Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Louisville & Crespi, 10 Years Later

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I traveled halfway across the planet for my 10 year HS reunion. I figured I'd rather go than regret not going. And I promised Marie. I couldn't let her and Noelle face the crowd alone.

Problem #1. I had nothing to wear. My HK closet is small and nothing was appropriate. My shoe collection here is tailored for walking and not the impractical kind I so adore. And nor did I have time to go shopping for clothes, shoes + accessories... and I couldn't very well introduce myself as being in the fashion industry if I looked like a schmuck. Oh yeah, and dropping the almighty dollaz on a last minute plane ticket kinda took the wind out of my wallet sails. But somehow, with a lot of help from my mum, I pulled it together.

Of course everyone wants to put their best foot foward at the reunion. And especially after graduating with 100 other beautiful girls from the valley... you gotta be ready to get cut. If you didn't know me back then, I was pretty dang weird. I was a theatre rat with bad skin that looked like a boy. I was hella awkward and hella dense, and like many of my friends from back in the day, we are proof that Ugly Duckling Syndrome is totally valid.

Problem #2. I'm dangerously close to my all time peak weight. I was developing good habits in early spring. Eating a lot of fruit and veggies, hitting the gym regularly and even attempting a spin class when... the very next day, I bust my ankle and put myself out of commission for months. Yep, I was a good 15 or 20 pounds over my target weight, which for the record is nowhere near my all time low weight, but what can you do? Besides, I figured my fabulousity factor was pretty high, and if I walked away from the reunion feeling crummy it didn't matter cause I'd be boarding a plane to go far far away the next day.

But it didn't matter. I'm pretty dang happy with where I am, and unlike all those beautiful people I hated and adored in high school... I didn't peak in the late 90s.

10 years huh? I combed over the last decade, thinking about what the heck I've been doing since I last saw most of these people. For many of us, the last time we saw each other was in Cancun immediately after graduation, and, well, we're lucky we all came back safe and sound.

In my brief history of the last decade, I moved to Tucson, lived in the football stadium for two years, graduated cum laude with a degree in Media Arts and a thematic minor in Culture, Education, and Techonology... a minor I made up which basically allowed me to take a slew of classes I wanted to take and still graduate a semester early with the help of a professor I was in love with, moved back to LA to work in TV for 5 years and traveled around the country for two of them, engaged by 22 (::GASP::) to my high school sweetheart and current American hero, lived in Silver Lake for three wonderful years of eastsiderness and a brief stint in Spain, and right around the time of the writers strike when I was contemplating a job with the government or publishing or waste management, I had the opportunity to take a job in Hong Kong, and was overseas 10 days later.

Yeah. All this stuff was going through my head and really I just wanted to get it over with so I could get back to the Hongk.

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The weekend of reunioning was kicked off with the Louisville/Crespi mixer at Soups on Ventura Blvd. I didn't know too many people from Crespi outside of the theatre geeks, and my pals were spread out through the classes of 1996, 97, and 98 anyway.

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Me, Noelle, and Marie got together for dinner to ease our way into the night, and wrap our heads around what was actually going to go down.

We were a little nervous as we crossed Ventura to get to... who knows what. We walked in, it was packed, and I was immediately put at ease when I saw Jenn and she told me the nicest thing ever. Jenn is insanely tall, was a volleyball player, and I remember her as being flawless. Definitely more mature and pulled together than I was as a teenager. We weren't even tight, but I remember her gorgeous prom dress that she got from Melrose... that's right folks, I remember EVERYTHING.

So Jenn tells me this story. Our first semester freshman year, we were in a theatre class together. She was nervous and really shy, and we were partnered up to do some exercise, and she said I made her feel at ease and was really nice to her. Ok, this I actually do not remember, but I was really touched that 10 years later this is how someone remembers me. And I was so proud of myself for being a good person at 13!

Mushy stuff aside, it was time for wine. Lots and lots of wine.

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Marie and Caitlin.

Marie is, as you know, my life partner, but did you know that on two occasions when she had to work at Ruby's, I filled in as her role of the bum, transient, hobo, whatever, in 42nd Street? It was one of the funnest roles of all time. The year prior, Caitlin and I were double cast as Samuel in Pirates of Penzance... but our voices were so weak that our director teamed us up as pirate twins and we performed together.

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That's me and Ashley, who was definitely my HS BFF. Distance and circumstances kept us apart, and I take responsibility for the big mistakes, but there was one occassion a few years back when she was in a bad situation and called me, and I'm really glad that she did. We shared a love for music, theatre, everything pop culture, we could be wacky and laugh and it all made sense to us. I didn't get to chat with her long because she and Deirdre headed off to Big Bear or something.

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As you can see, I spent little if any time talking to any of the dudes. The few guys that I did know were not there, but I had seen many of them the year earlier at Zeus' funeral.

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Ok so maybe there were a couple of dudes worth talking to like Feathers. Bless his heart.

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And Pelligrini. A good kid. Pelli and many of his Crespi classmates grew up to be firemen. I don't know what you'd say about us Lousville girls since we run at all extremes.

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It was a facinating bunch, but the bar was terribly loud and it was hard to chat. When it was closing time we went tried to go next door to Pickwicks but they wouldn't let us all in, so there was some after party and that was my cue to leave.

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Survived part 1 of the reunion. Hiyyyaaah.

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