This article was inspired by my recent trip just a few weeks ago. I was meeting up with a friend, let's call the mystery friend "Carlos", for a hockey game thinking it was going to be a small group of us. Long story short, I'm glad I had invited another different friend to tag along (@Christie) for the brewery before the game. Not only did "Carlos" who invited me fail to mention he was bringing a plus one, but he also forgot to mention the rest of the bunch was also bringing a plus one. Somehow I managed to become the 13th wheel. Even Christie thought this disposition was unreal, but hilarious.
I find myself in the skilled act of third, fifth, seventh, and every odd number down the line "wheeling" all the time. You would think by now I would be used to it, the scary thing is that I think I am. I know all the tips, dos, pros and cons after a solid decade of third wheeling (I'm shocked it's been that long too, but I did the math and dated it back to my sister's first boyfriend ... wow).
So where should we start? The pros? The cons?
To be honest, most of the negatives are positives and vice versa so we'll have to critique the tricycle game holistically.
The awkwardness... it appears paining but it gives you a laugh at the same time. Honestly, if you are the third wheel, you probably are just awkward in general, so this is actually your forte. Forte: something at which someone excels. Hate but love to break it to all you third wheelers, you're the most awkward person most people meet, and you're really good at it.
Luckily for you that opens up the opportunity while you're on your adventure with your lovely best friend couple to look around for someone else who is a third wheel to chit chat. Your awkwardness coincides with your randomly outgoing personality so there's probably no stopping you, or another other wheeler from having an absurd conversation at whatever pub, concert, or park you're at. If there's no one else around, there's usually a dog needing your immediate attention if your at an outdoorsy park.
Speaking of parks, theme parks might be the best place to be an odd wheel. At first you think this is the absolute worst place, but hindsight you get to sit next to a dreamy honey on the Hulk that came with an odd group. However, if you have bad luck, which I'm sure you think you do 99% of the time, you'll probably end up sitting next to a sweaty tween who reeks of funnel cake and is trying out his hall locker pick up lines on you. Sorry in advance if this is the outcome. Totally not liable if you don't get seated next to Scott Eastwood. Try going to nicer theme parks.
Not all tricycle dates are to theme parks and fun places though. Sometimes you are asked to tag along by your nervous friend who has one foot invested in this new handsome and the other out the door. You're their safety net for the date... or you're their excuse for them to claim it's not a date. The pros of this? You can pat yourself on the back because you are an amazing friend, and you know what the spice girls say (If you don't... start singing, "If you wanna be my lover.." and finish the sentence. Or be born in an earlier time). If your friend needs an out you can always be the one to have a random emergency that you need to tend to, and take your friend with you. If your friend falls in love... well you can be the first toast at their wedding. Be sure to mention you knew they were meant to be the moment they accidentally locked you out of the car when you were leaving the coffee shop because they were so mesmerized by each others' eyes and life story about how that one time in second grade their pet iguana... yadayadayada.
Another artifact of the date is that you have to pay for your own food. The waiter comes to the table and asks how the check will be split. Not sure why they ask, but none the less they do. What do they think? This girl or guy is a pimp with two dates? Not to mention if they were a pimp, clearly as the third wheel you would be the least favorites of the "pimps" sides. So this is a PSA to all waiters out there, unless you are willing to pay for the third wheel's food, just use some common knowledge and split the checks accordingly to the table. The other wheel can pay for his or her own food too usually because they have time to focus on their career instead of picking up bae's hermit crab from the vet.
To end the night, you're going home alone. This may appear as a defeat. You have your whole bed to yourself. On the flip side YOU HAVE YOUR WHOLE BED to yourself. Sprawl, snore, sleep in, use all the covers. After all, you're going to need your beauty sleep, third wheeling is a tough job.