Let’s face it: The world has become a pretty terrifying place.
It's one in which people write adamant Yelp reviews about gas stations, and farmers have their own dating apps. (Apparently, they're so successful they warrant nationally broadcast commercials.)
We are a society of Netflix, Uber and drunken Venmo payments of $6 for last night’s burrito.
In fact, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Steve Jobs are sitting on a cloud somewhere, looking down at us and saying, “Tinder, really?”
Barring a robot apocalypse, I think it’s pretty safe to say all these new developments are not going away anytime soon. And no matter how many different types of ways we figure out how to meet up at a bar, we will still inevitably be meeting up at a bar.
The ancient role of the wing(wo)man has been set in stone since cavemen first learned to brag about taking down wooly mammoths. It’s a practice promulgated by generation after generation, regardless of the decade, country or geological timescale.
Because even cavemen sometimes had low self-confidence, and it was the duty of the fellow caveman to say, “Don’t worry, Brad, you look great.”
Just as our parents learned to adapt this practice at disco bars, school dances and political protests, we must, in turn, adapt it to our newly discovered technological renaissance (at least until the robots do takeover and kill us all. They’ll still probably need wingbots, though.)
The following are the six key duties of the Millennial wing(wo)man. Some are old, and some are new. Regardless, they are ours to uphold.
1. Boost Self-Esteem
So, your friend has set up a social interaction with a person of interest, and you’re at his apartment, watching him pretend not to be nervous about it. It’s your job to nonchalantly balloon his ego like it’s a f*cking Mario Party mini-game.
Generations before us had the element of surprise; they could enter a new relationship as whoever they wanted to be.
But, in today’s day and age, a simple Facebook stalk tells all, from every relationship you’ve ever had to what color braces you wore during puberty.
This means as the wing(wo)man, you need to boost your friend’s confidence in his own skin (read: don’t let him wear that leather jacket if he doesn't wear leather jackets or her wear that dress if pants are her staple).
Get your friend comfortable as who he or she is and move forward with the evening.
2. Handle the Logistics
On the day of the big game, do you want your quarterback worrying about the logistics of actually getting there? No, you want him in the zone. You want him focused and zeroed in.
Then, you want to slightly deflate the footballs to give him a nice advantage.
It’s your job as the wing(wo)man to handle all the logistics in the best interest of your jittery friend.
This means when you call an Uber driven by a foreigner with a thick accent who insists on telling you there are UFOs out tonight, you take the front seat and roll with the punches.
3. Ensure a Graceful Landing
This starts with the slap on the ass; a “you’ve got this” moment seconds before it's go time.
It continues with you smoothing out the social interaction between two groups of people. This means laughing at bad jokes and agreeing with slightly exaggerated stories (or toning down key details of the good ones).
Note: The days of entering a conversation and addressing how much money your friend makes are long gone. We have LinkedIn for that now.
And chances are someone at this table is unemployed and bought the premium where you can stalk people without them knowing.
4. The Half-Time Speech
At a certain point in this conversation, all of the women will miraculously need to go to the bathroom at the same time, in a natural phenomenon that rivals the Northern Lights.
Regardless of whether you’re in the bathroom party or the table party, your duty remains the same: Deliver a rousing halftime speech that would put the Spartans in "300" to shame.
It doesn’t matter how the conversation went; the person of interest is into your friend. It’s obvious, isn’t it?
5. Destroy the Dance Floor
All intentions are revealed on the dance floor, whether good or bad. It’s the closest aspect of the routine that we still share with the cavemen.
It’s your duty to keep this party alive and fun. You will do this by closing your eyes and channeling your drunk uncle dancing to the "Y.M.C.A." at your bar or bat mitzvah.
Whether or not your friend succeeds here is irrelevant. This dance floor will have been a better place because you were on it.
You will gladly make a fool out of yourself it that's what it takes to ease tension.
6. Coordinate the Drunk Food
In case of failure (or success, if your friend nabbed a real winner), you have to decide either burrito, pizza or both.
You’ve already entered the destination into your phone before people can bring up their diets or calorie intakes. This delicious and unnecessary meal is either the victory trophy or the consolation prize.
Food will soon stain everyone’s once freshly pressed clothing, and fluorescent lights will bring the evening’s horrors to light.
Here, your friend will thank you for being the guide through the past few hours.
You won’t think anything of it because you know next week, he or she will be doing the same for you.