On Saturday night I celebrated my birthday at my apartment. I hadn’t hosted a party at my place since college and realized that, although they’re really stressful, it’s far better than having a party at a bar. People actually got to talk and meet and it was great.
As the night got later and the group started to dwindle, the few who were still around by 3am were an interesting mix from all corners of my life. On my couch sat my friend Jennie whom I’ve known since my days as an office manager years ago and next to her, the person I can’t seem to shake, Tattoo Guy; along with a few others.
Tattoo Guy and I are no more, and that’s the way it’s going to stay, but since I’m cursed to live in the same neighborhood where he both lives and works, I run into him several times a week. So, of course, I invited him because it seemed wrong not to and I knew he’d be entertaining as always.
Because it turned out to be a lovely night, I had decorated the roof in white Christmas lights so people could spread out and go up there to either take a break from my apartment or smoke cigarettes — which apparently everyone is still doing when they drink. Just like college!
Somewhere along the line I ended up on the roof with Tattoo Guy’s friend whom I had met once before at a bar months ago. During a lull in our conversation, Tattoo Guy’s friend started trying to kiss me. As much as I found him attractive, in that bad boy sort of way and wanted to kiss him back, I kept pulling away.
He kept reaching at me and kissing my neck and shoulders; I was doing everything in my power to say “no” to this person instead of doing what I really wanted to do: give in. I finally said out loud, “I can’t do this! You’re Tattoo Guy’s friend!”
His response? “So.”
“But isn’t that against the rules?”
“Do you or have you ever loved him? Were you two ever in a serious relationship?” he asked.
Of course the answers were “no.”
“Well, there you go. It’s not the same for girls. We have ‘Bro Code’ so as long as no one has been in love, it’s fine,” he explained.
I shook my head, stood up and swept up the back of my Vera Wang dress so I wouldn’t fall on my way back down the stairs. Tattoo Guy and a couple other people, whom I don’t even know, were finishing off the last of the birthday cake and cookies when I got back to my apartment.
Tattoo Guy’s friend told Tattoo Guy that he tried to have his way with me on the roof and how he had to explain to me the ways of “Bro Code.” There I am being lectured by two men in their 30’s about why I should respect “Bro Code” and have sex with Tattoo Guy’s friend if I want to, because he wants to, so I should just give into my desires.
“Are you guys fucking serious right now? I can’t believe how this party started out so classy, and now I’m having this debate with you two at four in the morning,” I said.
“Well,” said Tattoo Guy, “I’m leaving and he’s staying; unless you want him to leave and I’ll stay.”
“I want you both to leave,” I said, despite the fact that I wanted Tattoo Guy’s friend to stay. “I’m not going to be passed around between two friends. I’m from New England! We don’t behave that way!”
So off they both went. The cake was gone, every drop of alcohol in my apartment had been consumed, and all I could do was sit there in my dress and dread the next morning’s clean up. Then my door buzzer rang. It was Tattoo Guy’s friend. Apparently, I wasn’t exactly clear on understanding “Bro Code,” and he was more than willing to come up stairs and explain it to me again. The dude looks like a very tall version of Aaron Paul — do you know how hard it was not to let him back inside?