I was fortunate enough to make it out to Southern California (again) this past weekend for my 10-year high school reunion.
First of all, where the crap did the last decade go? I mean, I've had some great times since then and lived many lives, so I guess I can deal, but wow.
Second, I don't care who or how you were in high school, just go to your reunion. I was the angry, bitter, frizzy-haired girl, and I went. And let me tell you, I'm so glad...
On Saturday afternoon I checked into The Bristol, a cute little boutique hotel in downtown San Diego where the reunion was held. Upon arriving, I promptly started nesting: ironed my sassy party dress, set up my laptop, showered, docked my iPod and rocked out. There really is nothing more decadent than taking all afternoon to get ready (because I can) while sporting one of the hotel's lovely bath robes and listening to the shenanigans going on outside my room. (Between the reunion guests and a young wedding party, loudness and heavy wafts of weed were pretty much standard all weekend.)
I joined some friends and their respective husbands/boyfriends for Happy Hour at the Double Deuce. (Dive bar in party clothes, FTW!) This was a nice way to ease into the evening, mingling with a smaller group of old friends before jumping into the pit of awkwardness. (It's all I could do to avoid downing vodka-sodas in the manner I do iced coffees. I was actually nervous. For what? Dunno. I just was.)
We walked back to the hotel and decided to jump right in. Classy name tags in place, we grabbed some more drinks, a table just off the dance floor, and proceeded to people-watch our cocktail-dress-wearing arses off.
It took an hour or so for the place to really fill up, but there was no looking back once attendance swelled and the drinks started flowing. Seriously, two bartenders were not enough. This crowd knew how to party. And party we did.
Once I decided to stop being such a big baby and actually started mingling, I found myself marveling at how much fun I was having, chatting up people who I hadn't seen in ten years and/or never spoke to at all in high school. I'm thankful to be in the industry I am because I felt surprisingly comfortable chit-chatting with a myriad of folks, ranging from genuine catching-up to "Well hello there..." in passing. (After my first dozen screenings/premieres, I became convinced that I could successfully make conversation with a goldfish. You know, if an occasion warranted such interaction.) Part of me wishes I had the confidence (and straightening iron) that I do now back when I attended Carlsbad High School, but I may not be the same person and may not have explored the same path. So it worked out for the best. I think.
As the reunion party itself wound down, a group of us packed into someone's car (?) and headed to a club before last call. Most random group ever, but we had a great time and managed to make it back to the hotel safely.
Just a few hours later, I checked out of my room, drove back up the coast to Carlsbad, noshed on some In-N-Out, and met my aunt and her family for lunch. (Yes, the aunt who lives in Texas. It's pretty sad when I cross paths with family only while in other states.) It was so bizarre being back on my old stomping grounds, made even more strange when imagining those places still existing without Mom. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has. If that makes sense.
Anywho, it is nice to be back in Texas. I've got a move coming up in just under a month, and I'm so excited to nest again in my adorable new apartment. It's time to make my own "home," memories and roots reinforced like never before.
*Why yes, that is a Montell Jordan reference. Big ups to the '90s.