Jäger is like a bad ex-boyfriend. Your friends will tell you to leave that guy alone, that he’s not good for you, bad news and that it never ends well. Where is the solid advice when the brown, syrupy mistake you keep making is on the table (or bar) in front of you? As damaging as an unhealthy, back and forth relationship, shots of Jäger leave you closure-less and perhaps just as confused. The last time you slipped up you decided that it had to be “the last time”, but we all know that’s not true. It’s funny, fewer (read: zero) people will snatch a shot of Jäger out of your hands, but these so-called friends get conveniently grabby when you try to drunk dial your mistakes instead of slinging them back. Your friends are probably the ones serving you shots, pinning your weak willpower against you, delighting in that face you make when Jäger’s stuck in the back of your throat.
This time won’t be any different. Suddenly, last night’s licorice set dates turn into today’s problems and everyone’s phone is lost, dead or mid-text crafting broken promises with words like “I can’t” and “sorry”. Today we won’t be joining each other in anything except maybe our collective disdain for Jäger. You see, even the people that claim they “have a thing for it” can hardly look at the bottle the next day. Like waking up in a bed that’s familiar, at an address you can’t forget, it’s hard to stare your shortcomings in the face. Instead of fumbling through strewn about clothes, you’re putting bottles back, way back in the fridge because you can’t stomach the faintest smell of it.
Sadly, better judgment doesn’t come in a green tinted bottle but, unlike being caught creeping out of the wrong apartment, at least most friends condone this version of a hot mess. If we have to think “how many?” then I’m sure we’ve had enough. Neither of us will remember the heart to heart we had when you slurred at me “you deserve better”. I agree. I do deserve better. Bad exes and even worse shots leave a bitter taste in my mouth but you only forbid me from one of them. ‘Meister is acceptable, but Mr. Mistake is not. Why? I guess chasing Jäger is a lot more social than the other kind of mistake. This, we can do together. And over this we’ll bond, jinxing each other as we swear “never again”. See, we can thank Jäger for that.
But when do we move on? When are we going to start poking fun at each other and say things like “remember Jäger?”, nostalgic about the terrible choices we made. How much longer until the name sits on the very tip of our tongues as we stumble over “Meis, Meis whaddyacallit”, but never actually remembering? How many weeks will go by before it comes to us in an instant, proudly shouting “Jägermeister!” . What relief we’ll hear in our loved ones’ voices when they sigh “Yes!”. I can’t wait for that moment, the one where I swoop in and save the day because it had been driving you crazy. We’ll laugh at that stupid thing we did, glad we moved on.
It’s hard to say how and when it’ll end, but it will. Maybe our favorite bars will become old haunts and we won’t run into Jäger anymore. One day we’ll stop referring to it affectionately with nicknames and call it by its full name like a kid in trouble. Each syllable will send shudders down our spines and make us gag at the memory alone. We won’t have a clue what we thinking back then. But for now, we’ll probably keep caving in and necking shot glasses of Jäger until, like bad ex-boyfriends with blurry boundaries, we outgrow our bad habits.