My high school reunion ended with me walking down the aisle of Publix on a Sunday afternoon, still drunk and carrying a case of Rolling Rock with patches of sand all over my body, wearing combat boots and a little black dress. This only solidified my theory that we are all weird. Both of my jobs, merch girl and bartending, provide similar circumstances. I meet a lot of strangers and only have to deal with them for a short amount of time. I find myself thinking that people are so friggen weird all of the time. On average, I would say that at least one out of every three people, I think to myself, who the fuck is this person? How are they so weird?
I realized though, that statistically speaking, that that means that one out of every three people that come across me think that I’m weird. As I was eating breakfast this morning, (which preceded the Publix run) looking like I just came from a funeral or possibly a domestic disturbance, and chugging cups of coffee down like it was my job, there is no doubt that I was absolutely one of the one out of three, that everyone else thought was strange. I just giggled at the notion as the boy with the white hair signed for the check and rubbed my back saying, “You look good, babe.”
No, I really don’t. But that was sweet. How I got there, is not all that fascinating but it’s still another episode of my life as the shit show.
A girl friend of mine, who we will call, the girl with the good legs, know each other from high school. Though we don’t keep in touch all that well, it’s never awkward or forced conversation or any of that hassle that generally goes with “catching up” with old friends when we do see each other. I gave her a call because I knew that due to the aforementioned characteristics, she would be a good date. We were both apprehensive about going, but decided that we should because the worst that was going to happen was we would awkwardly say hi to some people, and then leave and go to a dive bar down the road. Actually, that’s pretty much what happened, but we made it kind of fun with the help of Cody and the boy with the white hair… and a flask of Jameson.
Cody and I were on and off for most of my adolescence. I first fell in love with him in math class when I was 14 years old and he smiled at me from the back of the room. From there, we went on to be a mess until we were about 22 because he kind of became asexual, I got seriously involved with someone else and it had become harder and harder to keep forgiving each other for past mistakes. But through it all, we stayed friends. I had moved away, then I moved back and moved away again and then he moved and we both have emotional problems and blah blah blah. So the point of that is, we have sucked at keeping in touch over the last two or three years.
However, we are obviously close, the kind of closeness that doesn’t fade, so when we do see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. It was pouring down rain outside, and I had just gotten into my toy car to drive to the reunion. I call it my toy car and Fat Face calls it an ’84 Ford Forgettable. It’s actually a ’93 Ford Escort, but it’s so small and ridiculous that I think that it looks like a toy. The tires honestly cannot be more than a foot tall, and it has those seat belts from the ‘90s that automatically roll up the side of the door to strap you in when you close the door. It makes me giggle every time.
Anyway, I was pulling out of my driveway when Cody called me, saying that he had decided to come to the reunion last minute and can I pick him up. As of now, he lives less than a mile from me, so it was no problem to go grab him. He gets anxiety about everything, and he was already in a wad due to just being in my car that is the size of him and also has no safety features. On top of that, he was freaking out about the magnitude of the rain and water on the road. It’s a good thing he was with me because I probably would have plowed through the underwater streets and stalled out my car. He was smart, and suggested we rethink our plan. So the night started with Cody and I in a torrential Florida thunderstorm with Katy Perry playing on the radio and me laughing as he is clinging to the dashboard.
Then we did what any respectable adult would do… we called my Mom. I turned around and switched vehicles because my Mom wasn’t going anywhere and she has a car that is not a toy, and won’t get swept away in a roadway rainwater current. We finally made it, had a fiasco parking, and then walked a few blocks to the hotel that the reunion was being held as I hogged the umbrella. Cody was starting to get nervous because he thought that his feet might smell (long story), so I gave him a stick of gum. Oddly, gum seems to calm Cody down in the same way that a shot of Jameson does for me. With that being said, he never has gum and whenever we hang out I find myself scavenging my backpack every thirty minutes, looking for my pack of Orbit.
We rocked up fashionably late, and immediately got some whiskey and busted out our terrible dance moves for approximately ten seconds before moving on to the whole being-social-with-other-people part of the reunion. I found the girl with the good legs and we basically stood in a corner together and talked about hair, high school and hot boys. Surprisingly though, it was pleasant. All I’ve got to say is, thank god she was there. Cody was off trying to flirt, and her and I realized that we didn’t know anyone there.
Her favorite moment of the night was when I utterly failed as socializing with this sweet girl who i was friends with during those years but who I never talked to after graduation. If I try, I am generally pretty good at maintaining conversation, but I was just not in that state of mind at all, so when a sweet girl came up to me, we did the “Hi! How are you?” thing that I hate so much, and then there was awkward silence for a couple of seconds as Cody and the girl with the good legs looked at us hopelessly. So what did I say?
“You want a shot of Jameson?!” and offered up my flask that I was shamelessly carrying.
“Uh, no… I’m good…” the sweet girl said, and that was it. Then we awkwardly walked away from each other. The girl with the good legs was laughing her ass off at me as Cody just took the flask and did the offered shot himself.
The people that we mostly associated with in high school were not there, and after that embarrassment, I decided to call the boy with the white hair to come rescue us and bring us to a bar. He went to high school with us as well, but he is definitely not the reunion type, though he conceded to meeting up with me and a few others after, when I used my pitiful little girl voice on him that I know he can’t say no to.
He looked pretty hot when I walked up to him, outside of the hotel. We walked to a dive down the road and of course I found the only black people in the place and tried to make friends. Sometimes I think that I should have been black. Cody and I followed along with this cool hip hop style line dance thing that they were doing, but then we just embraced our inability to look as cool as them, and started doing our own dance moves that probably made us look like we had cerebral palsy. The boy with the white hair got hit on by a blonde, Cody didn’t know what to do when a drunk girl sat on his lap, the girl with the good legs was just being cool and hot like always, and I drank my weight in whiskey.
And like how most drunk nights end with me… there was a body of water involved. I made the boy with the white hair jump into the Gulf with me and we swam around and he saw his first shooting star. He got us back safely, and apparently tried to get me to take a shower, but that was absolutely not going to happen. I was out. So I got his whole house sandy and then woke up demanding a toothbrush and breakfast.
We drove to breakfast with the windows down, listening to NPR on the radio and discussed America’s involvement in Israel as I sat on my feet because the seat of the car was still wet from last nights escapades. As we walked into the breakfast joint, we passed the only woman who looked weirder than I did today. She was at least 100 years old and had a vicious camel-toe made from her bright pink spandex pants, among other eccentric attributes. I decided that I wanted to be her best friend. I replaced her in the establishment as the weirdo, and walked in at noon, still drunk, with eye crust, a little black goth style dress, black combat boots, hair the size of a bald eagle’s nest, orange legs (long story) and a backpack.
Then my sister called me asking me to pick up beer for the house. The boy with the white hair dropped me off at my car, and I made my way to Publix, and walked down the aisles only carrying a case of beer and looking rough as fuck as the families carted by with boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lean Cuisines. Then I went home and giggled with my sister because when her boyfriend asked her from the other room for a drink, she poured him a glass of almond milk.
The moral of the story is that you seem weird to approximately every third person and I have absolutely digressed in maturity since high school graduation ten years ago.