This past year has been tough: my girlfriend dumped me, I was kicked out of my apartment for missing rent, and my best friend Derek started dating my ex. They now live together in my old apartment, which Derek can easily afford.
Fortunately, I have a group of amazing friends who I’m convinced all secretly hate me.
Sure, they’ve always been there for me through good times and bad. And yes, after the breakup they took me on a trip to Cancun where we all got matching tattoos. They say they “have my back” and “want me to be the best man in their wedding,” but do I really know my friends?
Well, my friends know me and I’m sure they wish they didn’t.
Maggie is the thoughtful one. Beth is the funny one. Dominique is the reliable one. Frank is a doctor with the rag-to-riches success story. I’m the dumb one who got mugged at 2 a.m. once. Dominique picked me up from the police station, no questions asked. He hasn’t brought it up since, but every time we do a duet at karaoke night I can tell he’s thinking about how I owe him one.
You’d know how much my friends secretly hate me if you had been at Maggie’s apartment last weekend. We were drinking margaritas and playing charades when I realized I had to use the bathroom. I know, huge mistake—but I just couldn’t hold it any longer.
Maggie’s bathroom is far enough away from the living room that I was out of range from their whispers, plotting how to make dinner reservations without me. When I got back they were all just playing charades like nothing had happened?
At dinner, Maggie surprised me with cupcakes from my favorite neighborhood bakery. Oh, I should mention that Maggie was throwing me a birthday party. She definitely hates me, that was just her way of being passive aggressive. Classic Maggie.
While eating cupcakes, Beth showed me a YouTube video of a comedian she thought I would like. I did, he was hilarious. But I know Beth chose that clip because there was a joke about the alphabet, a not-so-subtle jab at the fact that I got a B- in Advanced Shakespeare in college. What makes it even more disturbing is that I’ve never told Beth that I took Advanced Shakespeare in college.
Meanwhile, Frank left early because he “got called into emergency surgery.” He’s never been a good liar, in my opinion. But who cares about my opinion? Definitely not my friends, with their pseudo-enthusiastic nodding and fake smiles: a performance of Shakespearian proportions, of which I only have a B-comprehension. Just ask Beth.
I tried to talk about all of this with my therapist, a person who I pay to be my friend every Thursday. She said I have a classic case of psychological hysteria. Well, who wouldn’t if they knew all their friends secretly hated them? They’re probably thinking about how much they hate me right now. I know I am.
But I really don’t know what I’d do without my amazing friends who I’m convinced all secretly hate me. I’m sure they have to explain to their real friends that I’m more of an acquaintance, if anything. I’m a tag-along. A fifth-wheel. Some guy they feel sorry for because without them, well, I wouldn’t have any friends.
They’re all in a separate group text, making plans without me, so I won’t bother to ask what they’re doing tonight. No reason to make things worse than they already are, I’m sure the private detective I hired will confirm my suspicions any day now.
In the meantime, maybe I’ll see what Derek is up to. After all, he is my best friend.