This notion of never really having to grow up.
Awful was textbook this. At 38, he thought it was completely normal to drink 7 nights a week, impulsively buy motorcycles and scooters he couldn't really afford and put himself into wild and dangerous situations: sailing in severe weather, riding a scooter drunk in a storm, keeping several weapons in his home without storing them safety and discreetly. This one really irked me, especially because he always wanted to have people over.
Over the last few years, I have witnessed too many grown men act like 15 year old boys with their first case of Natural Light. I have dealt with man-child grooms. Lost little best men. Even fathers of the brides or grooms who act like the wedding they are attending may be a frat party. I sometimes have to take a moment NOT to laugh. Getting obscenely drunk (and oh how many times I have seem rampant cocaine use) in public at a formal event is a personal choice, but I can't say I think it is the best look, ESPECIALLY if you are the groom.......
Well, this little rant takes me to a wedding that I planned a few months ago. For a couple that I knew vaguely. This couple (who were actually super sweet and lovely) knew many people who attended my same high school. When I initially saw their guest list, I gagged, sneered and then took a xanax and laid down. I knew it was going to be an unruly crowd. I have to remember this when I feel judged by other people. Yikes, I judge, too. Bad, when it comes to these folks.
I wasn't wrong. See, the second I graduated from high school, the first thing I thought was, "I AM FREE!" Free to get away from the vapid, empty, moronic and ridiculous people that I had to share halls and pretend to like for 4 years. I never looked back. I rarely returned their phone calls. This was before Facebook. You could escape your past. I didn't like anyone enough to keep in touch, so I didn't.
But, I am the minority. Most people from my high school stay together like a pack of wolves. They go to college together, join the same frats and sororities. They have all of their firsts together: sex, booze, drugs. They move to the same neighborhoods and even live in the same condo buildings post graduation. They marry each other. They divorce each other. They cheat with each other's spouses. People that also went to the same high school. To me, it all seems too closed. Suffocating. They have no close friends other than the people they shared a 6th grade cafeteria table with. It makes me itch. The world is bigger than this.
When the high school wedding rolled around, it was everything I knew it would be. A bunch of people who have known each other for 20+ years all dressed up, trying to impress and shock one another. See, this is what happens when the only new blood may be a spouse that gets sucked into the mix. Everyone competes. The competition is so personal. No one can escape. It becomes an incestuous rat race. The girls starve themselves and wear micro mini dresses intended for those under 25 and NOT over 35. The guys wear custom suits and show off about whose family business (many work for their Dads) allow them to work the least amount possible. They take shots. They run to the bathroom and then ask me inane questions with coke literally hanging out of their nostrils. They grind on one another. At this particular event, I witnessed a man kissing someone other than his wife. But, I have heard for years (even from my mom) that swinging in my old neighborhood exists, so why wouldn't they do exactly what their parents did 30 years ago? The truth is that they traveled down the same path, so it all makes sense. History repeats itself.
And yet, part of me feels left out. Not like I would want to part of this madness, but they have so many memories ALL together. They knew each other as children, teenagers, young adults and now middle aged. They have history. My best friendships were made in college and right after. Aside from one friend from junior high that I still keep in touch with, all of my other buds are not from a continuous phase in my life and sometimes I get a bit sad because I love memories....yet, the ones I try to block tend to be the ones that involved these kinds of people.
The best part of the high school wedding was that Crush was there to help me. He had come into town with me to do a few wedding tasks for our own celebration coming up next fall, so he got to see the people from my high school in action. He went to boarding school, so he doesn't have a sense of what I went through and how annoying I think 99% of the people I grew up with really are. He has questioned me about them and about my high school experience and I always just sum it up by saying..."Ugh, think about having to hang out with the most annoying people for 4 years and pretending you liked them. It sucked."
As we lay in bed after working all day getting a great (with super annoying friends) couple married, my beloved turned over and stroked my face and said, "R&F, no wonder why you aren't friends with people from your high school. I have never witnessed such inappropriate behavior in my life. Grown men with children acting like drunk little wild boys. It actually grossed me out. How old were these people anyway, like 35? Do they ever grow up? 7 guys at 1 point were all in the handicap stall doing coke when I went to use the restroom. And let's not even talk about what all of those ladies were wearing. I don't think if you were born in the 70's that I should be able to see your thong underwear when you dance."
And as I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, I smiled. The person I will marry "gets it."
Few really do.