Monday, August 27, 2007

Reunion

I do believe I'm fully recovered from that damn reunion. It sort of seems like a blur anyway, which might or might not have anything to do with the fact that I was nervous, it was 100,000 degrees that day and the only thing I consumed in the way of food was half of a Jack-n-the-Crack kids-meal cheeseburger 8 hours before drinking a gallon of white wine.


In a word? It was weird. So, so weird.

Matty and I were both jittery, some from excitement (mostly him) and some from dread (mostly me) and some from holy shit we're going to see people from 20 years ago (mostly both.) So after getting appropriately fabulous and cleavaged we headed down to the hotel lobby for a pre-soiree drinky-poo to take our edges off. ($28.00 for 2 drinks, wtf W??)

After we'd drained our cocktails we hopped in a cab for the mile drive to the fucking boat this party was being held on which was possibly the worst choice for a venue I could think of. No climate control, no big room for mulling about, and it was fugly.

I'd like to send a terse letter to the genius who thought it was a good idea to host a reunion on a floating museum with 7 foot ceilings that trapped the summer heat like a sauna full of old men with B.O. because they should be fired from whatever volunteer position they'd signed up for. Hello! Ladies in nice dresses that don't want to peel the paper ass-gaskets off their butts in the bathroom! Hi! Didn't really want to spend the night daintily wiping the running sweat from my forehead! High heals on uneven floors! Jesus, that part sucked.

Since one little ol' drink wasn't enough to calm our nerves we decided to head straight for the bar when we joined party. As we were shuffling and scooting between the bodies in this god damn small space I recognized the guy I took to my junior prom. Even 22 years later the face was (sort of) the same. I grabbed Matty and loudly whispered, hey, I think that's J!! And then proceeded to yell J's name.

J whipped his head around and looked at me, trying to figure it out. We ran over to him and the group he was standing with. As we all merged and looked at the name tags the hoopin' & hollerin' began. "OMG it's YOU!!" "OMG it's YOU!!"

More of our old friends were nearby and came over to us. They all recognized me immediately with the claim that I hadn't changed a bit which is really not the compliment it seems to be. Hell yes I've changed! Hopefully for the better, you fuckers. One girl did say I was pretty which finally made me feel like there had been at least some type of improvement from my 80''s feathered mullet and grey eye shadow. For fucksake, people.

As more old friends were recognized, cries of recognition commenced and the how-are-yous were asked and a pattern began to emerge. Everyone was GREAT and we said we were GREAT and everything was GREAT which we all know is a total lie but that's what you do at these things. Some people we thought were going to be there weren't and they were sorely missed. Some people we didn't think would should up in a million years and we had no idea what had happened to them were there and we were happy. Go figure.

It was all going well and a bunch of us sat down for some dinner, I'll keep my liquid thankyouverymuch, and even though I didn't know everyone at the stupid boat booth, the conversation was going well, centered around number of kids, marital status, etc.

One of the (many) guys I'd had a mad crush on in high school but whom I'd irritated constantly with my obnoxious antics was sitting to my right. He's become a working actor/musician and we were all excited & proud for him. As he and I were chatting I suddenly became retarded when I thought I was going to be charming. As is the long-standing tradition of my big stupid mouth I looked him right in his nice face and blurted, "Wow, so like I'm like so totally sorry I was like such a pain in the ass to you in high school."

His smile faded to a little sneer and he said to me, "I have no idea what you're talking about and if you hadn't said anything I would never have thought about it (you stupid idiot)." I tried to play it off but he chose to torture me about it all night bringing it up over and over but changing it to me being mean to him when in actuality I was mean to everyone else but him. To him I was annoying which is completely different and by the end of the night I really don't think he was kidding about it at all. :(

As the evening wore on old personalities took over and it was just weird. Some truths about hard times were slipping out but the whole thing was so frenetic and booze-laced I don't remember much until it was midnight and the party was over. At least half the crowd of reunionors walked across the street to the nearest hotel to continue the night at the bar but being San Diego it was already closed. God forbid you want to party after 12:00 around here.

After much drunken shouting of plans we decided to have people come back to our room with a stop for more refreshments on the way, which also didn't work out because liquor stores close at midnight too. Some people began walking, some jumped in cars blah blah, we ended up with a group of about 10 people in our room with a few booze-hounds getting lost along the way but hey, we're all adults, they'll be fine. Again I didn't know everyone in the room but whatever, we had a mini bar!

We raided the tiny bottles in the tiny fridge and had a lot of laughs, told some old stories, passed around some old pictures and a yearbook, and promised to keep in touch. Which probably won't happen. I learned, again, that people really don't change that much and some people I don't need to see again and some I hope I do, although my expectations are unfortunately low.

I went to bed with a million mixed emotions which lasted for a few days beyond that. As I whined to Matty fretting that I'd probably said many stupid things and I really think I offended that one person by not clarifying that I was kidding when I really was and failed miserably at conveying my true feelings that I just hope everyone is happy in their lives and wish them nothing but well. Damn my tough-chick persona that always pops out when I'm trying to protect myself. Or drunk.

Sweet Matt kept telling me that these people haven't spent any real time with me in the last 20 years nor had they really in a few short hours on one crazy night so they don't know who I really am which is not that 17 year-old fool from 1985. Therefore, I dunno. It was bizarre and good and strange and poked at old wounds and was weird and fun all at once.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that High School is the 4 years you never get over. Unless you've spent a crapload of time with childhood friends people are locked into your memory banks back in that time and really, life doesn't get much different. People aren't much different. Every time I hear someone say, "this isn't High School" or some derivation of the phrase I think to myself, fuck yea it is. Behavior doesn't change that much. But I will give everyone the benefit of the doubt, which I hope they give me, and wish them happiness and all that shit.

All-in-all I'm glad I went and I'm glad I could be there for my beloved Matty, but I don't think I can go through that again. Unless I become a rich and famous artist. Then I might consider it.

4 comments:

little bitchass said...

Hi there! I was following a search string today and came across your blog totally by accident when the "Princess Crankypants" caught my eye! I started reading it, and I have to tell you that I love your blog! I enjoy good writing, and you are a great writer!

I wasn't in the best of moods to start with, but after I had read some of your posts, I found myself laughing my ass off! Thank you for that! Hope you don't mind, but I'm bookmarking you.

Keep writing!

little bitchass

P.S. I did eventually find out where my ass had rolled off to after I laughed it off, so I'm better now.

Avalon said...

Betty~~~ I think you should arrange to go back in another 5 years. Invite all your Blogger friends, and Whitey. We'll catch that asshole in a dark hallway and beat the crap out of him for making you feel bad.

And, of course, we'll drink. OK, maybe not me cause for me.....drink = puke. But you can have mine! That should make it fun.

Bitter Betty said...

Why thank you lil. And welcome!!

It's a date, av. That butt needs a smackdown.

From the Back Nine said...

I went to a corporate function on a boat once. Get a lot of people together in a place that they can't leave, get them drunk, and you are guaranteed an evening of rancor. Our HR person was fired shortly thereafter; I'm betting another committee will select your reunion location the next time. Of course, the old you get, the smaller the location. I've about reached the age where we could hold our reunion in a hot air balloon. Thanks for the fun post.