Monday, November 30, 2009

The horrifying, jaw-droppingly disgraceful thing I did at my high school reunion

This Saturday was my Stuyvesant High School 15 year reunion which is always held on Thanksgiving weekend. I missed the 10 year because I was in the hospital, having Primo. I did NOT miss the five year reunion. If only I had. In fact, it was precisely because I did not miss that reunion, that I had to go this year.

Because I did a really bad thing at that high school reunion

If you’re thinking that I got totally soused or wore a skin-tight red dress made out of material that always looks wet or that I nearly ended up sleeping with a douche bag – well, I did all that, too, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking REALLY bad.

It wasn’t a federal crime or anything but in the world of faux-pas, of gauche missteps, of public humiliation, it ranks pretty high.

I laughed during the moment of silence for everyone who had died in our class.

Not just laughed, either. Cackled, really. Guffawed.

Let me hasten to explain. Five years after high school I was at the peak of my hotness. That’s incontrovertible: newly graduated from an Ivy League college, I was an actress in New York and skinnier, with a bigger rack than in high school. (If there are any people from my high school reading and you don’t agree, then please just keep your opinion to yourself. Grant me the euphoric recall). I was bubbly and vampy and self confident and I wanted everyone to know it. It wasn’t that I was unpopular in high school. I was just regular – neither popular nor unpopular, a get-alonger. I had plenty of friends, and plenty of fun, but I wasn’t the sort of person that other teens felt nervous around. And come on, we ALL wanted to be that. Five years later, I wanted to breeze in and have jaws hit the floor.

That I accomplished, though not exactly in the way I’d hoped. This is, by the way, is a cautionary tale. Let’s just put that up front.

The dress I wore was from Joyce Leslie and it was so clingy you could see the burrito I ate for lunch. It wasn’t just provocative; it was what you’d find on the back page of the Village Voice. I pranced in to the reunion on four-inch heels, shrieking in glee at seeing all these faces that, frankly, I barely recognized, and guzzling drink after drink, because well – what else do you do at a reunion? By the time they were doing speeches I was drunker than an Irishman on Saint Paddy’s day. I had no idea that someone was up front saying important things, and giving important directions to the crowd. This guy who I’d been friends with but who always crushed on my best friend was now crushing on me, telling me something which I found Just. So. Outrageously. Funny. I threw my head back and let a peal of laugher erupt with absolutely no self-control. I really imagined that I was Marilyn Monroe.

Have you ever found yourself with several hundred pairs of eyes shooting you one collective dirty look?

It took me two full minutes to figure out why everyone was throwing me such withering glances. As soon as I did, I ran to the ladies’ room and spent the rest of the reunion crying, as all my classmates came in to pee and reapply lipstick.

Not what I’d call a successful reunion experience.

So this past weekend was my chance to show everyone that OK, I may not be at the peak of my hotness, but I am at the peak of my greatness! I am no longer a woefully insecure Jezebel, devoid of human feeling. I am now a woman of substance, with children and accomplishments and a still-great rack.

I’m not sure I did all that. And in fact, I found that without the blind-drunk factor and the public disgrace, a high school reunion is pretty uneventful. A handful of old friends to talk to and many, many people I didn’t remember who didn’t remember me either. But I didn’t give anyone a reason to make a voodoo doll of me at least. That’s something.