Parker rested the back of his head on his seat as he sat in traffic on Friday afternoon. Soon he would be re-immersed in the college life he had been deprived of for the last five months. In a mere three hours he would be standing on a lawn with all of his “brothers” screaming obscenities and recklessly destroying property. But Parker was different now; these past five months in the real world had refined him.
“I’m a nice guy now,” he said out loud, over Future playing through the stereo. This weekend when he inevitably runs into a slew of exes, he vowed not to ignore them or try to seduce them. Instead he promised himself that he would engage in conversation for a minimum of five minutes. At the bar, if the girl he was hitting on wasn’t receptive he wouldn’t conclude that she was manipulative or stringing him along. If this happened, he would try and put himself in her shoes—maybe she just wanted to have a relaxing night with all her friends back on campus. Or maybe she was just not interested in him, and that was fine.
Thinking about what a nice guy he was about to be this weekend, Parker began to worry. If he was going to be a nice guy this weekend, did that mean he couldn’t yell at freshman guys trying to access the keg? If he was a nice guy this weekend would he have to apologize to the people he knocked over while wrestling his brothers on the lawn on Saturday? Would people expect him to hold the door, make eye contact, wait his turn at the bar, not stare at girls and objectify them out loud, and refrain from screaming obscenities all weekend? As he drove onto campus, Parker decided that being a nice guy was overrated.
“Why start now?”