I’ve recently learned that I’m not well liked by my friends’ significant others. They haven’t come up to me and directly said, “I wish my boyfriend/fiance/husband wouldn’t associate with you and your jeans that you’ve worn for almost a month without washing,” but I can feel it in their eyes. You see, I’m a single, 28-year-old male. I’m central casting for the friend in the movie who convinces the married guy to do something stupid. I’m the guy who looks at his engaged friend trying to leave the bar at 11 o’clock with a glare that says, “c’mon,” “gay,” “grow a pair,” and “I just farted” all at once. Every time I arrive at a “couples party” I see it in these girl’s eyes. Their voices say, “Hello, great to see you” but their eyes always say, “I wish you’d stop talking about nipples for seven seconds to listen to my announcement about the mason jars at our upcoming wedding.” Slowly I’m realizing how the dynamic is changing and I begin to wonder, is this my problem or theirs?
I really noticed this last weekend. I was at a dinner party. Yes, a dinner party. You know you’re growing up when things start getting different names: “Lets go eat” becomes a “Dinner Party,” and “10:00am Screwdrivers” become “Brunch.” I got to the party and a friend’s fiance was encouraged to do her “Jared thing.” I’ll say this, when someone does a “thing” about you, it’s a rehearsed bit. It’s something that has been repeated again and again. Practiced on the stage of life. So at this moment, I knew it was happening behind my back for longer than the ten minutes before I walked into the room. At this point, the fiance goes into her “Jared Thing” which seemed more like a routine. She kind of hunched over and started yelling in a more gravely voice, “SO I’M FUCKING THIS CHICK, I’M JARED FREID.” By the fifth time it was repeated she was, what we call in the comedy business, killing. People were laughing, drinks were being spilled, the “Jared Thing” might get its own HBO special. I got to say, the impersonation was spot on. I love to hunch over and tell my tales of trips to the Boneyard. I like to think it’s with some more whimsey and eloquence (I say “deflowering” a lot. As in, “So I’m deflowering this chubby lady’s FUPA”) but she hit all of the notes. The fact is, it screamed of, “Jared likes to chase chicks and I’m dealing with this threat by making fun of him every chance I can.” And I get it.
Honestly, I can see her position. I can see the position of any girl I know doing her own variation of the “Jared Thing.” I wouldn’t want my fiance hanging around someone living the life of a single man. A life I want my fiance to stop living. These guys are getting a front row seat to what their world might look like without that girl. A life that doesn’t involve stories about the girl at work who looked at her in this weird way that said, “I don’t like your shoes.” A life that doesn’t involve having to say, “Oh man what a bitch” about the girl at work who probably had a point about her shoes. I wouldn’t want my fiance or girlfriend getting that type of view of another world that could be hers. I wouldn’t want her hanging around a single girl who doesn’t wake up to a guy farting in his sleep and asking for back rubs after a Chinese food sexual experience. I wouldn’t want that girl around. I wouldn’t want that type of competition. I also wouldn’t want my girlfriend hanging around a girl version of me. A girl who acts like the devil on the right shoulder. A girl who points out every girl above a seven. A girl who talks about Tinder like God brought it down from the same heavens he brought the blowjob from. A girl who yells and cackles like an old prospector who just found gold every time she has to go to a dinner with my parents. I wouldn’t want girl-Jared in my girlfriend’s life, because she will always have a valid point to counter my need to get to bed early for a Bed Bath & Beyond trip in the morning.
So do we change? Should I temper myself? Grow up? Like an anti-gay marriage advocate that will look ridiculous twenty years from now because he couldn’t admit some dudes just like butt stuff? Twenty years from now, I’ll look ridiculous for telling my buddy’s fiance her friend’s “B-Dogs are crushing it.” The climate is changing, and I need put on a jacket. New J-Train needs to tell the Cinderella Joke differently: “What did cinderella say when she got to the ball? She said thank you for holding the door open for me, Prince Charming.” Old J-Train would have told that ending much differently. (Hint: She chokes on a penis.) New J-Train needs to listen to a girl talk about the mason jars at her wedding like it isn’t a thing that EVERY GIRL IN THE WORLD IS DOING AT HER WEDDING (COUGH, COUGH). Old J-Train would have coughed in a way that would have sounded like the word “Hack.” New J-Train needs to understand that this will be the future mother of some of his best friend’s babies. Old J-Train would have started yelling like a wild man when he heard the word “babies” because maybe when you repeat it three times a condom will rip. We all need to find a newer version of ourselves. It’s just a matter of when. And my time is now. Right after I have my 10:00am screwdriver…I mean, brunch.