Recommended wine for today’s entry: In light of today’s topic – getting together with high school friends, I really should recommend MD 20/20 … or Reunite, with a screw top. But I can’t do it. Instead, how about a glass of Korbel Brut, a perfect sparkling wine to toast the reunion of old – very old – friends.
This weekend, I am having a little get-together for my old high-school clique. I figured it’d be a lot cheaper to do it now, before it will require the addition of ramps to my home.
All my chick magazines recommend having a theme for your parties. So I thought and thought and remembered all our good times together. Aha! We’ll have a theme alright. It’s a beer party.
I sent out an e-mail, though, just to make sure that everyone still liked beer. Then I realized that maybe some of them, like me, were battling high blood pressure. In case you haven’t studied medicine, there’s a common equation: diuretics + beer = 2 much #1.
Based on this scientific thinking, I decided to offer wine too. Now my head was whirling. I remembered that my friend Sam talked about a single-malt or a double-malt Scotch or something. And at class reunion meetings, my friend Vicki drank Grey Goose vodka. She was good at it, too. Janis doesn’t drink anymore, so I’ll need some juice for her …
I sent another e-mail with an updated beverage list, and asked if anyone wanted anything not covered. Went ahead and laid out the very intricate menu, too: formerly frozen shredded BBQ, a tortellini salad and a Greek salad. They’ll think they’ve died and gone to heaven, right? Oh, and cheese and a purchased veggie tray. Yep. Catering by Costco.
And I immediately got a response from my friend Jere, who is coming up from Phoenix (I think it was the lure of the shredded meat that made the airline ticket worth the money).
He said, “As you know, these people think class is holding out your pinkie when you drink…These people used to drink Falls City (an old local beer that tasted like Ohio River water). They also used to eat White Castle. I doubt many of our colons can process that food product any more, but we will be good with anything you have.”
As we said in the ‘70’s, right on! No, you idiots, I never said right on, I was just kidding. The hippies did, though, and I heard it a lot.
But Jere is right. These are the people who all piled into one car to get ten of us in at a carload rate at the state fair. (Two of us were in the trunk with a sickle – yes, the extra-sharp gardening tool – and it was perched precariously behind my neck.)
These are the friends who took me to visit Lexington and watched as my hipbone caught on the line of empty barstools at the Two Keys, sending the whole line tumbling, one by one, out the front door and into the street. I followed along, only discernable from the stools because I was shorter when using all four appendages.
I remember trusting these people with my life as I water skied, nearly blind without my contacts, on the Ohio River. After falling, there was a cacophony of voices screaming: “Barge! B-a-r-g-e! Swim! No, this way!” until I followed their voices to the safety of the boat.
We even used to have the worst manners at White Castle, where we shot pickles to the ceiling with our forks. After they stuck for a second, then fell to the table, we still ate them. I used to have to crawl under the stall doors in the bathroom there because I didn’t have a nickel for the stupid machine. Really? You’re charging me to use the bathroom? No wonder I fling condiments at your ceiling.
Jere was right: If I tried to class it up, these people would become despondent. We’re at the age where we send our kids off to college, jealous that we can’t go with them. We tell old stories, many of them repeatedly, because our memories are just this side of waning.
So for the comfort of my guests, I’m going to be my old white trash self. Someone will find a hair in their food, someone will get their leg humped by a dog, and someone will likely drink too much and be forced to spend the night with a gassy cat.
But the shredded chicken will be bubbling in the Crockpot, the beer will be cold and the laughter will be hearty.