Thursday, June 11
The Third Wheel Manifesto
Couples, these musings you are about to read are the collective sighs we let out every time we are asked to be “The Third Wheel”. We as your friends realize that you don’t mean to deposit upon us the guilt and shame that comes along with this status, but, you must realize, you are different now. You used to be one of us, the single, grazing few who look up from the grass every now and then to gaze lazily across the plain, but you’ve been picked off - taken from the herd.
Being the Third Wheel makes us feel semi-pathetic, because if we’re available to go out with you that usually means we didn’t have better plans ourselves. Now, I suppose that when I start dating again someone will register the same complaints with me, but until then, I’m trashing this antiquated buddy system.
When I think of three, I think: odd number…disharmony… three’s a crowd.
People stare at us when we’re trailing behind you; pitying us like we’re some poor, humpbacked, misshapen creature from a horror movie. Forget trying to offer a rebuttal, because let me assure you that my sources are strong. In order to relay accurate and reliable statistics, I required that all “Wheels” have at least thirty hours or more out in the field before they could participate in this study. These poor souls and I only hope that you take heed to our research as well as our pleas.
What is agreed upon, according to most Wheels are the following: once you start dating, it’s as if your new personality arrived from a parallel universe. It’s bizarre; you seem to have lost brain cells. Apparently you all possess dictionaries that only supply pet names like ‘Boo Bear’, ‘Honey Love’, ‘Noodle’, ‘Cupcake’, ‘Pumpkin’ and ‘Love Muffin’. I mean, are those names or menu items? Are you dating them or eating them?
Ever notice that when you engage us in conversation using these names that we supply a look of confusion and proceed to ask you “whom are you referring to”? You follow-up by saying, “you know who I’m talking about, I’m talking about my boo.”
"Oh. Your boo."
Now listen up, because you NEED to know this. We WANT you to know this. First, yes, we do know whom you’re speaking about. But our rulebook on such matters clearly state… in order to preserve ones dignity a reply of no is required, yes, a firm, “no, I don’t know who you’re talking about”.
This allows us to retain some self-respect. This is not story time; you are not reading to children. Please, spare us and use their real names.
Second, sitting. There are major problems with the seating arrangements. We, as the minority, realize that there’s no solution, no better way to handle it, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it. We don’t want to be alone on the aisle two rows behind you; it’s lonely and obvious. Problem is, if we sit with you, you don’t really want us there and furthermore it’s not our idea of fun to watch you cuddle, swap spit and play with each other’s hair through a two hour movie. So, basically, it’s a case of screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t.
There have been complaints made by other “Wheels” that good movies are being ruined on account of insane, uncalled for acts of lovey-doveyness…and in public view nonetheless!
One Wheel said, “I was sitting there enjoying my popcorn, when BOOM! Out of nowhere the couple began taking turns sipping from the same straw repeating to one another, “…and one for you and one for me…” I became so physically ill I had to excuse myself and use the ladies room.” Couples, this behavior and utter lack of respect for your Wheel has to stop!
So low on the totem pole is the Wheel that it is now being compared to Chinese Water Torture; every outing like a slow drip.
Waiting in the car while you the two of you commence a thirty-minute goodnight.
Having to watch you no longer realize how to walk independently, always holding hands, apparently, in order to stand up straight.
Asking us to do our own thing for about an hour and then meet you back at the car after you invited us to hang out with you!
Now for the record, there are exceptions. Some “Wheels” have reported pleasant times accompanying their friends. They said being treated as part of a group and not apart from it was entirely refreshing. I assure you this is not a common occurrence; they happen about as often as pink elephants are spotted.
Reality of the matter is, even though I state and claim these things, I’m a sucker when it comes to my friends and suckers get sucked in. So, until I learn my lesson or retain the will power to say no, chances are that’ll be me you see sitting behind two people gazing into each other’s eyes. I’ll be the one staring off into space wondering what I should have said to avoid all this. I’ll be thinking I should have handled this situation as one wise doctor might have:
“I do not like to be the wheel.
I do not think it’s a fair deal.
You have me sitting in the back.
It’s worse than being on the rack.
I would not like to meet you there.
And would I like to drive you where?
It’s like you’ve gone and lost your mind.
I’ll tell you this just one more time.
My brain is fried, I think no more.
I’m slowly gagging on the floor.
And if you ask me one more time,
I swear I’ll poke you in eye.”
Or something like that.
photo by John Fraissinet