My therapist Dr L, told me I need to get rid of my inappropriate sexual fascination with Edward Cullen and get out there and socialize (Team Get-a-Life, whoohoo!) so I accepted the invitation of an old school friend of mine and attended a reunion barbecue.
I should explain that I have known this friend since we were 7 years old. He was the single most boring child I’ve ever known – kinda a combination between Spock from Star Trek and the pukey kid that used to be on The Simpsons. My earliest memory of him was the time he stood in front of me in the playground and asked me if I could recite the alphabet yet, and I said no, and he said in a completely deadpan, disdainful voice, “My 2-yr old sister can already recite the alphabet backwards. I shall demonstrate. Z, Y, X, W, V....” (At this point I’ll stop quoting him, because I still can’t do that.)
My first clue that the party was going to suck was the fact that he gave really, really thorough directions. That’s a dead giveaway. If someone gives you directions to their house with two or more alternative routes and/or attaches a map, the party WILL SUCK. I don’t know why. It’s how SCIENCE works. I barely know where I live and my parties always rock if people can find them.
The second clue was the fact that my offer to bring a keg was politely but firmly declined with an email reading: “Although some of our guests may indeed appreciate alcohol, I myself do not. Feel free to bring your own drinks, if you feel it is absolutely necessary.” (For those of you who don’t speak WASP, that means they think you are a redneck alcoholic. You are allowed enough booze to steady your hands but not so much that you lose your shirt and vomit in the azaleas. Like last time when you didn’t eat enough and actually had a cold coming so you took a Xanax you found in the back of the cupboard so it wasn’t even really your fault and when Lindsay Lohan does it everyone thinks it’s cool so I blame society for the whole incident, anyway. You know what? Fuck you guys.)
I followed my suspiciously good directions to what must be the cleanest house and yard you’ve ever seen and was greeted by my friend and his wife, who is a professor of literature at a local university. The “men” (four Babylon 5 geeks and the captain of the high school debating team) were standing around the fire drinking...sodas...and I was herded into the kitchen to “help make the salad” (not a euphemism for lesbian experimentation in this case, unfortunately! I won’t make that mistake again!) where the womenfolk were discussing (of all things) the Twilight-saga. I tried to keep out of it, but then the Literature Professor turned to me and said, “Do you know they are now repackaging Wuthering Heights with stickers that say, THIS IS EDWARD AND BELLA’S FAVOURITE BOOK? Isn’t it...dreadful?”Of course, I had to blurt out, “Yeah, I know. Edward didn’t even LIKE that book” and the room went quiet.
Needless to say I was the only person with a steak to barbecue, so it took forever and the five hungry Stepford Wives glared at me with hatred in their eyes all night like they couldn’t wait to rip off my little head and stuff it with that microchip that makes you bake muffins all day (not a lesbian thing, either. The porn movies have it so wrong sometimes). I started drinking more and more of my unwelcome beer on an empty stomach and over-sharing about that time I went on a Japanese sex house tour and lost my keys down the bondage grate. They really should put bigger warning signs over those things. A child could fall in. Well, maybe not a child. Children aren’t allowed in. But surely your average S&M sex midget is at risk? I'm only thinking of the sex midgets, here, not of myself.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the next morning when I went to work there was an email from the school friend...with a detailed memorandum of the night’s events. (Told you he took himself a tad seriously.) It included a list of detailing the lives of the guests in attendance and what they had accomplished since high school. Peter – who was now a chemistry major at university...John – a geneticist...Susan – an accomplished journalist. And wayyyy at the bottom was my name .
“We were delighted to receive Estelle Nagel, once a treasured member of our high school drama troupe. Estelle is still in Cape Town and she once ran into Clint Eastwood at the airport!”