So the big reunion was this past weekend. I had colored my hair, found some clothes that I felt semi-human in while wearing and was super, super excited. Molly stayed home from Big Daddy's (yes I know, I need to grow a set and force her to go, but when you see your 14 year old daughter turn into a sobbing trainwreck over the thought of seeing her dad, the mama bear instinct kicks in) and she spent almost an hour of her precious teenager time helping me straighten my hair. I think she did it out of guilt more than anything. I thought I was looking good and was ready to head out the door when she said, "Are you seriously going with your hair looking like that?". You know what I want for Christmas? Smooth, straight hair. Curls are nice but....
She did a great job. And then I left. I was nervous, of all things. It's kind of silly to be nervous, especially since I see quite a few of these people on a regular basis, but I was feeling the butterflies nevertheless. My fellow organizers were there, and we began the prep-work. Part of the prep included some tequila shots "on the house" (I highly recommend being part of the organizing committee, folks. The entire night was pretty much on the house). Finally, the parade of ghosts from my past started trickling in. And then gushing in. And I would say that seeing 98% of these people again made me feel happy. The other 2%? A couple of people who I had just never liked, period. And apparently 25 years doesn't change some things. It's funny, when you see someone from your past, someone with whom you hadn't ever felt anything other than some slightly shivery creepy feelings, those feelings can come bubbling right back up to the surface. No names, of course, but there is one guy in particular whom I never, ever liked (no mean girl crap, it was mutual) and the second his mug appeared in front of the welcome table I felt like a bitchy 16 year old again, drawing pictures of him on the front of my Civics folder and cracking up over my best friend's imitation of his stupid walk and hillbilly-like demeanor.
Wow. How's that for repressed?
But, luckily there were only one or two experiences similar to that. There were, of course, some stand-offish people, some formerly sweet and lovables who have become not so sweet and lovable, but for the most part it was a joyous and laugh filled night.
One friend, a girl who has grown up to be a wife and mommy and regular reader of this little urp of my life I throw out into the universe, was one I was really looking forward to seeing. She and I were never particularly close. Never enemies, never anything hinky between the two of us. We were friendly. Over the past year we have chatted via facebook and email a few times, and even through some comments on here. I like her. I wish we had been closer back in the day.
So, she walks in, we hug, I meet her adorable husband, and then she tells me that she has a birthday present for me. "For moi?" I was touched, seriously. So we strolled out to the parking lot where her hubby had already headed to retrieve the gift.
This girl gets me. She really, really gets me. I'll post a picture of the gift at the bottom of this post. It's funny stuff. And don't think I won't be using it sometime in the near future. But for now it's holding a high-visibility spot in my kitchen. Thank you Deb and hubby. You are kind people.
And so the conversation turned. Until the sun went down. And many fantasies were learned...oops sorry. Did I mention that the bar played nothing but 80's music all night? They did. Human League, where did you go?
It's funny, how people change and how they don't. I wish I could go back in time and get to know my classmates better. I wish I had branched out more, tried more things, made more friends. I went through those four years of my life feeling like the odd man out, like I was never pretty enough, smart enough or funny enough to really make an impression on anyone's life. But in talking to loads of different people on Saturday night, I came to the realization that I went to high school with some pretty amazing human beings and that maybe, just maybe, I was amazing too. Perhaps 25 years apart is what some of us needed in order to be chums? Whatever. I'm just grateful that our paths have all crossed again.
Before the actual reunion there had been talk (on facebook) about an after party. And somehow my big mouth opened and suggested that I host it. After all, the bar we were all gathering at is a mere 2 blocks from my house. And so it came to pass that Jenny was hosting the magical after-party. Because that's what a bar full of tipsy 40-somethings need, is a place to drink more after a night of carousing.
The only problem, of course? No booze at Jenny's house. I had thought about it during the day Saturday, and was just about to head over to Trader Joe's to stock up on some wine and beer and munchies, but then I remembered..."Expired license". In all honesty, I didn't think that the party would actually happen. We're old, for God's sake. So I didn't give it another thought.
Until 1:45 a.m., when there was a line of cars forming down the street in front of my house and a throng of middle-aged partying fools starting walking through my door. Not only did I have no alcohol, I had nothing other than skim milk and water to drink. Oh, and one Diet Vitamin Water.
Luckily, one of the revelers was a guy who happens to live just down the street from me. He hightailed it home and came back bearing an arm load of half-full bottles of gin, vodka and whiskey. It seriously was like being in high school again, and some brave soul had raided mom and dad's liquor cabinet. I still don't know if or how this particular friend explained this booze raid to his lovely wife, or if he wants it all back. I had to hide it the next day, teenagers and all ya know.
Another reunioner/ party-goer had thought ahead and packed a cooler with beer in his vehicle. This smart fellow also happens to be a former lovah of mine, from last year. The lovah formerly known as The Artiste. What's that you say? How grown up and mature I must be to hang out with someone I've hooked up with? I know!
The night went on, for a few more hours. There we were, a crew of 43 and 44 year olds, laughing and partying. Wearing our mom jeans and dad shirts...our mullets and Farrah hair and adolescent bodies replaced with receding hairlines and thicker middles. But for a few hours that evening we stepped into a magical time machine and we were all 16 again, free on a Saturday night and wringing every last sugary sweet second out of it.
I woke up the next morning (actually the next afternoon, if you want 100% disclosure) with a slight headache and puffy eyes. After the fog in my brain cleared a bit, I also realized I was without pants and snoring next to me was a boy from high school.
My first thought was "Great Zeus! Am I still 16??".
Second thought: "There goes my celibaversary."
Here's my birthday present:
Does waking up pantless next to a childhood friend qualify as an emergency?