6 Struggles Of Being The Only 'Cultured' Member Of Your Group Of Friends

by Dan Scotti

Before I left America to study abroad in Florence, I heard it would change me. I bought into it, too. Fine, a little change can't hurt. I figured I'd, I don't know, come back to the States with a new appreciation for culture – maybe pick up a few more manners – little sh*t like that.

However, little did I know, I came home a completely new man. I found myself being the "cultured" one in my group of friends, and that's a struggle. Every time my boys would see a decorative scarf – "Oh, Scotti would like that." Every time one of our meals would contain a modicum of feta cheese – "Oh, Scotti would def love this."

However annoying it may be, there's some truth to their Euro-based generalizations. In my opinion, decorative scarves can make all the difference, and to be honest, I tell my lactose intolerance, "Hi, f*ck you," whenever there's feta cheese within a 4 mile radius.

It's just what happens when you experience foreign culture, and it just sort of hits you. Personally, I feel like it's a good thing. It means you're willing to try new, different sh*t – and this is coming from the kid who wore nothing but sweatpants for the entire first two months in Italy – before discovering "joggers."

But when your boys spot your "joggers" and start calling them "leggings," or worse, "meggings" – you quickly remember the struggles of being the "cultured" one in your group of friends. Yup, go on and marinate on that for a minute (Andre 3-stacks voice).

Ordering at happy hour is always low-key embarrassing.

Every day, you’ll hit the bar at 5:35 – on the dot – with the team, looking to unwind after a long day of work. One by one, like synchronized swimmers diving off the edge of a pool, your homies will tap the counter of the bar and order whatever IPA is trendy at the moment.

Then it gets to your turn (cue theatrical score). Beer? The f*ck is that? It’s aperitivo time, not welcome week at your frat house. If the bar doesn’t carry any “Aperol Spritz” – meaning you didn’t go to Eataly for happy hour – it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that you’re already querying the bartender over which varietal of red wine will fit the bill.

Your cigarettes are hand rolled, not $15 a pack.

You know you’re the cultured one in the gang when all of your boys pull out their packs of Marlboro 27s – and you’re left fidgeting in your pocket, feeling around for the pouch of bali shag, and your plastic sandwich bag of filters.

After every meal, you roll up a smoke. When you wake up, you roll up a smoke with your espresso. Whenever you’re walking outside, you’re rolling up smokes. I’m not sure if it’s proven scientifically, at least not yet, but when you hand roll cigarettes they’re not unhealthy – they’re simply “social.”

Your hair.

From the combover (stemming from numerous different parts), to the multiple layers of your fade, all the way down to your axewound (which, no, isn’t slang for a vagina) you treat your hair like the work of art it is.

Although your hair might be the center of jokes from your inner circle of boys – it also probably gets you laid more often than them, too. So, realistically, they’re just bitter.

Filtered coffee is a synonym for peasantry.

Whenever that one person in the office asks the communal question -- “Who else wants a coffee?" -- your hand stays nestled comfortably in your lap. Bah, coffee? Wouldn’t touch the stuff.

Of course you wouldn’t, picking up a cup of Dunkin Donuts after you’ve tasted European espresso would be the caffeine-equivalent of Tom Cruise downgrading from Nicole Kidman to Joey from "Dawson’s Creek."

Having said that, you’re also fiscally responsible, and realize that spending $7 for a shot-glass-worth of espresso doesn’t really fit into your post-grad budget. Instead, you opt for a “cafe Americano” – where your barista will bring back that $7 shot of espresso, and essentially water it down using the sink. However, now your morning coffee will be trendy, espresso-based, and also over 20 ounces. Salud.

Your jeans are mad tight.

Dude, can your balls even breathe in those?

This is one of the most annoying things a dude will have to hear after hitting the pavement in a pair of skinny jeans. Like, what the f*cking f*ck? Stop personifying my testicles, BRO – your balls don’t breathe, either. In fact, nobody’s balls breathe – why? Because TESTICLES don’t F*CKING BREATHE.

Otherwise, airplane attendants would be forced to spend another 45 minutes before your flight could leave the runway, explaining how to apply the drop-down oxygen mask to your scrotum, in case of emergency. But this doesn’t happen – why? Because balls don’t breathe.

And even if they did, rest assured I’d leave them gasping for air like a set of virgin lungs in the back of an ancient Chinese opium den – all in the name of fashion. F*ck out of here.

Football is on Saturdays, not Sundays.

When you want to squad up with the crew, order wings and beer, and root on your favorite football team; it’s always Saturday morning, and you’re always f*cking alone, because your friends are too hungover to get out of bed.

You, on the other hand, are the only f*cking idiot in your group of friends with a 7:15 alarm on every Saturday, so you can snooze for 20 or so minutes – and allow some time for your morning wood to simmer down before risking any injury celebrating after an early goal.

Oh yeah, if you haven't caught on by now – I'm referring to the English Premier League – not the NFL.