7 Times the Groundhog from Groundhog Day Caused Me Trouble

1. The time he ruined my running clogs.

I have a pair of clogs that I use exclusively for the dusk-time jogs I take the third Tuesday of every other month. Without the clogs, my run just feels so bland, stale, even pointless on a bad night. So you can imagine how I felt when I came home to Hedgehog practicing his tap routine in my living room. He destroyed the floor: the paint’s scuffed, the wood’s dented, and there’s suddenly a gaping hole where the chartreuse futon used to be. But the night’s cruelest crime hit the clogs. And it hit them hard. Yep, a chip in the right heel. You can’t repair that sort of damage; the clunk-feel is just too particular. Hedgehog claimed to mistake my running clogs for his tap clogs (but that’s hardly possible) so I passive-aggressively planned to apologize in a month when my heart heals.

2. The time he opened his one-man show the night of my cousin’s wedding vow-renewal party.

Janis told me that she and her husband were going to renew their vows because, “Bryan Adams told me to.” I hadn’t planned on attending because I went to the one last month, but when she sent an Evite, I knew this one was important. So I RSVPed yes and checked the “bring a plus one” box. I had planned on taking Hedgehog. An hour later, Hedgehog arrives home, sopping wet and mad. I wanted to lighten the mood, so I brought up the vow-renewal extravaganza on Saturday; he loves those sort of things. Suddenly Hedgehog begins lecturing me with long, drawn-out words long about the pitfalls of double-booking. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I sat and pretended to understand and care because I’m a good friend. We finally came to the crux of the issue when he broke out in song and dance, performing the final number of his show—a number that celebrates his grand victories. I knew it would destroy them both if I missed their event. So I decided to skip both and interactively re-watch the first season and a half of Glee.

3. The time he disrespected my father with harsh words.

I planned to meet Hedgehog and my family at the movie theater last Sunday and was running late. I sprinted through the front entrance hall, moving at godspeed, when I nearly crashed into Hedgehog lying eagle-spread on the carpet. My dad stood beside him caught in a freeze-frame gasp. I knew immediately what was going on. I looked over to my brother and he just nodded in hopeless confirmation. This has happened before, Hedgehog disrespecting my father with harsh words, but the shock in this moment was palpable. They’ve gone on a spa trip every weekend since the incident, but everyone ends in a silent treatment longer than the last.

4. The time Bill Murray broke into my house to cook me a Grand Slam.

I was already in bed when I realized that I had forgotten to lock the backdoor, so I wasn’t surprised when I heard footsteps in my kitchen at 2 A.M. I quickly dressed in a maroon outfit so that I could camouflage with the walls and snuck into the kitchen. All the lights were on, and I became uncomfortable with my fashion choices. I crawled next to the refrigerator and that’s when I noticed Bill Murray flipping pancakes to the tune of Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” Wow. To say I was star-struck would be a gross understatement.

5. The time he didn’t listen to our waiter and touched his hot plate.

What’s the cardinal rule of dining out? The waiter is always right. When we arrived at Cucina, feeling a little haughty after snagging the loading zone spot, Hedgehog immediately ordered plain roasted potatoes and forbade me from ordering a single thing for myself. When the waiter brought his plate of potatoes, he warned Hedgehog, “The plate’s hot. Please don’t touch it.” Hedgehog raised his eyebrows at me and let out a self-important laugh. With a snap for emphasis and a fierce glance, he looked our waiter in the eyes and pressed his finger against the plate’s edge. His eyes immediately grew wide as he realized the gravity of his mistake. The entire restaurant broke out in cheers as I was placed under citizen’s arrest for not warning my good friend Hedgehog.

6. The time we made eye contact from across the room and never spoke of it again.

We were at the local Olive Garden with different friend groups. I knew he was going to be there the same night as me, but I felt weird because he was with cooler people. And I do not say that lightly. They were genuine hipsters with knit scarves and jean jackets. I really wanted to avoid interaction with Hedgehog’s table, so I told myself to focus on George’s recount of where he was when he realized cats are mini tigers. But nobody tells me what to do, not even myself, so in a moment of heated rebellion, I looked over to Hedgehog’s table. Our eyes immediately locked. A momentary glance would have been fine. But we both straddled that line of deep-seated confusion: Should I look away? Maybe they’ll look away? How did I end up here? You ordered pineapple with that hamburger? All I can say is that we both have about twenty more regrets than last month.

7. The time he bought twenty half-sized lawn mowers on my computer.

I don’t mind when Hedgehog uses my Amazon account. I let him order all of his things using Prime, and then when they arrive, I immediately send them back. It’s a little more cumbersome than I’d like, but overall it feels like an efficient process. The problem came when Hedgehog ordered twenty half-sized lawn mowers on my computers. Imagine shopping for the original soundtrack of Nancy Drew with a friend you kind of know but would really describe as an acquaintance and seeing a pop-up ad for a half-sized lawn. Mortifying.