Giant Camel has moved back in, and has begun making collages out of construction paper and dirty magazines. In practical terms, this means that the floor of the apartment is covered in little cut-out pictures of dicks. I keep being afraid I’ll scoop one into my bag and take it to school, and then I’ll take my notebook out and one will gracefully spiral down to the ground, in front of God, the dean, and everybody…
So, the other night, I was hanging out with a friend of mine, who mentioned casually that he’d rather be smeared with honey and left out for army ants than go to his high school reunion. “It’s this year, you know.”
GUUUUH. That means mine is in three years. (See, I’m still 23, but my high school has them every eight years because of... oh, I don’t know. Pick something. Climate change. “Metric decades.”)
Now, I had a Meg-like bad time in middle school. Being weird and surrounded by thirteen-year-olds is, no raspberries, the worst thing that can happen to a person. We’ve dwelt with that theme often on this blog, and doubtless will again, so I won’t go into it here except to tell all you youngsters looking for your “trademark” not to adopt a fake English accent in the sixth grade. It won’t end well.
By contrast, I had the whizz of a time in high school. I thought I got away with a lot of stuff, but in retrospect I just had low standards of what was badass: “Totally getting migas” instead of going to a first period elective isn’t hardcore by most standards, but I thought it was cool. Anyway, even though high school was a lot of fun, I’ve been planning what delightfully zany thing I was going to do at the reunion since I was about sixteen. (“No, it’s totally going to be like Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, except we’ll get away with it. Also beer.”) Over the intervening
ten oh dear God I’m never going to win a Fields
medal seven years, I’ve considered the following delightfully zany reunion
- Have sex with James van Dyne, the handsome and promiscuous soccer star I had a crush on in tenth grade (supposedly he totally got laid in the bathroom in middle school, which sounded pretty rad at the time – anything remotely sexual plays well to junior-high audiences – but which now strikes me as deeply, almost supernaturally depressing. Two fourteen-year-olds “coupling” for under a minute in a cinderblock, chronically underfunded public middle school bathroom. It’s what you’d expect if Sam Sheppard directed child pornography.)
- Fake a tig ol’ heroin addiction, complete with cold sweats and Magic Marker track marks. I don’t know what the end game is for this, really, except maybe seeing now much money I can make from former classmates who give me a sad smile and press a twenty into my palm.
- “Just show up all rich and shit.” It’s a classic for a reason.
- Get drunk enough to open up and let my opinions have a jolly little time running free (a.k.a. “Chris’s This-Wedding-Sucks Default”)
- Send a false report that I’ve died, then show up at the next reunion a-OK. “I thought it was rabies, but it turns out it was a bad Boone’s Farm hangover. Boy, was my face red.”
None of these are very good. I feel like they’re all intro-level wacky, the kind of party themes a slightly bitchier than average Junior League would think up if everyone was tired of Mardi Gras Mambo. I don’t want to just go, hug everyone, have four Tom Collinses, look at baby pictures, then go back to my hotel room and watch “Touched by an Angel.” Except for the baby pictures, that’s almost exactly what Meg and I did on our ill-fated business trip to Newport News. (We finance the blog by secret-shopping Red Lobster restaurants and making sure the biscuits are “just cheesy enough.” Our turf is Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, both Virginias and DC, so if you see two “artistic types” going to town on a pound of crab legs on your next big date, it’s probably us. Don’t say hello or you’ll blow our cover, but email where you saw us and we’ll send you a coupon.)
(No, not really. I just got comfortable in that Red Lobster joke and decided to stay a while.)
This whole thing is kind of a made-up problem, anyway, since my high school theatre program has a reunion on or near Thanksgiving every year, to which I have never been invited. I showed up on the “Can’t find these kids, LOL!” list one year – 2005, when I was genuinely hard to track down – but since then I’ve never been invited. Several people have said “oh, you should have come!” but… shit. Hanging out reminiscing about our mostly-white theatre department’s production of The Wiz is weird enough, but to crash a party to do so? I can’t quite get behind that. I almost just sacked up and went last year to brag about THE BOOK, but we weren’t completely sure we’d gotten the deal yet, and somehow I wasn’t all that inspired by the idea of going up to the high school and saying, “Yeah, I gained some weight, but me and this girl are writing a book about being unpleasant! So there! You thought you were such hot shit because you got cast as the Elephant Man and not me! WHO’S THE ELEPHANT MAN NOW, JACKASS!”
Haha! I just remembered the guy who actually did beat me for that part. He was 80 kinds of nuts. Zander (yeah, really) loved the movie Cruel Intentions and actively patterned his behavior after the Ryan Philippe character, which he was, to put it gently, way too ugly to get away with. He had a “notebook” in which he kept “secrets” about everyone in the theatre department and notes on how he plotted their downfall. We were sophomore theatre students in a high school in central Texas that would later almost be closed under “No Child Left Behind.” That is a fucking deep hole, ladies and gentlemen, and here he was with a shovel, just digging away…Anyway, I found out what his entry about me said. I skipped the theatre white-elephant-game Christmas party to go watch a movie, prompting him to write: “Chris didn’t take my Karate Elvis action figure to the Christmas party. He will pay.” I did not pay, as it turns out. Remembering Zander has, though, helped me make up my mind: I’m never going to one of those reunions. Nothing could ever top “Chris didn’t take my Karate Elvis action figure to the party. He will pay,” and it would be wrong to try.