a dating and sex blogger who lives in a rent-controlled apartment. My baby is my little adopted poodle mix. I buy designer handbags at thrift stores that it’s quite likely my friends donated, after buying them at full price. I’m okay with all of this. My friends accept me for who I am. But when you are the wild card friend, there are just some experiences you get used to.
You aren’t invited around parents
Sometimes you get wind of your friends parents being in town and some of the friend group meeting up with them for a meal. You were not invited. It could be because your friends think their parents might, err, worry about them if they know they hang with you.
You aren’t invited around kids
Children’s birthday parties and kindergarten graduations come and go and you realize you weren’t invited. That could have something to do with the fact that you have a very hard time going thirty minutes without using a bad word, or mentioning alcohol, sex, or hangovers.
If you’re invited, you get gentle instructions
If you are invited to events where there will be elderly individuals, kids, or both, you are given gentle instructions. These may include something like, “It may be better to bring cupcakes rather than a 12-pack of beer to this one.”
You don’t give speeches
You’re not asked to give speeches at weddings and similar events. You’ve actually offered to, and watched the bride squirm to find an answer. “Gosh, you know, it’s so important to my father-in-law to be the master of ceremony. He’s just going to want to hog the mic” may be something you hear.
Being monitored on bachelorette planning
If you’re participating in planning the bachelorette party, you’re closely supervised. The bride has given someone else strict instructions to make sure you don’t invite any naked men or illegal substances to the occasion.
Friends you’re kept from
Sometimes, you become aware of entire friend groups your friends keep you from. If her friends could be a Venn diagram, your friend exists in the center, and then there’s you on the faaaaaar left (wild) side, and then her other friends on the far right, conservative side. So, you never meet.
Significant others worry if you’re around
You’ve caught wind of a husband or boyfriend asking if you’re going to be at the party or girls’ weekend. He asks to get some idea of how full-throttle this weekend will be.
Nobody asks you to housesit
You’re never asked to housesit. You find out a friend traveled and hired a house or pet sitter. You say, “You know I would have done that for free!” And she says, “Oooh. Next time!” but next time doesn’t happen.
Nobody asks you to babysit
If nobody asks you to housesit you better believe nobody asks you to babysit. If you so much as ask to hold a friend’s child, you’re first instructed to sanitize your hands, put down your beer, and remove any sharp jewelry.
Girls’ nights are always elsewhere
You’ve offered many times to host girls’ night at your place. Nobody ever takes you up on it. You’ve insisted you want to. But, still, everyone says, “Oh that’s so generous of you but really not necessary.” They don’t want to drink out of red plastic cups and eat fake cheese. They also might want to control the conversation at girls’ night (aka not so many graphic sex stories) and feel they can’t when it’s at your place.
Pretending you get what they’re talking about
You often smile and nod while they talk about profit margins, interest rates, mortgage rates, stocks and bonds, and other things you’re out of the loop on.
Being the go-to when partying is in order
Of course, when people want to get loose, you’re the first one they call. When they’re planning a bachelorette for someone a bit wilder, they call you for suggestions. When they have a partier family member in town, they call you up to show them a good time.
Being at a weird table at weddings
At weddings, you find yourself at an odd table. Your bride or groom friend just couldn’t think of one, full group of people (cousins? Friends from high school?) with whom you’d fit in. So you’re with the stragglers like coworkers and neighbors who were invited at the last minute.
Never being dressed quite right
You’re never dressed quite right for fancy events. You come close, but not quite there. You always look like a caricature of how you were asked to dress. Like, when asked to dress conservatively, you dress like a sexy secretary.
Staying at the funky hotel
When everyone travels for a wedding, you’re at the funky hotel at the edge of town while everyone else is at like the Marriott or Hyatt in town.