and I wasn't even CLOSE to coming out yet.
Tonight is thanksgiving eve.
That magical time of year when everyone returns home for that oh-so-American holiday celebrating togetherness. Ironic since the pilgrims landing included invasion, genocide and smallpox carrying Europeans systematically destroying native culture but, whatever!
If your home town is anything like mine than you will probably find yourself at some local dive bar drinking with people better off forgotten. You might find yourself staring at your gin and tonic trying to listen but inwardly wanting to end whatever awkward conversation has brought you to this moment. You might be wondering what, if anything, you have in common with this almost total stranger that once upon a time you shared a high school with.
The Onion has a great satirical article about this phenomenon.
Like prison time I imagine that High School is something you just have to get through. High school is something you survive certainly not something you enjoy.
Not if you are like me, anyway.
If you were one of those girls who never had an awkward stage; someone who was perpetually well-liked, if you knew what clothes to wear and understood the secrets of make up and how to avoid looking stupid or ridiculous at every turn, this blog is probably not for you. I have successfully repressed many of my memories from high school which probably makes it all the more difficult for me to interact with the people I know who still lurk around town that remind me of high school. There's a girl or two that go to my gym. We graduated in the same year. We say our quiet hello's in passing. A quick nod or our eyes meet. One of the male trainers is a former football jock who has apparently made his life as a physical trainer. Well done sir!
But tonight, should I see you out, we'll have no more to talk about than we did back in the 90's. We as people have changed I'm sure, but the relationships between us probably haven't.
Which brings me to my next point: The Dive Bar.
Even the dive bar is no longer the dive bar. We used to have this restaurant turned dance hall turned restaurant turned bar room in Marshfield called Brian's Place. It wasn't a dump exactly but it was close. Pink plastic booths lined up along the far wall, an impractically massive bar all but blocking the front door, inept bartender's who inevitably become flustered with even the easiest requests, and (of all things) a fish tank mounted in a dividing wall separating the bar and the dart boards in the back.
My cousins and I would frequent this dive bar every Wednesday when Corinne got out of work and occasionally on Fridays. We claim at least one, sometimes two of the dart boards out back and I'd waggle my fingers up near the top of the tank to get the fish all frenzied up (Waggling fingers is the universal fish sign for 'food!') and we'd throw darts until Marae beat the pants off everyone and we'd cart ourselves home.
But tonight there will be no dive bar, no dark corner, no impromptu bust-a-moves to celebrate a random bullseye. Instead I'll be heading to one of two pseudo-swank hot spots. Either the new Japanese-infused restaurant with fancy red furniture and a cover band playing loudly or a place affectionately nicknamed 'The Penis,' real name: The Venus. Variations on this rhyme are encouraged.
But for now, I am off to wash up (finally) maybe catch a nap and try to rally. Who knows, perhaps someone from the distant past will surprise me. I'll confess something to you though. Being a girl has it's advantages. One of my favorites on night like this is overhearing all of the finicky conversations that still occur in the women's bathroom, conversations that bear a striking resemblance to those overheard a decade ago in the toilet stalls at good old Marshfield High about who-likes-who and she-did-what?! that sort of illuminate that time of my life.
Whatever you do tonight I hope you have fun.
And happy turkey day everybody.
Be safe out there.