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.