The Wildcards

My friends and I are garbage people. We drink cheap beer and play raucous drinking games and create quite the ruckus when we get together. We rarely engage with people outside our group and hardly even socialize within it.

An actual conversation I’ve been a part of:

“I don’t want to hang out with so-and-so’s friends. All they do is sit around and talk.” “I know, who wants to just talk?” “Guys, why don’t we talk to each other?” “I don’t know. Are we bad friends?” *heavy pause as we consider the possibility* “Nah.”

It’s hard to invite new people into our group, even harder for them to be fully accepted. My husband was pleasantly surprised when he was invited into the “wildcards” group photo–at our own wedding.

Here we are, looking hella timeless (even if we’re missing a few wildcards):

IMG_0005
(Photo credit: Anne Lord Photography)

To outsiders, we are close-knit and loyal. To each other, it’s rare to hear a kind word said (more often, it’s the meanest words that express the most affection).

This beautiful mess of garbage people came together the way many college friendships do: through that happy coincidence of random roommates. Sophomore year at JMU (yeah, we bleed purple), one group of freshman friends shared a suite with another group of freshman friends, as well as a pair of freshman BFFs (due to more random roommate-ing). The result? Pure garbage. Over the next three years (and beyond), we crushed Natty Light and ate Chanellos Pizza at three in the morning and had to stop playing drinking games like Chandelier because yours truly was (is) too good at it.

We played intramural sports like soccer and floor hockey and dodgeball, and stole our team/friendship name (Wildcards) from an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (the show with the ultimate garbage people) in which (*spoiler alert*) Charlie cuts the brakes of their getaway car. Because wildcard, bitches.

As we’ve entered adulthood, we’ve kept the garbage spirit alive. We’ve celebrated three wildcard weddings in glorious wildcard fashion. At the first, we danced on broken glass and one of us nearly got in a fight for hitting on a bride from another wedding (he’ll swear up and down she wasn’t the bride, but who else wears white to a wedding?). The second, we piled up beer bottles so high on the table, the centerpiece had to be moved and we *almost* felt bad for the guy clearing tables (he brought a giant trash can over just for us). The third, the bride received several “we’re not going to make it” texts with distressing photos of shoes-missing-their-owner and someone wrapped in a blanket hunched over in the bathroom and another sleeping on a hillside (they did end up making it). Also, after at least two of them, we had pizza delivered to the hotel bar rather than buy the bar food (#classy).

But also at these weddings, the brides all received loving (and ridiculous) performances from the wildcards. We form circles and link arms and sway in time to classic love songs. We take off work and drive through the mountains to spend a weekend at Billy’s lake house. We come up with awful hashtags so we can tweet to each other while we’re hanging out, just so the others know what they’ve missed out on (#noLisa). We shell out our hard-earned cash to rent a beach house and spend a week together in the summer.

Because no one loves as hard as us. We just don’t like to talk about it.

 

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Author: ramblingsofawildcard

Annie is a writer with a day job. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and no pets (but only because their apartment can’t handle a puppy and he’s allergic to cats). She enjoys good Tequila, crappy mac ‘n’ cheese, and she will never say no to ice cream.

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