You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to the Future Imperfect - A very unromantic comedy

About a week ago I went back to visit my home town and to attend my 20th high school reunion.  This is what happened.  Based on a true story (unfortunately).

SCENE: INT- Hotel bar in Onalaska, Wisconsin.  Possibly called the Lumberjack saloon.

Me: Is this it?

Matt: What?  Don't you know where it is?

Me: There's no one here.  It's almost 5:30.  I thought the invitation said five.  Did everyone ditch me again?

Matt: Look's like they're setting up the food so this must be it.

Me: Crap.  I guess it's at six, not five.  Why can't I ever be fashionably late to anything?

Matt (staring at the caterers working in the corner):  What kind of food is it?  I'm hungry.

Me: I need a drink.

We mosey up to the bar.  The bartenders are young twenty-somethings, talking about school plans and moving to the "big city" of LaCrosse.  I almost snort wine out of my nose.  Then again, when you come from a town of 12 people and a herd of dairy cows, everything else really IS big.

Matt: I'll have a martini.

Bartender:  How do you want it?

Matt: Extra olives.

Bartender: Do you want it dirty?

Me:  Yeah, dirty.

Matt: Umm.  Okay.

Matt drinks it.  A little too fast.

Matt: Hmm... that was pretty good.  I think I'll have another.

Me: Pace yourself, dude.

People start to show up.  I see friends!  I recognize them!  They recognize me!  We put on name tags!  Apparently, the bar is now open because they have extra money left over.  I'm annoyed because I already paid for our drinks.  A whopping 10 bucks for a glass of Pinot Noir and a dirty martini.  Good God, I love Wisconsin!

But the bar is open!  I order another glass of wine.

The evening progresses.....

Here are the main things I remember.

Classmate: Hi, Mindy.

Me: Hi, Classmate.

Classmate:  Hey, how is your brother Jim doing?

Me: Umm.  Good.  Really good.

Classmate:  Oh yeah?  What's he up to?

I then launch into long involved stories about my older brother Jimmy and what he is doing these days.

Classmate:  Awesome!  It was great talking to you.

Me:  Yeah!

This happened to me approximately five times.  I realize it is just like high school.  My brother was a grade ahead of me and super popular.  I was his nerdy little sister.

Eventually, I get tired of talking and start to eat.  Matt has piled his plate full of dumplings and wings and dipping sauce.

I see he is drinking another martini.

Me: What number are you on?

Matt: Uh, three?

Me: Jesus, you better stop.  Eat something.

I eat and start talking to more people.  More talking and drinking.  Time passes quickly and suddenly I look around.

Me: Where's Matt?

I look around.  Walk around.  Go outside.  Roam the halls.  He's nowhere.  It's dark out.  I don't know what time it is.  I'm also drunk, but not plastered.

Me to my friend: I can't find Matt!  Shit!  What if he's in a ditch somewhere?

Two of my friend's husbands come with me.  We head out to the parking lot.

Friend's Husband (scanning the parking lot): What kind of car is it?

Me: Honda.

Friend's husband (peering into the Civic at the sleeping person in the seat): Is that him?

Me: Oh my God.  Yes.

Friend's husbands laugh and leave.  I open the door.  Matt is practically passed out.

Me: Really? REALLY?

Matt: I got drunk.

Me: No shit.  You drank three martinis on an empty stomach. You shouldn't drink three martinis EVER.

Matt (moaning): I puked.

Me: What?  Where?

Matt: In the bushes somewhere.  I don't know.

Me: Are you okay?

Matt: I think so.  I need to rest.

Me: Holy baby Jesus, I can't believe this.  You're almost 40 years old.

I leave and go back inside.  It's just like high school.  My date gets drunk, ditches me and passes out in the bushes.

I go back to the bar.  More drinking and talking and there are pictures and fun and laughing and it's great.

Suddenly I look around.  All my friends are gone.

Me: Hey, what time is it?

Classmate: Uh, 11:45.

Me: What?  Holy crap!  Already?

I do some blurry math and realize Matt has been in the car for over four hours.  I hope he's not dead.

I excuse myself, wander away and pull a French exit.  This is something I always do at parties, but right now I'm kind of annoyed that my friends did it to me.

Me (slipping away unnoticed and muttering): God, everyone ditched me again!  It's just like high school.

I go back to the car.  Matt has the car on, and he is hunched over in the driver's seat eating something.

I open the door.  Matt is eating out of a plastic cup full of Chex mix and M & M's.  He looks like a humongous squirrel stuffing his cheeks.

Me: Where did you get that?

Matt:  There was a wedding going on in the hotel.

Me: You STOLE food from the wedding reception?

Matt: Just one cup.  It was just sitting there.

Me: I take it you're not drunk anymore.

Matt: Nope.  I'm hungry.

We drive home.  We take a wrong turn and end up at a dead end.

Me: I can't even find my way home and we live 2 miles away?  We are stuck in the boonies!  It's just like high school!

We finally get home.  My mom has left a note that Sena didn't go potty before bed.  I go upstairs and get her up and take her into the bathroom.  She is annoyed at being woken up and pisses all over the toilet seat and on my jeans.

I'm getting peed on by a disgruntled toddler.  Thankfully, that never happened in high school.

The next morning I wake up with a hangover.  Awesome.

So, to recap.

Going to my high school reunion was exactly like my entire high school experience.  Distilled into one night.

I did have fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one.  But next time I will make sure to bring my brother as my date.

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