I promised you this tonight, galleons, so here goes.
Yesterday was my cousin’s graduation. I was coerced into attending with the promise of alcohol.
So, I got up early in the morning to make salads and stuff for the barbeque that was occurring after the ceremony. Pretty basic stuff. Then, I loaded everything into the car and drove over with my brother (my mother was coming along later).
And that’s how I ended up in Cody hours early for the ceremony, in a pair of four-inch heels, forced to help set up various gazebo-tent-things and speakers.
I regretted my footwear choice after an hour.
Didn’t they realize I was dressed to just stand around and look pretty? My sole duty was supposed to be getting drunk and not getting in a fight with my extended family. That may seem a simple goal to you, but it was an afternoon of difficult labor for me.
Not the getting drunk part, of course. That would be a piece of piss.
Anyway, we all eventually head over to the gymnasium. I have secreted a book into my purse, which I whip out the moment we sit down.
Maybe I haven’t made it clear here, galleons, but I have an absolute loathing of large ceremonies. I think they are utterly pointless and a waste of my time. I spent my own graduation bored out of my mind and trying not to fall asleep (including when I was at the podium, because I really didn’t want to give that speech). I think weddings are rubbish, and funerals are mind-numbing. I’d give my left testicle (metaphorically speaking) to never attend a ceremonial function again in my life.
Sadly, that won’t happen. Thus why I packed a book to this graduation- if I’m going to be forced to sit there for 2+ hours, I’m going to do something useful with myself.
Cody’s graduating class this year was 160 kids, 9 short of my entire school during my senior year of high school. I only knew my cousin, so it’s not like I really had a vested interest in the proceedings. Plus, the sound system was crap, so I couldn’t hear the speeches even if I tried.
Not that I wanted to, because I’ve never heard a high school valedictory (or whatever) that was worth listening to. I will include my own in there, mostly because it was such crap- something about standing on the edge of greatness or already being great. You know, typical graduation drivel.
They also had a video/slideshow of pictures of their class over the four years they’d spent at Cody High. Okay, to be fair, we did this as well. But that’s because we had 37 kids graduating and the administrators demanded it in order to lengthen the ceremony a little to make attending it seem less pointless. Cody had 160 goddamn graduates- they didn’t need to pad the time, so it just served to piss me off.
I’m pretty sure my ass went numb on those hard bleacher seats around the time the first of the four crappy songs in that video wound down.
Anyway, the ceremony ends. I start elbowing my way through the crowd to get to the exit before I start getting really uncomfortable (as crushing crowds tend to make me).
And that’s when the world’s most disgusting child walks past me.
He’s probably 5 (though, honestly, I cannot guess the ages of anyone under 14 with any real accuracy, so I could be wrong), and his head comes up to about mid-thigh on me. Here’s where I should tell you I’m wearing a skirt, because as this kid passes, I feel something wet and vaguely sticky on my leg. I look over at the child in horror, thinking he’d just licked me as he walked by.
Instead, I see that his ear is shiny and covered in some sort of translucent liquid. I have no goddamn idea what the fuck that was. Did somebody lick his ear? I mean, seriously, what the fuck could that be?
Now I’m in full-on freak out mode. All I want is to get to a bathroom so that I can wipe this mystery fluid off of me before I contract the plague or cancer or AIDS or irritable bowel syndrome. Or, you know, something logical, like the flu or meningitis or…
Christ on a whole wheat cracker, didn’t some kid from this graduating class die of meningitis? When was this? Why didn’t I pay more attention during the ceremony? Frick on a stick with a brick, my short attention span and apathy are going to be the death of me! Everyone was right!
I need to scrub my thigh down with bleach or something at this point, but seeing as I never attended this particular high school, I have no clue where the bathrooms are. And, judging by this crowd, they’ll probably be crammed full of old women and children.
I look to the door and see the most beautiful thing I could see at a moment like that.
It was raining. And not the regular, half-hearted Wyoming rain, but a thorough sluicing. I could have jumped for joy, had I the room and were I wearing appropriate shoes. Suffice to say, I just angled myself toward the doors as I battered my way through the crowd.
Outside, it was cold and pouring. There was a small crowd huddled under the overhang, but I ran right out into the rain. And I was laughing and spinning around in it and probably looked like a crazy person. But fuck it, rain makes me happy.
Doubly so this time, because I felt like the mysterious liquid had been washed off my leg, so I wasn’t going to die of some strange disease.
