GAITHERSBURG, MD—Local man Marshall Platt, 34, came tantalizingly close to kicking back and having a good time while attending a friend’s barbeque last night before remembering each and every one of his professional and personal obligations, backyard sources confirmed.
While cracking open his second beer as he chatted with friends over a relaxed outdoor meal, Platt was reportedly seconds away from letting go and enjoying himself when he was suddenly crushed by the full weight of work emails that still needed to be dealt with, looming deadlines for projects that would take a great deal of time and energy to complete, an upcoming wedding he had yet to buy airfare for because of an unresolved issue with his Southwest Rapid Rewards account, and phone calls that needed to be returned.
“It’s great to see you guys,” said the man who had been teetering on the brink of actually having fun and was now mentally preparing for a presentation that he had to give on Friday and compiling a list of bills that needed to be paid before the 7th. “This is awesome.”
“Anyone want another beer?” continued Platt as he reminded himself to pick up his Zetonna prescription. “Think I’m gonna grab one.”
Platt, who reportedly sunk into a distracted haze after coming to the razor’s edge of experiencing genuine joy, fully intended to go through the motions of talking with friends and appearing to have a good time, all while he mentally shopped for a birthday present for his mother, wracked his brain to remember if he had turned in the itemized reimbursement form from his New York trip to HR on time, and made a silent note to call his bank about a mysterious recurring $19 monthly fee that he had recently discovered on his credit card statement.
“Everything’s fine,” said the tense, mentally absent man whose girlfriend asked him what was wrong after his near-giddy buzz vanished and he remembered that he hadn’t called his aunt yet to check up on her after her surgery. “I’m having fun.”
According to sources, Platt tried to put his responsibility-laden thoughts out of his mind and loosen up by opening another beer but suddenly remembered a magazine subscription that needed to be renewed by Friday, a medical bill he thought might now be overdue, and the fact that he needed to do laundry by tonight or he would run out of clean socks and underwear.
“Who made this guac?” said the man who almost let himself take pleasure in the beautiful evening with his closest friends before he let his brain become consumed with thoughts about how he needs to move on from his current job but is putting off the work necessary to make the transition. “It’s delicious.”
While the barbeque’s host chatted with Platt about how excited he was to see the upcoming Superman movie, sources confirmed that all Platt could think about was the fact that his recently married sister was coming to town next weekend and was supposed to stay with him, which reminded him that he needed to clean his apartment, which reminded him he needed to buy extra bedding for his sister to sleep on, which reminded him that he had to make an after-work trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, which reminded him that he would be tired after work and wouldn’t want to go to Bed Bath & Beyond, which reminded him that he also needed to go to the grocery store because his sister would think he’s irresponsible if she saw his empty refrigerator, which reminded him that he and his sister aren’t as close as he’d like, which reminded him that his parents already had a house and two cars by the time they were his age, which reminded him that he’s been with his girlfriend for over five years and that while everything was going fairly well, he felt overwhelmed by the prospect of marriage and the mounting pressure to propose.
“Yeah, Man Of Steel looks good,” said a smiling Platt, who was only thinking about how he graduated from college over 10 years ago and still owed $86,000 in student loans. “Can’t wait to see it.”
Accounts confirmed the man nearly convinced himself that all his responsibilities would be taken care of in due time and that he should just relax when a friend mentioned a recent road trip he had taken with his wife, which prompted Platt to mull over the fact that he still needed to renegotiate the lease terms of his 2010 Jetta, a task he was delaying until he had a fender bender repaired.
In addition, Platt began thinking about the number of opened envelopes on his kitchen table, some of the contents of which, he remembered, were actually important and should be rechecked before he throws them away.
“Hey, I have to get going,” said the man who could barely recall anything that anyone at the gathering had said the entire evening. “Just have a couple things I need to get to tonight.”
“This was great, though,” he added.