This is when I introduce myself as the third wheel. No, not the traditional I went on a date with my best friend in middle school and her boyfriend who “turned out” to be gay third wheel. The friend third wheel, which in my opinion is far worse than the infamous romantic third wheel situation many of us have seen in movies or have had the pleasure of experiencing ourselves. I am talking about when your friend group consists of three people and two of them are Wayne and Garth and you’re that other guy who was also in the car singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody.
I’m the other guy. My first friend in high school ended up being much closer with my second friend in high school and I became very aware of this on day three. I was still invited along and slightly included and we stayed friends for three years, but when asked if I liked the jersey shore, I shook my head no while they had been talking about it all afternoon.
At the time I didn’t recognize it, but even in middle school I was the third friend. This remained a pattern through college, though that was when I was rewarded fourth friend status (please don’t make me blush) so I’m not sure if that technically counts. I have had days or weeks when I have thought that something must be wrong with me. I mean, why am I never the first friend? Is there something so repulsive or odd about me that people can only stand to have me around if there is someone else tagging along to lessen the pain? And when I have had enough time to self loath and ponder the things that make me disgusting, I get over myself and wonder about all the other third friends out there in the world who either don’t know it yet or have long known and aren’t sure what to do with such vital information.
I am here to face the facts with you and welcome you to the most exclusive club in all of America and most of Europe. One that even Kevin Jonas can’t get into and might I say he may as well be the poster child for all third friends everywhere (now this is where I hope 90% of you get this and can explain to the other 10%).
It is called the Leftovers and it is made up of the most interesting people who have yet to find their people, and you are invited, nay, you are the guest of honor and we will not take no for an answer. Frankly, your life depends on it and if that doesn’t get you to drop the act then you may be past the point of saving (and that has only ever happened to one person and they are now facing an eternity as a vastly despised satirical red devil, though there are the select few that worship him but we unfortunately don’t have time to unpack that right now).
I hope to see you there, invite or no invite, we will know you when we see you. No need to worry about walking behind two people anymore or pretending it doesn’t bother you when they split their meal without asking you and you’re left having to get the full priced chicken tenders. You get to be your true self here, the person they have spent too long neglecting. Bring your leftover self and the years of baggage that comes along with that and get ready to meet all the other people who have faced just the same reality as you. We are your third friends and we can’t wait to meet you. Xo