When you get your 20th reunion invitation, it might as well be addressed to "Old Wrinkled Saggy Hag" because nothing makes you feel quite so old as knowing that it's been two decades since your Senior year in High School. Parker and I like to think we have aged well and done great in life, so we were excited to return to the scene of the crime in our botoxed glory.
We weren't the most popular students but we certainly weren't uber-nerds. Our idea of a good time was drinking Tanqueray followed by shots of lime juice in the back seat of my 1975 army-green Cutlass Supreme and then recreating the Don Johnson "Heartbreak" video in the parking lot after basketball games. Since my eyebrows were bushier, I took on the role of guitarist Dweezil Zappa while Parker did her best Don Johnson imitation. We thought we were hilarious, while passerbyers thought we were insane and quite possibly retarded. We also did a mean rendition of the video from Cyndi Lauper's hit "True Colors", which was as ridiculous as the 80's itself. In spite of this, we somehow managed to befriend all types: the popular kids, stoners and even a few band kids (not really).
As the reunion approached, Parker and I made plans to leave Daddy Warbucks and Tom (our respective husbands) behind and make it a girls-only weekend. We agreed to meet at the airport, rent a car and head on down to the Marriott. Unfortunately, my 2 hour flight from Orange County turned into an 8-hour nightmare in which I was literally forced to hitch a ride from Phoenix, Arizona to Tucson with a friendly stranger in a Halloween-themed cardigan. It didn't make me feel any safer when Parker told me via cell phone that serial killers are prone to holiday sweaters. I arrived looking and smelling like I'd run the Boston Marathon with less than an hour to spare before the Friday night "cocktail party" which was being held at a bar next to our hotel. Or so we thought. At the hotel, Parker and I changed into our best "40-going-on-24" outfits. We arrived at the bar fashionably late to find that no one from our High School was there. An hour later, we were still alone and despite a few margaritas, we were two pissed off bitches. Not wanting to waste our good outfits, we walked across the street to a more "happening" college bar. The bouncer was checking ID's until he saw us and mumbled, "You ladies can go ahead." Ouch. Apparently the sparkly silver top with my Hudson jeans and high black wedges did NOT make me look 20 again.
We spent the next day much like we spent our High School days - lounging in bed eating hoagies and watching movies. After a nap and a belly-full of nitrate-filled lunch meat we prepared for the big night. Hoping we would not arrive to an empty party (again) we dressed in our finest - Parker in a blue satin David Meister dress and I in a black sleeveless Nicole Miller sheath.
The reunion was held at a crappy hotel in the shittiest part of downtown Tucson. We stumbled over no less than two homeless hobos as we made our way to the entrance. Considering the tuition our parents forked out for our education you'd think they could have spruced it up a notch or two. At least a Fairfield Inn or a Super 8 would have better lighting and and most likely would be free of heroin peddlers roaming the parking lot.
We arrived to the sound of techno blasting from the bar area as our aging classmates welcomed us. Much to everyones dismay, we were provided with 5x7-sized laminated name tags with our Senior Class Picture proudly on display. The word on the street was that the Friday night cocktail party had been moved at the last minute to a mansion in the foothills owned by one of our former classmates (who happens to be my brother in law once removed) and world-class a-hole who wanted everyone to know how successful he'd become. Somehow Parker and I hadn't gotten the email, so while our classmates drank champagne in the hills the night before, we had been cruising college bars trying to turn heads with our muffin tops. Regardless of being snubbed the night before, we ordered a glass of wine and began to mingle. Surprisingly, everyone looked pretty much the same. Days of Aqua-netted stiff bangs and eyebrows the size of caterpillars on steroids were long gone. Some of the guys had lost hair and gained love handles, but aside from that, not much had changed.
Ironically, as the night progressed, we stayed sober while those around us became quickly inebriated. The once straight-laced Valedictorian was wasted, dancing like he was the lead in the Chippendale's Revue. The geeky yearbook editor fell smack on her ass, spread eagle while making an announcement. It was as if we'd entered "Bizarro World" where everything was reversed. The nerds were the party animals and we were the tame ones. Maybe we'd just finally matured? At the end of the night we left sober and with our dignity, realizing that there is a time and place for everything. The days of drinking until we are blind and puking behind the bleachers just wasn't as appealing as it once was. That night, on the way back to the hotel, we made a midnight detour at the Taco Bell drive-thru for a Mexican Pizza and Nachos Supreme. Because somethings never change.