You owe me $2.50.
That’s for the beer he didn’t buy me. Make that the beer I didn’t let him buy me — in fear of subtly suggesting I enjoyed listening to him insist the Earth is flat.
You got a new boyfriend. I got 20 minutes of conversation with a guy wearing socks with sandals.
Then again, that’s what I deserve for agreeing to entertain The Friend.
The role is commonly known as “wingman” or “wingwoman.” My friend, however, opts for a less politically correct term: nightlife’s sacrificial lamb.
I don’t blame her.
The task — busying the friend standing beside someone’s object of affection — is a shining example of late-night heroism.
But it doesn’t come without hardship.
There’s a 99 percent chance the sidekick friend is either insanely drunk, conversationally challenged or just plain creepy.
Women know this rule of thumb: The more attracted your friend is to a guy, the more annoying his partner in crime will be.
You’re in for the long haul, unfortunately.
See, when you agree to buddy up with The Friend, you give up a sense of free will. You’ve lost rational sense of time and are forced to follow a clock centered on “whenever they exchange phone numbers.”
Set on leaving the bar when your feet hurt? Avoiding uncomfortable conversations? This job isn’t for you.
Even with the selflessness it entails, the wingman is one of the most misunderstood roles on the nightlife scene. Which is why it’s frequently not considered a sacrifice.
Married people know what I’m talking about.
They get stuck with The Friend perhaps more than anybody else.
The reasoning? They’ve already won the game of love — now it’s time to pay their relationship luck forward.
Moreover, friend detail is perceived as less burdensome when the sacrificial lamb is romantically attached.
“It won’t be weird,” your single friend says. “If he starts hitting on you, just tell him you’re taken.”
Yeah, that party line is regarded just as seriously as “I have standards” and “I only want one more drink.”
For all its discomfort, the wingman role is a necessary evil on the nightlife scene.
Only weird partiers — and me — hit the town alone. So if your BFF is on the prowl, it won’t be long before you have an encounter with The Friend.
Go ahead, try to decline the role in advance.
Let me know how things turn out when Miss Single and Looking interprets your polite words as “I don’t want you to be happy” and enters a teary tirade about a lifetime of romantic rejection.
So smile, nod and submit to the brand of sacrifice that tolerates toxic bad breath for matchmaking’s sake.
That, after all, is what friends are for.
ContactSonya Sorichat firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.