Saturday, June 25, 2011

I’m Not Welcome at the Steakhouse/Flea Market Anymore

I was not cool in high school.  I am not cool now, either, I realize, but in high school I had friends in every clique but I did not belong to any clique.  I was just there with everyone else.  I did have one friend in particular who rose up the ranks of popularity as we grew up and was part of “that” group in high school.  Unlike some of them, he stayed down to earth and we remained friends.

A few years after graduation, my friend had moved out of state but was coming home for a visit.  I hadn’t seen him since high school, so I was of course excited to catch up.  He invited me, along with his formerly popular high school friends, to all meet up at the steakhouse/flea market for as good of a time as one might have in Waxahachie, Texas.

Since my boyfriend [now husband] had never been to such an enticing combo venue [surprising, as he is from Celina, Texas], I felt it was my duty to arrive extra early for him to get the full experience.  We perused the flea market of old books, dolls and novelty wooden door signs for sale with crafty and clever wording such as “I’m a QUEEN—my pantyhose say so!”

Following the market, we sat down to a good ‘ol country steak and baked potato meal, complete with cocktails.  I am a wine drinker and was blown away by the large and super cheap goblets of wine they were pouring.  So I kept asking for more—it was amazing how my nervousness seemingly dissipated.

Multiple goblets later, my friend and other former classmates began showing up.  It was great to see everyone, probably because by this time I was completely smashed.  Some of the girls were just how they were in high school, but some were more pleasant and I enjoyed catching up, introducing my boyfriend, etc.  My visiting friend and I talked for a while and naturally additional goblets of chardonnay were consumed.  It was still surprisingly early when I began to not feel so well.

I decided it was time to bow out and head back to my parents’, who were still living in Waxahachie at the time, and so we began saying our good-byes.  I hugged every person wearing [or not wearing] a cowboy hat in the place when I finally made my way to my visiting friend for one last drunken hug.  Looking back, it’s amazing just how close I came to not even having a story to tell—I nearly made it out when my friend, at the end of our hug, embraced me tightly around the shoulders and shook back and forth [if he is reading this, what the hell was that about?], and you know what happened next.

My former classmates got to see my ribeye, my baked potato and just however many goblets of wine I ended up consuming that evening.  It was one of those moments where everything stopped.  Even the country band on stage watched as I vomited on the dance floor, myself and quite possibly a few others.  I remember a brief pause in my three stages of getting sick, where a hand grabbed my arm, rushing me out of the steakhouse/flea market.  After a brief check in at the hostess podium for round two, we made our way to the parking lot for round three.

I got put into the car and woke up the next morning to multiple text messages and voicemails from a very concerned visiting friend, wanting confirmation that I hadn’t died.  By Monday morning, I had five MySpace friend requests—all former classmates and I believe one of them wasn’t even there that night.  I was once embarrassed by the occurrences of that evening, but life does go on.  And in case you’re curious, no, I did not make it to my ten-year high school reunion.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

To Catch a Predator: How I Met My Husband Edition

I met Kit on a Friday at a bar downtown, on the night I was celebrating my twenty-second birthday.  It was like a scene in a cheesy romantic comedy where we spotted each other from across a crowded room and seemingly kept making eye contact throughout the evening until we finally worked up the nerve to introduce ourselves.  He was completely adorable, but he had one of those country handlebar moustaches—it looked out of place and like it didn’t fit his personality.

After chatting a good part of the evening we did a swapping of the cell numbers and went our separate ways.  Kit called me for the first time that Sunday afternoon, and I thought he was about to ask me on a date for the next weekend when he instead asked if we could get together later that very evening.  We met downtown and he asked if I wanted to go back to his house to watch a movie.  He told me that he had two female roommates [which I was never jealous about because even though they were both quite attractive, the fact remains that they are horrible people—which has no relevance to this story, but I was just overwhelmed with the want to put that out there because I have never publicly announced how much I truly dislike them] who were home and promised that they would come in and club him if he tried any “funny business.”  Why shouldn’t I trust this complete stranger, right!?

This is my elementary-skill drawing of how Kit looked in the beginning.
We have all seen this guy before; although it is usually a higher quality sketch
and is incorporated into a news story instead of a blog
about how someone met their husband.

Since I was just assured that we wouldn’t be completely alone, I agreed to follow him “just up the road” to his house.  Along the way I began thinking about how I do not know this person at all or where the hell he really was leading me, so I called one of my girlfriends who was at the bar with me two evenings prior and had also met Kit that night.  I explained to her that I was following him to his house to watch a movie, and then I proceeded to give her the make and model of his car along with his license plate number.  I told her to call me at exactly 11 p.m., and if I didn’t answer, call the police and then call my mother.  Yeah, like that could have really prevented him from putting me down in a pit then repeatedly demanding I keep putting lotion on my body, only so he could later skin me and wear me as an outfit while dancing around and applying Chap Stick.

Twenty-ish minutes later we arrived in front of his [completely dark and empty] house.  My first impulse was to keep driving.  This guy that I didn’t know at all had just lied to me, and I was gullible enough to trust him in the first place.  He said two roommates would be at the house, and yet there were no lights on, not even a porch light, and there wasn’t one car in the driveway or in front of the house.  For all I knew, this guy had women buried all over his backyard.  The wise and rational thing to do would have been to keep driving and go home or at least insist that we go some place public instead.

So, naturally my newly twenty-two year old self parked and went into the house alone with him.  The house was actually charming and I didn’t smell carcass.  There were two living rooms—a dainty one for the girls and then Kit’s den.  His was a poorly-lit room covered with horror movie posters on the walls and action figures of Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Jason, Michael Myers and, sadly, many others on every flat surface.  This would have been another reason to leave and never return, and yet I stayed…

We did end up watching a movie and when 11 p.m. came around, my girlfriend called.  I told her everything was fine, but please retain the information I had given her earlier—you know, just in case.  Eventually the two roommates came home—as it turned out, they were planning to be home that evening like Kit had said, but they decided last minute to go out for a bit.  Eventually all of my anxiety about whether or not I was on a date with a serial killer faded away.  He asked me on an official “out on the town” date that next weekend, and four years later we got married.

Looking back, I can hardly believe the chance I took on a complete stranger [with that moustache especially].  It is interesting to remember instances where we made decisions that turned out just fine, but had circumstances been different, we could have really ended up in trouble.  My twenty-nine year old self would have definitely kept driving, but suppose if I had on that night nearly seven years ago…

Unfortunately I took no photo of Kit’s moustache that lasted only three weeks into our relationship, but here are a few of his other experiments in facial hair throughout the years…