It was a sweaty July night 2004. Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane was blasting from the CD player of my 2001 Toyota Camry. My best friend and I had just blatantly lied to her mother about our evening plans. Sorry Mama, we didn’t watch Miss Congeniality again. We went hunting for a competitive game of Fuck the Dealer. At this point, we had developed a fondness for hockey, and lucky for us our high school team was good! I think it’s safe to say we were their biggest fans! They loved to party and if you could get passed the whole, smelling like an ass all the time things, they were a lot of fun.
So, one of our super smelly, yet amazingly sweet hockey friends had let us know about this party that would be mostly hockey guys. One other thing you should know about hockey guys is that while they are the sweetest, most protective humans on the planet, they are also bat shit crazy! I mean, they voluntarily play a sport that is known to cause loss of teeth. They encourage fighting…on ice…while they’re wearing blades. There is a certain level of rage required to take the ice.
Now, this was long before smart phones and a GPS was something only salesmen used. So, we got actual, old-school directions….written down….on paper. The directions took us to a part of town we had never been before. It was insanely dark and you could almost hear the sound of banjos playing in the background. But Adam Levine’s sweet, sultry vocals kept us calm. That or we were so young and naive to think anything of driving in the pitch black to a place we’d never been to party with people we barely knew. I’m choosing to believe the Adam Levine thing.
We got to what we think was the driveway to said party. “This can’t be right.” We drove down a long, muddy mess of a driveway. “Where the hell are we?” my friend asks. To which I replied, “We’re either going to have a GREAT time, or we’re going to die. Either way, let’s roll!” This is one of those moments, in hind-sight, that makes me terrified for my daughter. We could immediately tell from the people stumbling out of the small A-frame cabin that these folks got the party started long before we got there. So instead of being “fashionably” late, we were “stone cold sober while everyone else was hammered” late.
We walked through the front door praying we would find someone we knew. Instead we were greeted by a couple in the midst of a lovers quarrel. Now, my memory fails me as to what they were fighting about, but I’m fairly certain I can assume it was over something incredibly stupid. The girl ended up outside crying with her girlfriends encircling her saying things like, “He’s an asshole!” and “You can do so much better!” You know, the things girlfriends are contractually obligated to say in a situation like that. The guy however, took a different approach. He ripped his shirt off, shouted FUCK THAT BITCH, and started wrestling with one of his guy friends in the kitchen, which was also the living room, and a little bit the bathroom.
At this point, we should have made an about-face and bolted for the door, but being 18 and incredibly stupid, we saw a guy too hammered to keep inventory of his beer stash and a deck of cards. Who wants to play Fuck the Dealer?! Where many would see a potentially dangerous situation, we saw an opportunity. What can I say? We’re opportunists!
Needless to say, things thinned out pretty quickly after that shit show. Which was fine by us. Fewer people equals more beer. On the way back to my house, we recapped the evening, “How crazy was that fight? Why did that guy not have a shirt on? That girl must be psycho! Was he really fighting that guy or just playing? Are we sure that was his place?”
Well, last week my friend and that guy celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. I am so proud to have been there the first time they met, the day they got married, and to welcome their two children. While she still enjoys a solid game of Fuck the Dealer, he rarely removes clothing and screams FUCK THAT BITCH anymore. They have established a life that’s built firmly on love, laughter, and understanding. The way he looks at his bride is what every girl hopes for her best friend. Sometimes Prince Charming rides in on a white stallion. Sometimes he rides in with an empty case of Busch Light on his head.
Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids! Don’t ever stop being you!
P.S. that tiny A-frame cabin would turnout to be their very first home together. The kitchen floor was still stained with his blood from that night. Nostalgia.