Once Upon a Time, back when I was a youthful college student I made the comment to some friends that I did not always like hanging out with a person because I felt like the coleslaw when we hung out. This was actually a really well worked out theory (after years of hanging out with my friends when they were really hanging out with their boyfriends)
I explained the theory to my friends they… well I don’t think they really liked it much and the insisted that I wasn’t the coleslaw. Here’s the thing it is okay to be the coleslaw. I was not trying to whine or be down on myself. Allow me to explain.
When you order a burger obviously it comes with the burger and that is what you really want. Hanging out with a friend is the same way. When I call or text my friend Erin to hang out. She is the burger. That is what I want. But Erin is married. Austin, her husband, comes along with Erin. He is the fries. I didn’t order the fries but they come with my burger and I enjoy fries. I might not order the fries by themselves without wishing the burger was there but I enjoy the fries and if my burger came without fries I might wonder what happened to the fries.
Then there is the coleslaw. Your friend’s friend who you are not friends with and you won’t miss if they do not come. It isn’t that you don’t like coleslaw, some people go to certain eateries just because they have good coleslaw (and let me tell you I am great coleslaw). The thing about coleslaw is it is a side dish that you did not order and if it didn’t show up you wouldn’t sit there shouting “where’s my coleslaw?” Most people don’t even eat the coleslaw. it just sits there on the side of the plate messing up your burger and fries.
There are many situations in which I am the coleslaw. I bailed on a “party” the other day because the people hosting it were my friend’s husband’s friends. In that situation Austin and Luke (the husbands) were the hamburgers. They were who were really invited. Of course their wives come along with them so Erin and Sarah were the french fries. And then there was going to be me. The person who does not usually come hang out, who doesn’t have most of the phone numbers, who isn’t really part of the group. To the person hosting I was going to be the coleslaw. The thing that just comes along with the others.
It is okay to be the coleslaw. I just did not feel like I had the energy to be among people and still be the coleslaw that particular day. I came home and watched Star Trek instead (I’m a huge nerd).