Livin’ on a Prayer


…continued Part Deux: The New Jersey leg:

Jersey.  The home of Bon Jovi.  The birth place of the original mall rat.  The place I chose, out of anywhere in the world, to go to high school.  It seemed as good a choice as any (I never claimed to be terribly smart).  Actually, it turned out to be a great choice and I went back last week to visit the school and some old friends for my high school reunion.  It was nothing like Romy and Michelle’s, which I have to admit slightly disappointed me.

The bus from New York pulled in to our stop in New Jersey (yes, after I had experienced that bathroom as well).  My friend Heather, and I, started snorting and giggling, recalling many a party at the Inn at Panther Valley and one particular night of too many wine coolers.  Do people still drink wine coolers?  Some people avoid whiskey or gin because they got sick on it once… for me, it’s wine coolers.  Well, and Wild Turkey, but that’s another story.

What could be worse than overly sweet wine with bubbles in it to get a teen drunk and digestively unbalanced?

On that fateful evening our other friend, Christine, had experienced some sort of wedgie war with the boy who Heather was lusting over.  Apparently it was a massive-earth-shaking crush, because none of us could recall his name.  He had floppy soccer player hair though (that’s usually all that matters).  Christine showed us her torn undies (this signified her loss), finding it hilarious, but Heather did not agree with the humor and decided to walk into a lake (obvious choice).

Oh, the drama of high school.

Meanwhile, while Heather took her lake walk and Christine nursed her inevitably chaffed crack, I was regurgitating my wine cooler(s) into a hotel sink, because someone was using (making out in) the bathroom.  Thanks a lot horny teens.  Partially digested pizza and too many wine cooler bubbles in the sink, not really going anywhere because it was just too –  may I be graphic?  Chunky.  Those damn wine coolers were not full of my kind of bubbles, my shiny pink bubbles of happiness.  No.  Although they were pink, they were pure evil… but unlike my lake friend, at least I was dry.

A long-time friend picked us up from the Inn and we began our weekend of high school reminiscing.  Some people stay in their hometowns and can visit their old crime scenes when the mood strikes.  I can’t do that with the place I grew up, or my high school.  So, getting to go back is a serious head trip.  The flood of memories threatens to send one into a teen mood-swing as quickly as a showing of Pretty In Pink on TNT.  My self-confidence actually plummeted once or twice while I was there.  I dove head first into a bag of Nacho Doritos.  Doritos?  I haven’t eaten those in years!  I remembered being twenty years younger, uncomfortable in my skin, uncomfortable in my words, and generally – well – uncomfortable.  Suddenly, Current Me felt that my boobs were too big.  My stomach was gigantic (well, that could have been all the beer and perhaps the Doritos).  I no longer had teen acne, but the increase in hop consumption was seriously inspiring some whisker growth.  My teeth needed to be bleached.  I absolutely must work on reducing that fourth chin.  Wow.  Hello teenage years.  You aren’t so far away after all.

I saw the field where I was first face-licked (a.k.a. kissed)… but the track nearby was amazing and new (and there was no face-licker in sight).  The pool I raced in, and once attempted to do flip turns in while drunk, looked about the same, other than it was now located next to squash courts and downstairs from a gym worthy of Lindsay Lohan, if she were to become addicted to exercise instead of everything else.  I walked by the window of the dining hall where Heather and I laughed so hard that she wet her pants.  Not to mock her.  I wet my pants many times too.  These days my bladder control is much better.  We saw the window well that Christine fell into (sober).  I don’t think she wet her pants.  At least not that time.  The pain distracted her.

We even did the old 3 mile loop that we used to abuse our younger selves with – only we did not run like we did as kids, we walked.  And we were all a tad hung over, so we walked slow.  We gazed at the green lushness and the beautiful homes as we approached the Friday the 13th lake.  It really was in the movie.  There was no sign of Kevin Bacon and his short shorts, but there were mosquitos (it would have been nice if he WAS there, we could have used him as bait).   Christine was a great alternate attractant, second only to Kevin and his short shorts, allowing Heather and I to focus on not peeing while we walked.

We told stories of our experiences in high school, and our lives now; kids, husbands, jobs, parents, boob size, wrinkles, electrolysis.  I knew when I’d had too much beer because I started to become that person who says, “I love you, man!” to everyone.  After repeatedly hugging and picking up a few friends with my imagined Hulk-like arms (not exactly the person I pictured myself as 20 years later) …

I decided to switch to water.

Unlike in high school, I was the first to retire for the evening (morning by this point).  I was so pooped.  Now that I’m pushing 40 I don’t fantasize about great parties or amazing dates, I fantasize about sleeping.  And not with someone.  Just sleeping.  Sometimes I wake in a puddle of drool and it makes me alarmingly happy.  Sometimes that drool is a result of my Johnny Depp dream, but normally it’s just a sign of unbridled relaxation.


No.  I never drooled in high school.  I was far too concerned that somehow, someone would see.  As I matured I switched zones of leaking water.   I no longer pee my pants when I laugh, but now I drool.  Hmmm.  Not sure which is a more desirable trait.

Both of them obviously make me exceedingly attractive.

Even Jon Bon Jovi drools.  Or at least his wife does.  He’s probably more of a laughing pee-er.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

yup. Either drooling, gagging on wine coolers, or shouting, "I LOVE YOU GUYS!"


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