The rest of my family eventually caught up with me and said they were going over to the adjacent building for the school-sponsored reception for a few minutes and asked me to go get the car. I happily agreed, because it meant I got to avoid the crowd and walk the four blocks in the rain to our vehicle.
So, I slipped my heels off, swinging them in my right hand and walking through puddles toward the car.
And it was then, lost in my head and disjointedly humming Mirrorball, that he called my name.
I looked up to see a guy running up to me, grinning and waving. I smiled hesitantly, but I had no idea who he was. He said my name again, then laughed at me as I said hello awkwardly.
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
Much as I hated to say it, I didn’t remember him. At all. Not until he jogged my memory. His name is Danny, and he and I used to hang out at Speech tourneys on occasion. I had a bit of a reputation as a hard-ass in Congress, and Danny always used to goose step when he saw me and “heil” me as if I were Hitler.
So we stood there in the rain for a few minutes, catching up. Frankly, I have no idea how he recognized me, seeing as I don’t really look the same as I did in high school. And he’s changed a lot, too.
I’ll admit this- it was kind of nice to see him again. Even though I’d totally forgotten about him.
Eventually, as the rain turned to sleet and the icy droplets started sliding down my shirt and into more intimate regions, making me thoroughly uncomfortable, I told him I had to go.
And then the oddest thing happened. He said he and some friends were going to the late showing of Prince of Persia later that night and asked if I wanted to come along. I thought about it for a second and said I would.
That’s right- I decided to socialize this weekend. What the fuck, right?
Anyway, I get the car and drive over to pick up the rest of the family. We head back to the house, where I start drinking. But because I had decided to be social later, I decided I better not get as blitzed as I had originally planned.
My mother, on the other hand, got drunk off her ass. For the record, there is no more entertaining drunk that my mother. I bet she was a riot when she was younger (and still drank regularly).
Anyway, the “party” for my cousin was, itself, pretty boring. I spent most of it outside, avoiding talking with my family. They are the type of people who ask really personal, invasive questions and won’t settle for an evasive answer or an “I’d rather not talk about it.” And I have been sick of discussing my lack of a love life with them (Why am I not in a relationship? Everyone in our family has been married or engaged by the time they are my age, and most of them had kids. Am I gay? …The latter question always baffles me, because even if I was gay, couldn’t I still be in a relationship?) for the better part of forever now, so I opted for alcohol and the rain.
It was a good decision.
After that was all over, I dicked around in Wal-Mart for a little while (I’m not gonna lie, I was hoping to see Cute Wal-Mart Boy… I don’t think I’ve told you lot about him, but he has an adorable smile and is super friendly and I kind of go out-of-my-way to attempt to see him at work… there’s nothing wrong with a little man candy in your life, is there?), then headed to the theater.
There were 8 or 9 people in Danny’s posse, so I was thankful that, when we did the theater seat shuffle, he sat by me. Not that I was feeling particularly anti-social or anything (I did chat with a few of the others), it was just nice to sit by the person I was attempting to reconnect with.
The movie was okay. First time I’ve found Jake Gyllenhaal attractive since Donnie Darko. If you played the games, there were a lot of great nods and homages to them, but the movie itself wasn’t anything to write home about.
When it was all done and we were leaving the theater (at which point I heard the end credits music and grinned because I knew it was Alanis singing), Danny invited me out to the bar with him and the gang.
I declined. I still had to drive an hour home, but I told Danny we’d hang out again (though I doubt that’s a promise I’m going to keep- he’s fine for a short period of time, but there’s a reason we didn’t stay friends).
After a long drive through deer-infested, construction-laced territory, I wanted nothing more than to start downloading Doctor Who, crawl into bed, and pass the fuck out.
But Ghiert had other plans.
He wasn’t pleased that I had been out all night. And that I hadn’t been bothered to inform him I was going to be home so late. And when he heard I was with another man…
He threw an error message at me and shut off.
I panicked, apologizing as I rebooted him and telling him that it meant nothing. It wasn’t a date, it was just hanging out with an old acquaintance. He didn’t believe me. We quarreled for a bit. He threatened to delete all my files. I threatened to toss him to the curb and buy a MacBook Pro. He smugly showed me the insufficient funds in my bank account. I told him I’d set his background display to an ever-changing parade of cute kitten pictures and florid pastel prints. He shuddered and told me I wouldn’t. I told him not only would I do so, but I’d search for and download them all via Internet Explorer.
Eventually, we made up. I still don’t think he quite believes me, but I’m telling the truth:
At the end of the day, Ghiert is the man for me.