Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A Third Wheel Situation
When I was 16 my best gay friend asked me if I would go to a movie with him. When we got to "X-Men" (yikes. what a flick) we were met with one other gentleman and a chick I had never seen before. "Who are these people?" I asked innocently...He replied quietly "This is my first date with Jeremy...and that's his friend Jessica. You guys are our air bags. Be nice..and when I tell you to go away..effing go away...fast." Umm...what the eff? Jessica and I stared at each other with disgust in our eyes. Air bags on their first date...awesome. Thanks guys.
I've found myself making guest appearances on other peoples dates often, actually. Purely by accident I can appear out of no where and kill the mood of romance. The problem arises when I honestly don't realize that I may be intruding on someones essential "alone time". In fact it was just the other day that I realized it was very possible I had accidentally invited myself onto the first date of a friend of mine with a new lady friend. I'm actually not even sure it was a legit date thingy with them, but it sure felt like it when I arrived as they sat at the bar staring longingly into each other's eyes. It was def an awkward turtle situation and there was no escaping it. When I asked her later how she knew him and she replied, "We've actually only met once, and this is our first time hanging out," it all became clear. I was on their first date with them. Great. Awesome. Super. Good for them.
Behavior when you've accidentally appeared on another person's date is hard to get just right. You want to remain cool, calm, and collected, but you also want to be able to pick up the cues of when you need to jump ship and float in the ocean of singles alone. I would like to say I pick up these cues really easily, but I think that may be a lie. Having a myriad of serial dating best friends, I have grown accustomed to the "Madde you are single and cramping our style, please get out of the room so that we can get up in each other's business." I like to use that time to go outside and stare at a wall, or other fascinating activities like that. Sometimes I pick up on those cues and just decide not to listen to them. Why should I have to go wander the streets alone because one of you invited me to this movie? That doesn't seem fair now does it.
If we are at a movie, I like to sit in between the two lovebirds. You know, just so that I can hear the conversation. If we're at dinner, why don't one of us share something? No? If we're in the car..I get shotgun! Woo! I have no shame about being the most obnoxious third wheel known to man.
But being perpetually single doesn't make being the third wheel feel any better, especially when you are the third wheel to a situation in which you would like to just be a two-wheeler. What if you are smitten as a kitten with the fellow who has invited the other chick? Well, to be frank... it sucks. There's no other way of putting it. Situations like that make it even harder for you to say to this fellow..."Hey, buddy...let's lose the other chick and go out on a date just the two of us." It's a hard topic to bring up later too, especially if you've chosen the method of "adore him from afar, and for the love of all things Jesus, don't let on that you're smitten because that makes you human with feelings..dont' let him know that you're a human..as that song says..are you human? or are you a dancer? don't be human! be a dancer!" (a signature Madde method I like to use). You see, bringing it up is a sure-fire sign to him that you may or may not be jealous. It tips him off, and you may not be ready to let him know.
So how do I deal? I remain ready in the back seat. A polished third wheel just waiting for that other wheel to get a hole in it or prove flat, so that I can have a turn taking a spin on that bike that I'm smitten with :)