Monday, March 27, 2006

memories, pound the corner of my mind or how my highschool boyfriend done me wrong

i just got a notice about my highschool ten year reunion! hahhahahahahahahahahahahahaahhaahahahahahhaahaa!


listen, i know i have done a lot with those ten years. more than most, honestly (ok, i don't know about this, but i have packed it in in the last ten years). i have nothing to be ashamed of and plenty to be proud of. i'm the same size that i have been since the sixth grade (except cup size- thank you birth control! and come on, we all know that the number one reason people go to reunions is to see how much weight she has gained, how much hair he has lost, and how many divorces they have under their belt. oh and to see if their spouse is hot or not), i have better hair and eyebrows since i was a senior. i live in an awesome apartment that we own, in the greatest city in the world, have an amazing fiance, two cute and adorable dogs, have traveled the world- blah di blah di blah.

but seriously, thinking about gathering around some hotel 'ballroom' catching up with old chums, just makes me laugh (especially when i say the word chum in my head), and then want to vomit a little.

when i graduated from high school, i vowed i would never go to one of those things, those pathetic reunions. i had had a great time in high school, but was fine with leaving it where it was supposed to be, in the past. i had friends, my own little group and we weren't connected really to any of the other groups in school. we were in theatre, and choir and some of us were in the marching band (hello? geek out much? but hey it was good times). we didn't drink at parties but had amazing amounts of fun (to this day, i can't figure out how that happened, because as an adult? i can't really have fun unless i'm totally toasted.*) i was busy from sun up to past my bedtime- i had a curfew, which meant everyone hung out at my house and made a lot of noise past 11:00pm- but hey, at least my parents knew where i was. i had a boyfriend, a best friend and a close knit group of four or five others and we were inseperable.

the problem is, i don't talk to any of those people any more.

two weeks into college, i was so miserable and lonely, i called my highschool boyfriend ( i had pulled the extension cord of the phone out into the hallway of my dorm so i could sit there and have a "private" conversation out of the earshot of my three other roommates (three other roomates in one room, no a suite, one friggin room that had barely enough room for dressers, let alone desks). i tearfully told, let us call him by his real name, eric, that i thought it was a mistake that we had broken up just because i had gone away to college (he was a senior and still in high school at that point), i was only two hours away and we could make this long distance thing work.

so we did, make this long distance thing work. we talked on the phone everyday. i had discovered the joy of email (hello mid to late 90's), we saw each other at least one weekend a month. when i would go home and hang out with the old gang (i was the only one who had gone away to school) it was just like old times and i felt really happy. at one point i remember joking with my best friend mindy that wouldn't it be great if i transfered to a school around here and we were roomates? she was like, yeah! that would be awesome! but there was something in her eyes, that at the time, i took no notice of, but looking back now, i know it was there.

a few months after this conversation, i was returning home from rehearsal of "West Side Story" (i played one of the shark's girlfriends and i'm so irish and pale they made me wear body bronzer so i could look a little "latina") and i'm pulling into the parking lot, and there is eric, sitting on his car which is parked next to my spot. i'm shocked to see him there on a weeknight and i immediately know that something is terribly wrong. i thought he was about to tell me that one of my friends had died, or was in a horrible accident or something terrible. when i asked him what was wrong, he told me to get in his car and he would tell me. then he said he wanted to take a drive and then he would tell me. i was frantic and after a driving a few miles and he not answering my questions, i demanded he pull over this instant and tell me what was wrong. he pulled into the parking lot of hollywood video and we got out of the car, he sat down on the gravel and i sat down across from him, terrified of what he was about to tell me.
"i cheated on you with mindy."
what? hello? mindy, my best friend who i'm going to move in with mindy?
he starts to cry and it gets very dramatic, i'm angry and hurt and all of that and like, "drive me back to campus i never want to see you again." he swears it only happened once** and he had to tell me if she and i were going to move in with each other. i tell him to go to hell. i get back to my dorm room and by then it is so late, too late for him to drive home without falling asleep at the wheel and so he sleeps on the bunk below me, the whole night i'm crying silently into my pillow and cursing the person below me.
he leaves the next morning and i don't talk to him for months and months and months. i don't talk to mindy for months and months and months either. the thing is, i didn't really miss him at all. sure, i was hurt, it stung and i felt betrayed, i cried and lamented and was depressed about it, but the greatest hurt was missing my best friend. how could she be so cold, careless, so brazen? how could she not care about my feelings at all? i felt closer to her than my own sister, had confided so much to her, about my relationship with eric of all things, and none of that mattered.

it was like all the fun i had in high school was wiped away.***

before the beginning of my sophmore year, i drove over to her house, sat in my car parked outside for a while, took a deep breathe, walked up to her door and knocked, asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. i said i missed her as a friend, i didn't really understand why all of what happened, happened. but that i wanted to put it behind us and move on with our friendship. i told her that she meant a lot to me. we rekindled our friendship and i thought we were closer than ever. she used to write me these really amazing letters, which were like a gift in the mail. we talked on the phone often and visited when i would drive home. things were actually better between us, without stupid boys to get in the way.

i had landed the lead roll in "our town", and she was coming up to see my opening night. the day of our last dress rehearsal, i get an email that says, "i'm not asking for your permission, but i just wanted to let you know before anyone else told you, that eric and i have started dating...."


i wrote her back that i never wanted to speak to her again, and to this day, i haven't.

i'm an adult now, or at least i play one in real life. i know that if i end up going to this whole reunion thing, that i will ultimately have a good time and maybe reconnect with old friends. i think that even if i ran into mindy, i would be cool about it (like i wouldn't want to slap her in the face or anything), because i have grown up, i am a grown up- right?

but i am going to be true to my seventeen year old self, and i know that this is a party in a 'ballroom' of some hotel that i will not be making. i can leave the past in the past, and now when i think of it, the edges have dulled and i can smile a bit wider about it all.

*this is not true. well, maybe a little true, but not that much.

**actually, i found out a few months later that their relationship had lasted about six months to that point. so basically, the moment i left for college, they were all about each other and he wasn't man enough to tell me about it when i called him and said we should get back together.

***pardon the mellodrama

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