Waiting for My Perpetually Late Friends: A Gradual Descent Into Madness

Featuring alcohol, FOMO, and a generation that can't keep a f*cking appointment.

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It's 8:03 p.m.

You—out of responsibility or your mother's fixation on punctuality or simply a sense of decency—are already at the agreed-upon location, which is either somewhere terribly conspicuous like a street corner or a very specific Duane Reade or somewhere even more awkward like the apartment of your friend's friend whom you've met once before but don't know intimately enough that you could call up to ask him to let you in. So you just loiter outside the very specific Duane Reade or the corner so the friend's friend's doorman doesn't chase you away.

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This is fine, you think, checking your phone so often that the Messages app does that weird thing where it doesn't show any texts from your friend you should have received eight, no, nine minutes, ago. SO weird! Okay, be cool, you tell yourself. Not everyone was brought up to respect others' time and not keep them waiting on sidewalks for nine and a half, no, 12 minutes now.

But, like, *you* could send a casual text. Just to check in, you know?

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The response, a few seconds later (YOUR MESSAGES APP ISN'T BROKEN AFTER ALL HMMMM): "OMGGG today was such a disaster! Just getting home now need to change!!!"

Ugh. No longer content to stand next to a trash can because that is what *considerate* people do, you seek refuge where the lonely go when it's too late for coffee and buying jeans you don't need but too early to send "U up?" messages to every number in your phone that doesn't have a name assigned to it. (We never said you weren't a trash bag.) So you duck into the nearest bar and have a drink by yourself because you are chic and confident and mysterious and it all feels a little French, no? And not like a girl who's been stood up.

"LMK when you've left okay? Don't want to get there too early," you type, as you sip your tequila cocktail with the restraint of a nun who's just broken her vows but doesn't want to get too turnt too fast on her first night out of the Big House. Also, you don't want to be thought a lush, even though, with the way the night is going, you could really use another.

Twenty minutes and a "???" text pass, and you still haven't heard back. Nobody your age can keep a f*cking appointment.

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The rage (and tequila) set in, so you leave in a huff and begin (slowly, painfully slowly) heading home. My time is VALUABLE, you tell yourself. I AM A VERY BUSY PROFESSIONAL LADY. If this were college, the whole class would have left by now! Unless you're DEAD, there's no excuse for you not to CALL me and tell me where you are! Did you fall and smack your head on the pavement? OMG DID YOU?? ARE YOU OKAY? DO YOU EVEN HAVE INSURANCE?

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It starts to rain.

You're at the entrance to the train, the last moment you'll have enough signal to receive a text before you arrive at one of those more aboveground stations where you can get, like, two bars. You pause a minute, the raindrops plopping wetly onto your so-called friend's last response 25 minutes ago. You don't have any real friends, if you really think about it. (You really think it.) "Drake was right—you really can't trust no-f*cking-body," you say over and over like a flagellation. "The Olds are right too when they say all that bad stuff about us not having any drive and being terrible at communication. But they messed up the economy for us, so there's still that."

As you begin to descend into the gaping maw of the subway station like an old-time-y horse thief taking his last step off the gallows, your phone vibrates.

"OMW!!! Come thru."

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