It’s a random Saturday around 10:32 p.m. You find yourself and a few pals in a bar frequented by young, hipster-leaning Chicagoans. Ordering your fourth whiskey with a Coke splash, you observe the scenery. You manage to catch the eye of a girl and her friend who are completely losing their minds to a No Doubt song. You’ve got a bit of liquid courage and she looks cute enough. What do you do?
Stay put: Read No. 1.
Approach them: Read No. 2.
1: She seems well and good, but you just got out of a crappy situation and, hey, this whiskey isn’t going to drink itself. You polish off your cocktail and have another. A late-arriving friend is in a hurry to catch up with the party and promptly pays for several rounds of shots, which you happily consume. A few hours later, you end up angrily texting your ex, accusing her of cheating on you back when you dated. This leads to you spending 12 minutes outside of the bar loudly yelling into your phone. You blow off your friends and drunkenly stumble home, waking the next day at 1:50 p.m. on your couch, fully clothed and with your contacts still in. END SCENE
2: You just got out of a crappy dating situation and figure there’s no time like the present to break your slump. With renewed confidence, you dance over to the girl and her friend. The girls are very nice and welcoming, and you proceed to order a round of shots. Everyone is getting along nicely, and the girl’s friend is not-so-subtly trying to push you two together. Your friend saunters over and the suggestion to change locations is presented. Before you can finish your last drink, you get a text from a former hookup who’s in town from D.C. and looking to meet up. The last time you “met up,” you walked funny for three days. What do you do?
Ignore the text: Read No. 3.
Pursue the booty call: Read No. 4.
Text your ex because you’re drunk and feeling some feelings: Read No. 5.
3: You take a moment to consider, then decide that you’d rather see what happens with this current situation. Your whole group moves to a late-night bar known for inspiring bad decisions. The place is bumping and you all quickly start dancing, letting “the rhythm take you over” as Enrique Iglesias used to put it. After a few more rounds of drinks, you become those a-holes making out in the bar. Your friend interrupts you to let you know that your “friend” from D.C. just walked into the bar and is heading right for you. Being kind of a chump, you duck into the bathroom. When you come out, the girl you were kissing is leaving because her friend wants to go home. You reconnect with your friend from D.C. and depart to your place for a night of passion. Unfortunately, you’re unable to perform due to having consumed large amounts of alcohol. At best, you muster an awkward attempt at morning redemption, but the damage is done. Six months later, you discover your new nickname in the Chicago social circle is “WD-40.” (a jab at your stamina and unability to perform.) END SCENE
4: Let’s be honest. Summer is coming; there will be plenty of time for bar romance. A rare visit from a quality sexual companion is a treat that shouldn’t be passed up. You text the girl back, only to discover she actually was en route to the bar you’re currently at. You plan to meet her at her hotel room and get a cab over. You have a night of wild passion. Waking up in the morning, you head out to brunch and run into your ex ... who’s with the dude you always suspected she cheated on you with. A big fight breaks out, there’s challah French toast flying everywhere and you end up getting a shiner and one hell of a story on Monday. END SCENE
5: Against the wishes of everyone, you abandon your conquests to text your ex and wax poetic about the good ol’ days. She isn’t having it. Feeling dejected, you go to 7-Eleven and get a turkey and cheese sandwich. You choke on it and die. Lesson here? Don’t ever text your ex when you’re drunk, you idiot. END SCENE
What have we learned here? Love truly is a battlefield, friends. Proceed with caution.
Ernest Wilkins is Chicago’s wingman.
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