Saturday, December 6, 2014

We're Not For Everyone (Intro)

Some people deal in absolutes. Never wear brown with black. Always wait an hour to swim after eating. Always let the boss win. Never fake the funk on a nasty dunk. I’m more of a realist. And, as a realist, I recognize that nothing’s black-and-white. Sometimes things go one way, sometimes they go the other. So when someone inevitably tells you “No good ideas are thought of when you’re drunk,” pat them on the head and just smirk.

Last Christmas Eve I stopped at William Penn Tavern on a whim, looking to catch up with my boy MoFo, who I hadn’t seen in years. While I was there, he and Jed mentioned a trip that T.C. and Hurley had cooked up for March. A “guys’ trip,” wherein gents from Pittsburgh would descend upon Raleigh, NC—where MoFo lives—to enjoy a weekend of heavy drinking and NCAA tourney games. I considered it somewhat half-heartedly, knowing I had the Chicago trip coming early in that same month, which was going to bite a serious chunk out of my bank account. A couple of nights later, before I blacked out, T.C. and Hurley pitched the trip to me themselves. Nearby Chapel Hill is always packed with booze and coeds, I’d been promising MoFo for years that I’d visit him in NC, the hotel room would be free (T.C. has rewards points out the ass), and nearby Chapel Hill is always packed with booze and coeds…

“Sure… *sips Manhattan* Why not? *gulps Manhattan* It’s only money! *orders another Manhattan*”

When I sobered up a couple of days later, I guarded against disaster by telling T.C. my participation would hinge on how big of a hit my finances took in Chicago. And so, when I somehow made it home alive from the Chi in March, I tallied up what I’d spent. It was about half what I had expected to drop. I quickly texted T.C. “It’s on.”

The last time T.C., Hurley, and I went on a trip together was Buffalo in 2011; before that was San Diego in 2008. So…yeah. This time around we’d be adding Trip and MoFo to the mix [Jed had to bow out due to family issues]. There’s a network sitcom writer out there somewhere who’s kicking himself for not thinking up a pilot with a plotline based on this gathering of guys in their early 30s, all in different places in their love lives. A summary:
  • MoFo – Having married a girl thought at the time to be his soulmate (by him and all around him) in 2005, in the last few years he’s enjoyed the highs of becoming a dad and the lows of a bitter divorce. Now a bachelor, he dotes on his daughter on the daddy weekends and dotes on the ladies on the Who’s yo daddy weekends.
  • T.C. – Happily married for 7+ years, the homie is a consummate family man, with two rambunctious blonde-haired boys, a dog, and a beautiful house in the suburbs. Funding the construction of a new house for his clan at the time, he continues to break his back every day to keep everyone happy, healthy, and fed.
  • Trip – A renowned playboy in his younger years, our goofy friend has finally met the woman for him, and at the time was engaged to be married to her later in the year. And the transition of his private life mirrored that of his professional one: In the year prior to the trip he had given up his dream career in front of cameras for one behind a desk. Once out there living the public (albeit local) glamour life, he’s now dedicated to a quiet existence with his bride-to-be, focused on long-term happiness.
  • Hurley – For quite some time my homie has been a fellow bachelor, doing bachelor things. Several months before that March weekend, however, he’d succumbed to a much younger girl who had locked him down. Newly in love, he had been doing the dance we all do when re-familiarizing ourselves with domestication. You know, avoiding bar sluts, fewer weekend nights unaccounted for… The standard.
  • Me – I just don’t give a fuck. As previously discussed.

Ready to roll. Let's go.
Honestly, you couldn’t imagine five friends with more diverse personal lives. And yet we all fit together like pieces of a puzzle. A GMC Yukon was rented, days were called off from work, I listened to “Raise Up” a few hundred times, and we prepared to unleash ourselves upon the South.

[To be continued...]

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