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OP-ED: I'm Sipping Wine on a Barcelona Beach and Having Serious FOMO


Photo by Ben30 / CC BY-SA 2.0

I lay on Barceloneta Beach on a cloudless day, the sun shining on my face and a gentle wind blowing across the Spanish (or perhaps Catalonian) sand. As the waves came in, I found myself drifting from Barcelona to Philadelphia, thinking of my friends back home. I had already made my way through my first bottle of wine and was reaching for my second bottle when I was hit with a profound sense of FOMO like none I had ever experienced. My mind flooded with confusion and despair like an existential thirteenth floor of Rodin.

Sure, I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world, surrounded by wonderful people, delicious food, and exquisite art, but my friends are probably in their apartment pounding Yuenglings that they stole from a frat party last week. 

Suddenly, my phone started buzzing with GroupMe messages about my friends— for as long as I can call them that before they forget about me entirely— organizing a trip to Ken's Seafood tonight. What the fuck. 

The very thought of a Chinatown karaoke night with boxes and boxes of Sunset Blush turned the wine in my mouth to vinegar. Why I am I drinking wine on the beach when I could be slapping the bag and singing "Africa" by Toto? I poured my Rioja into the sand before hurling the empty bottle into the ocean. Good riddance.

I left the beach and settled into a tapas joint in town. I munched on some patatas bravas and calmed down. Life isn't so bad. In fact, I'm having an amazing time abroad. I've seen and done so much. I'm having fun, goddammit. 

My demons at ease, I rummaged through my bag to check if I had my tickets for the opera tonight at the Palau de la Música.

My phone buzzed and I was once again pained by the very rational and grounded belief that I'm missing out and everyone hates me now. It was an email about how a group of what used to be my friends on the UTB staff were seeing Bloomers. Who gives a shit about the opera? Not me, anymore. Enraged, I ignited my tickets with the candle on my table and left the bar, throwing the flaming tickets into the street. 

To be fair, I also got a few messages about how my friends all have 18 midterms in the next 3 days. I'm sure they're still having a great time, though.