When I am home for the holidays, I like to stay indoors and out of the public as much as possible. When I go out, there is a lot of confusion.
First of all, when you come from a small town like I do, every time you walk outside, it is like a trip down memory lane and, unfortunately, memory lane is constantly under construction. (And just like in D.C., the construction seems to be run by a crackhead.) Allow me to explain.
First, you want to see the people who were more popular and more attractive than you were in high school. You want to see how you rank in the current standings with your new hair cut and all. Unfortunately, there is a lot of movement in the rankings. You have the freshman 15, alcoholism, pregnancies, marriages, premature balding, deaths and sexuality changes. It is very easy for the prep rankings to get skewed and herein lies the confusion.
For example, you are dying to see So-and-So Flo because she was pubescent dynamite in high school and the closest you ever got to her was spin-the-bottle in middle school and those “friend hugs” in high school. Hugs which you had to pay well over market value for with pretending-to-care listening marathons. (And now, after taking economics at GW, you know the reason you paid well over market value was because your high school was a closed economy and limited resources were available.)
So you are just chillin’ at the bar thinking how righteous it is to finally be legal and observing which of your middle school teachers are alcoholics, when all of a sudden So-and-So Flo enters. Whooaaa! So-and-So Flo seems to have contracted jaundice. Either all that fake baking from prom seasons past has taken full effect, or Flo has spent the last three years soaking in apple juice.
In addition, her mind and her body don’t seem to be as tight as they used to be. So-and-So Flo starts spouting to you about how the Bible has saved her, and she introduces you to her live-in boyfriend. Live-in boyfriend is a whack job who looks like he just got out of hard time and his body type is the kind you had . WHEN YOU WERE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!
Right there you have problems. You went off to college to trade in your intelligence and your parents’ money for the Grand Moolah so you could come home and sweep So-and-So Flo off her feet. But now her feet are yellow and you feel like a big schlep for paying $50 a month to tone your body at SportFit as she fondles Twiggy the Human Tattoo. All your academic motivation is shot to the eternal furnace.
So you ask about Suzie Schmoozie, the other girl you were always trying to touch, and you find out Suzie Schmoozie is now a lesbian. So much for entering the Suzie Schmoozie sweepstakes. And where does that place Suzie on the rankings when she switches divisions like that? Her whole high school schedule has to be reexamined.
So you are feeling a little bewildered and you stumble into another bar and see your high school’s valedorktorian hanging with his high school sweetheart, Qwen Pasta. He tells you about how he was accepted early to Johns Hopkins Med School ,and you are like, “That’s great Valedorktorian, but you still have Qwen Pasta on your arm, you schmuck!”
And then you take another look at Qwen Pasta and you realize Pasta is looking pretty rocking. Pasta now has sauce! Pasta starts joshing with you and all of a sudden it hits you – looks and personality. Flo’s dropping in the rankings like GW’s 1997 basketball team and you start thinking about how to abduct Qwenivere, but you can’t because Valedorktorian has become the human credit card and keeps buying you drinks.
Finally you see some of the brothers who are more your type. You know, the kids that used to chew `baccy in art class. So you mosey on over and start talking to them. You ask how their lives are going and you find out Tim Two-by-Four’s high school honey dropped him when he bashed her front door in and kicked over her mailbox on a drinking binge. The sod also tells you screw computers, air conditioning work is definitely the area to get into. (It kind of makes sense with global warming and all.)
You start talking about GW, and then it dawns on you that these guys would not give a rat’s hiney if you found a cure for testicular cancer so you just shut up and finish your brew.
So then you go home to your parents and your sister. Your sister makes you say the alphabet backward and touch your nose with your eyes closed while your mom sniffs you for pot odor – then you are allowed to go to bed. So the next night you stay home and watch Kathie Lee Gifford’s Christmas Special and wish you were Frank Gifford.
This article appeared in the January 15, 1998 issue of the Hatchet.