On Making Adult Friends: A Choose Your Own Adventure Story

You stare at yourself in the bar’s bathroom mirror. You’re feeling just tipsy enough to size up your reflection and confidently think, “I’d do me.” Someone emerges from a stall and parks herself at the sink next to yours, absorbed in the precise process of making sure her high ponytail is bump-free. You steal some glances at her face, thinking she looks familiar. Suddenly, you realize: she’s your office crush! She works in a different department, but you see her around just enough to have an inkling that you two may be soul sisters. You’ve regularly seen her annihilating a cheeseburger in the cafeteria, and once, when she was on her phone in the elevator, you saw her like this Instagram post:

WhiteChicksInstagram

Now, of all the bathrooms in all the bars in all the world, she walked into yours. This is fate, your brain whispers urgently.

1. You and Office Crush lock eyes in the mirror.

  • If you turn to face her and say, “Sorry to stare, you just look so familiar—do you work at                    ? We must work in the same building,” go to 2.
  • If you blurt out “OMG, you work in the same office as me! You’re on the 8th floor, right? I loved that skirt you wore yesterday!!!” go to 4.
  • If you avert your eyes and pretend you weren’t looking, move to 5.
  • If you decide to go somewhere in the middle and compliment her lipstick, head over to 9.

2. She looks at you quizzically, then the recognition dawns on her face. “Oh, yeah!” she says. “I’ve definitely seen you around. How funny!” You chat in the bathroom for a bit while the line snakes into the hallway. It’s getting too crowded, so you both head to the door.

  • If you say, “Well, it was nice to actually meet you!” and return to your friends, go to 6.
  • If you walk to the bar with her, go to 7.

3. You guys never talk again. It’s one of those magical nights lost to the city.

4. She stares at you like you said you wanted to skin her. You avoid her the rest of the night, and now you take the stairs so you don’t run into her at work. But it’s fine, because when you finally feel enough time has passed to brave the elevator, you look like you got a Brazilian butt lift. Her loss is your gain.

5. She pipes up with a “Do I know you? I feel like I know you.” You:

  • Are so excited she made the first move and say, “I’m not sure—you look familiar, too. Any chance you work at                       ?” Go to 7.
  • Are so shocked she actually said something you, for no good reason, say, “I don’t think so? I get that a lot. I just have one of those faces!” Go to 11.

6. You make small talk when you see each other around, always promising that you’ll meet up one of these days. It never works due to your packed schedules, and the more time passes, the weirder you feel about making this happen based on a five-minute conversation. She will always be The One Who Got Away.

7. You spend the night getting to know each other and laughing so much you can barely catch your breath. Your group is ready to head out, so Office Crush asks if you want to continue the night with her and her friends.

  • If you say, “Absolutely! Let me close out my tab,” go to 10.
  • If you say, “Ugh, I wish I could. I have 7:30 a.m. SoulCycle tomorrow,” go to 8. Also, acknowledge that you have a death wish.
  • If you say, “Sure! Let’s grab one more drink first?” head to 13.

8. You exchange numbers and realize you’re both free on Thursday night, so you promise to get happy hour drinks. The next morning, you waffle about if/when you should text her to see if you’re still on.

  • If you send her a quick “Let me know if tomorrow still works for you!” message on Wednesday, move to 12.
  • If you say nothing, head back to step 3.

9. She grins and says, “Aw, thank you!” Then she adds, “This sort of screws it up, though,” as she pulls a flask of whiskey out of her purse. She takes a big swig and offers you some.

  • If you shrug and go for it, go to 13.
  • If you laugh and say no thanks, go to 6.

10. You stay out until 3 a.m., so Office Crush says you can crash at her place. You agree because you want nothing more than to close your eyes so you can get to the whole hungover brunch portion of this escapade. The next morning, during said brunch, you realize the magic is gone. You’ve just experienced the friend version of beer goggles. You’ll smile at each other in the hallway, but never make a real effort to hang out again.

11. You mentally kick yourself and hope she doesn’t recognize you around the office.

12. Your phone’s buzzing. You pounce on it and realize it’s just the guy you went on a date with last week. He hates his mother, doesn’t have a job, and can’t differentiate between “your” and “you’re.” So of course, because this is how the world works, he is basically ready to propose to you. You lower the phone, disappointed, when it vibrates again. You see Office Crush has responded with, “Who is this?” You say:

  • “We met on Saturday night! Said we’d do happy hour at Verlaine tomorrow ($5 lychee martinis, yes please)” Move to 15.
  • Nothing because you’re mortified. Move to 11.

13. That put you over the edge. As you two walk to the next bar, you stumble upon a garbage bag that, strangely enough, has cantaloupes spilling out of it.

  • If you turn to each other, struck with the same drunken brilliant thought, go to 14.
  • If you crack up and sidestep the melons, go to 10.

14. You both start picking up cantaloupes and smashing them in the street. You have never felt more alive. Then a cop rounds the corner and yells, “’Ey! Whaddayou girls think you’re doin’?!” Thinking fast, you put on a fake British accent (good thing you just caught a showing of Parent Trap on TBS, or you’d be SOL) and launch into a cheery speech. You patiently explain that hurling cantaloupes against the ground is good luck in your tiny little town across the pond! Office Crush follows along flawlessly. She is the Thelma to your Louise. The cop shakes his head, muttering about crazy foreigners, and decides not to arrest you for being a public nuisance. You and Office Crush are bonded for life.

15. You get a lightning-fast reply: “Oh, I was hoping you’d text me! Smashed my phone, lost all my numbers. Yes, tomorrow’s perfect.” You guys have the best time. Soul sister status: confirmed. You two will become those old lady BFFs who terrorize everyone in the nursing home and then die holding hands. The Notebook’s got nothing on you.

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