You arrive at a restaurant a bit early for a 7:30pm birthday meet-up with your Friend. Is this place Argentinian? No, it’s Peruvian. You promptly park yourself at the bar and order something with a hot pepper in it. Because.
“This place is kinda fancy. Hey, wait…are we eating dinner?!” you think to yourself.
“Hmm, it’s not super full, so fine either way.”
Restaurant immediately becomes super full.
Friend arrives at 7:30pm. You were the first, so you get Prime Seat at table. A table for 12 people. No clue how many people were invited and/or are attending….
Friend orders calamari, fried watermelon, and chips. Friend worries if anyone else is coming.
Friend’s friend arrives a few minutes later. A guy, living in Brooklyn, from Cali via Boston. He turns wood pallets into sustainable planters. There is discussion of burlap hammocks for plants. You don’t know Brooklyn, but he is what you imagine you must seem like to your non-NYC relatives.
Another person arrives. A Girl. Friend vaguely knows Girl through Someone Else. Where is Someone Else? Girl and Brooklyn do no know each other.
Food arrives. Friend tells Frazzled Waiter we aren’t sure when the rest of the party is arriving, or even how many are coming. Frazzled Waiter leaves. You realize the plan is to do this until we are kicked out.
Someone Else arrives at 7:47pm. She is Miss Massachusetts 2009. She knows Girl but no one else. Miss Massachusetts 2009 and Girl order blackberry martinis.
You notice how much thinner Friend’s friends all are. You consider whether you’re at the attractiveness threshold of friendship status.
A few more random people arrive. They know Brooklyn but not Miss Massachusetts 2009. You don’t remember their names. Bev? One might have been a Bev. But she could have been lying. You decide she was lying.
At 8:12pm there is talk of ordering a Suckling Pig. No sign of Frazzled Waiter in at least 15 minutes.
2 Strangers sit at the farthest chairs at our giant table. They are not here for the birthday. Friend asks 2 Strangers to move. Chairs sit empty for a while.
As more people have arrived, you realize Prime Seat is no longer prime.
6 Coworkers arrive at 8:20pm. Friend briefly hugs them, and despite the empty — forcibly so in the case of 2 Strangers — seats they decide it’s best if they wait at the bar. 6 Coworkers disappear.
You wonder if this is a good time to leave? It has been a long day at work. You realize you probably couldn’t get this many people to attend your birthday.
A Suit just arrived with his Brother. Suit and Brother are 50 minutes late, despite owning suits. Friend hugs Suit then turns to Brother and says, “Oh, have we met?” Brother replies, “Yes, 4 times.”
Suit and Brother leave.
A new person arrives. She is a Lesbian. She is drinking Starbucks. You’re pretty sure you saw her shopping in the men’s underwear section at H&M two hours prior but aren’t sure. You discuss with Starbucks Lesbian whether you assume most people gay when you first meet them. You decide your gaydar could be malfunctioning.
Frazzled Waiter returns. Miss Massachussetts 2009 and Girl order another round of blackberry martinis. “Bev” orders a beer. Starbucks Lesbian explains that she does not need a drink. She has Starbucks. Frazzled Waiter leaves. No Suckling Pig?
A Guy just arrived. He’s Engaged. You briefly mistake Engaged Guy for Friend’s Boy but then realize that doesn’t make any sense.
Another Girl just arrived. She brought a Another Friend. It’s 8:45pm. You order Another Old Fashioned.
Frazzled Waiter is beyond nonplussed to deliver food to a table with a seemingly endless supply of new faces. Friend politely tells Frazzled Waiter, “we’re in no huge rush.” You decide it might be getting late and make your exit as another group of people shuffle in. You awkwardly say goodbye to 6 Coworkers before hugging Friend at the bar.