Are you familiar with the Instagram account ‘The Way We Met‘?
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Row after row of couple photos, accompanied by a lengthy caption about how they met when they were both volunteering at a soup kitchen for orphans and one of them accidentally showed up early for shift and they locked eyes across a steamy plate of soggy grilled cheese and then they got engaged two weeks later and now they live in a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids and a dog.
Now, I won’t lie. Deep, deep down behind this cold, soulless exterior, there is a romantic side of J. One who yearns for a romantic ‘How We Met’ story that MOST DEFINITELY does not involve a dating app. But, let’s be real – I don’t volunteer at soup kitchens. I spend way too much time on dates for that. Who do you think I am?!
As such, I have developed a more realistic version of ‘The Way We Met’ for the ratchet young professional in DC. Let’s begin, shall we?
1. Boozy Brunch
Picture this: you’re at Local 16 with your best gal pals, feelin’ SOME type of way after slamming bottomless mimosas for two hours, when you spot the man of your dreams across the restaurant. He’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a fuckboy – frat shirt (complete with real frocket!!), Ray-Bans, and boat shoes that have probably never even touched a boat. Needless to say, it’s love at first sight.
You make your little crush known to your friends, and with their encouragement (and the help of your liquid courage) you’re feeling bold. You write your number on the receipt, fold it up into the best paper airplane you can manage in your current state, and sail it across the restaurant to lover boy – but, in a twist of fate, a gust of wind blows it directly into the omelette of a different gentleman. Not the fuckboy of your dreams, but his plaid flannel and thick black glasses make him seem like less of a dickbag, which is promising. He reads it, looks up at you, and smiles. You try not to fall out of your chair as you descend further into your blackout.
What a great story for the grandkids!
2. Surrogate Tinder Swiping
You know that friend you have who’s never been on Tinder because they ‘re getting married to their middle school soulmate, or some bullshit like that? The one who’s always asking to use your Tinder because, deep down, they love the thrill of treating other humans like they’re disposable? Well, you better thank them now, because they’re about to find you true love.
It will come when you least expect it – after aforementioned boozy brunch, laying on the floor of someone’s apartment, chugging glasses of wine that you definitely don’t need. You’ll see the most beautiful boy ever come across your screen, boasting degrees from Harvard, Stanford, AND Brown, and then – before you can lunge at your phone to hit the ‘Super Like’ button – you’ll hear the most devastating words you could dream of come out of your friend’s mouth.
“Swiping to the left is the good one, right?”
NO. Not right. Not right at all. SO WRONG.
But, alas. It is too late. However, to compensate for the error of her actions, your friend will swipe right indiscriminately on the next 100 people that come across your screen. After weeding out the creepy messages from too many guys named “Omar,” you come across a guy who’s like, actually cute!
That man is your next husband.
3. Trolling Eastern Market
Today is the day. You and your friends have been talking about spending a Saturday morning at Eastern Market for MONTHS, and you are finally not-hungover enough to make it out. You can finally get the basic Instagram that you’ve always dreamed of. #blessed.
You and your roommate hop into an Uber pool, and you’re off! Mission: pancakes is a go. And tacos. And ALL OF THE FOODS. You monster, you!
And, monster that you are, you absolutely LOSE. YOUR. SHIT. when you’ve got a forkful of crepe halfway to your mouth and some idiot bumps into you from behind, knocking your precious morsel of nourishment to the dirty, dirty ground.
“WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING, YA NUMBSKULL” you exclaim as you whip around… straight into the face of what might be a Ken doll in real life. A chorus of fuck fuck fuck I ruin everything I always ruin everything why am I such a ruiner races through your head – until you notice that homeboy is… smiling? What is he, psycho??
“Wow, I never thought I’d meet someone who got more worked up than I do over crepes. Here, my bad – I’ll buy you another one.”
Cares deeply about French breakfast foods? CHECK.
Willing to pay for shit? CHECK.
4. Walking Home from the Grocery Store
Ugh. This one hits closest to home, because my roommates ALWAYS give me shit about how put-together I look when I go to Giant, but I just want to be ready for love, ok guys?! What is this, amateur hour??
ANYWAY. One of the biggest life changes I had to go through upon my move into DC was the fact that they charge you money for grocery bags. Sure, it’s like five cents, but do you know how much tequila* I could buy with that? Money doesn’t grow on trees, y’all!!
…but, sometimes, I forget to bring a bag. And J, the PICTURE of perfect, environmentally friendly city girl living, simply cannot be spotted carrying a plastic grocery bag! Do you even know what they do to our oceans?! Horrid.
So, I carry my shit home in my own two hands. And this is where I will meet my husband, I’m sure of it. Carrying a large watermelon, a bright magenta box of tampons tucked under the crook of my right arm, fully unable to release my grip so I can dislodge the hair that has made its way into my mouth.
Future Husband: Hey, nice melon.
J: *Spits hair out of mouth*
J: Sorry I had a hair in my mouth. Anyway, I said ‘that’s kind of crass, sir!’
FH: Oh, I’m so sorry. How ever can I make it up to you?
J: Tequila, por favor.
The rest, as they say, is history.
*If my math holds up, I could buy… one shot… with 100 grocery bags? And that’s just not something I’m willing to pass up. In the words of my high school economics teacher, OPPORTUNITY COST, BITCHEZ!
So, the next time you read about a couple who met in middle school but was torn apart by family divide and the war and an earthquake but then was brought back together by a rogue message in a bottle, fret not! Your time will come.
And you’ll probably be drunk for it.
But, let’s be real – when are you not?