Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friend Request



My high school boyfriend is missing. He’s not on Facebook, Linked In or Google +; heck, he’s not even on whitepages.com. How in the Hell am I supposed to know how terrible his life is without me if he refuses to partake in the drug that is social networking? I have used all of my Erin Brockovich-like sleuthing skills, and he’s nowhere to be found; and it’s making me crazy.

The most annoying thing is that his complete and utter refusal to be found online is exactly what I would expect of Colin. Even at the age of 17 this guy was all about conspiracy theories and living off the grid. Hey, this was Berkeley. I was just lucky he had an indoor bathroom and wasn’t using a compost toilet and a rain-catchment shower. Oh, I know what you’re thinking: shouldn’t you be concerned that he’s dead or being held as a POW in some Middle-Eastern country with a name you can’t pronounce? First of all, he’s not dead – I checked. Second of all, I’m pretty sure Mr. Anti-Establishment did not change his stripes and join the Armed Forces upon graduation from high school. If he’d had the brains and the chutzpah he would’ve been more likely to bomb one of their recruiting centers than join up. So, no, neither of these possibilities concern me. What does concern me is the fact that I have no way of finding out if his wife looks like me.

You see, I always fancied myself as the one that got away. We had one of those adorable teenage relationships that mostly involved figuring out ways to have sex without our parents finding out. I’m not proud of it, but I will admit to doing it in a mini-van in the Safeway parking lot in the middle of the afternoon. Oh, sure, we had a lot of “deep” conversations mostly involving why our parents were so fucked up (Hippies, Vietnam, Quaaludes) and what we wanted to do with our lives. I told Colin all about my dreams of acting on Broadway and he shared with me the fact that I was the 56th girl he’d slept with (or 58th, he wasn’t too sure). The really romantic stuff of teen love. But eventually I left for college in New York, proceeded to sleep with at least four different guys during orientation despite vowing to remain faithful to Colin, and totally gave this guy, who I thought I would love forever, the boot. One day he called me, collect, at school and I told him I’d moved on. And then I asked him to send me a check for the cost of the phone call.

All these years later I’m dying to know what became of Colin. Maybe he’s a successful Marine Biologist (probably not; he wasn’t very good at science), or he’s thinking of running for office on the Green Party ticket, or maybe he’s gay (he never asked me to take it in the ass, so I’m guessing that’s a no). I still feel bad for hurting him, but I was young and stupid and had just figured out how to have an orgasm during intercourse, so I think my behavior is at least somewhat excusable. Does he think about our relationship fondly and wonder what happened to me? Perhaps more concerning is the idea that he doesn’t actually remember me at all (I’m not taking this as a serious possibility, considering some of the weird places we had sex). Truthfully, I just want to be able to spend time looking at pictures of his wife on Facebook and comparing myself to her. Because even if she’s younger than me, or has a better body, or, God forbid, is more attractive than me, at least I can comfort myself with knowing that I’ll always be Colin’s number 56…or 58.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cupid Must Die



Some days, I’m really glad I’m an adult. Valentine’s Day is one of those days. Sure, after five years of marriage the day isn’t the 24-hour love-fest that Hallmark wants it to be, but anything is better than the Valentine’s Days of my adolescence, when I pined over boys who didn’t know I existed and usually ended with me holed up in my bedroom smoking pot alone and crying. Hey, this was the early-90’s, before it became de rigueur to prescribe much-needed anti-depressants to anyone under the age of say, 40.

The “will you be my Valentine” anxiety didn’t present itself until high school. You see, for grades K-8 I attended one of those typical California crunchy-granola private schools where a bunch of liberal parents sent their kids for “an excellent, well-rounded education” which is just code for “I’m afraid that if Leon goes to the local public school he’ll get the shit kicked out him.” At Branley, my grade school, they ran the place like a small dictatorial country, and issued edicts such as all lunches must be packed in recyclable earth-friendly bags, and you must bring Valentine cards for everyone in class. Yes, even for Leon, who smells like pee and talks to himself at lunch. While I disagree with Dictatorships in the larger political sense, it definitely avoided a lot of hurt feelings in the pre-pubescent set. But it did not prepare me for the cruel, cold world of high school. Ah, high school. Where hormones are raging and it seems that every other person in the school is getting some except for you.

Every year on Valentine’s Day at my high school, the student council ran some stupid fundraiser where you could anonymously send a rose to the object of your love (or rather, lust. We’re talking teenagers here). I dreamed for days of being one of those chosen girls who received a long-stemmed red rose in the middle of Algebra. This rose delivery would then lead to hours of telephone conversations that night while my friends and I discussed at length which of the pimply, scrawny, overly-sexed guys at our school might possibly be my secret admirer. Alas, my Valentine fantasies never came true. I sat in Algebra, balancing equations, while my classmates received roses from admirers and squealed with delight. And, true to form, I spent romantic Valentine evenings with my thrice-divorced Mother, my cat, and my V-Day present to myself, a new hand-blown glass bong.

They say that hindsight is 20-20, and I can honestly tell you that I now understand why none of the boys bought me a rose. Hey, I’ve seen pictures of myself. I had a uni-brow, an asymmetrical haircut, and clothes that were a men’s size extra large. Truthfully, I’m not even sure the boys in my school knew I was a girl. Thankfully, in the years since high school I have learned about waxing, gotten a better hairstylist, and purchased some clothes that are cut for women. I’ve also bagged myself a rather adorable dude who loves me and wanted to marry me despite having seen my yearbook photos. So I’m happy I’ve reached the stage in my life where Valentine’s Day is no longer a guaranteed trip down depression lane. I’m content with a nice glass of wine, a quiet dinner at home, and no anxiety. Of course, I’m definitely expecting some long-stemmed red roses from the Hubby next year. Algebra class delivery optional.