Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hangin' With The Old Folks

Last night I was my brother's "date" for his class reunion. I had all week to prepare and the question I kept asking myself was "what's weirder that being your brother's date for a grown-up milestone?" The only thing I came up with was going to prom with your cousin, and thankfully I did not do that, although it's not because I wasn't asked, but that's a whole other blog... Anyway all week I told people I was going to hang with the old folks in Barnesville on Friday, feeling a bit guilty because I knew I'd probably chicken out. Well, my brother, Paul, came home on Thursday. We went to the town drinking establishment and after tossing back a few, he asked the dreaded question again, "You're coming to the reunion tomorrow night right?" I knew Scott and Noah would be out of town for a baseball tournament, and Ethan would have to spend the night somewhere which I hadn't arranged yet and it's the day before the reunion, but I DID have those few drinks so I said and enthusiastic, "YOU BET I WILL!!! There'll be more beer there, right?" Flash forward twenty hours and I'm dropping Ethan off at Grandma Carol's to spend the night, and wondering what to wear as my brother's date. It really wouldn't matter what I chose to wear, I could have wore a tie-dyed tent Mumu, or a Hawaiian strapless sundress with elastic wrapped around the top, but then I would have been wearing a matching outfit with some of the party goers and that would be embarrassing. Probably not just the "oh I'm wearing the same thing" embarrassing. But the "I'm stuck in hippie land or I must dress like a little girl from 1983." I figured out what to wear and asked my brother how I looked. He said a fake "fan-tastic" which I KNEW he didn't mean, figured I won't know anyone so who do I have to impress? As we drove to Barnesville I got that same feeling like I needed to throw up or jump out of the moving car that I got LAST summer driving in his car to go to dad's big party in Barnesville. Huh... I wonder why that is? Is it driving in Paul's car? Is it his driving? Is it going to Barnesville? Is it going to a social function where I know I'll have no one to talk to? Who knows? Anyway, I was pretty sure the Legion, which is one of Barnesville's 5 bars, was on Main Street- the only "busy" street with businesses. Well, it turns out Main Street was closed, which is kinda dumb since the fair was in town, but whatever... Anyway, we had to detour down a side street and there it was! Go figure!! I didn't know where one of the bars in Barnesville (population 2,000) was. No one would have made THAT prediction. We had to circle the block to find a spot since the parking lot was packed, this made me want to throw up worse and think, 'he's slowing down, I could jump out now...' He finally found a spot, and I pretended I forgot how to open the car door just to buy time- which is kind-of funny since we drive identical (make and model) cars. We walked in and a HUGE sign was hung up saying WELCOME HOME TROOPS!! Which made me chuckle since the troops came home a year ago last May. There was no reunion sign, so I thought maybe we're at the wrong bar. I looked around, saw all of the pushing 50 crowd and thought 'nope. We're here.' Right away I saw my cousin and his wife, Larry and Shelly, and I practically pushed people over to get to them so I'd have someone to talk to and not look like a dork. Shelly was in a group next to three other women and one gave me a snotty look, whispered something to Shelly and Shelly said, "Oh it's Sara, Paul's sister." The snotty woman walked away. That's very typical small town Barnesville and why I get sick to my stomach going there. I talked to Shelly until her other friend left, and then I thought maybe I'm being a pest, so I wandered around to find Paul. The Legion is like any small town bar and not very big so it shouldn't have been a problem. I thought I gotta find the guy standing with a beer. That narrowed it down to 50% of the people there- the other 50% were women. I finally found him, and joined his circle. All of the guys in the circle are staring at me and I know they are thinking, "Paul's wife has a lot of similar facial features..." Their conversation goes on for what seemed like an hour until someone asked what my name was. I said, "I'm Paul's little sister"
Man-"Do you have a name?"
"Yep, Sara."
2nd man- "I don't remember you..."
"I'm 10 years younger. I was in second grade when you graduated."
All the people in the circle- "You are just a baby!!"
So all night I was known as the "young one", was often called a "baby", and told I was so young still. That was great! In the last three weeks two people slipped and called me "old-oops. Sorry MATURE", and "middle aged". The reunion world was so weird. Everyone was walking around saying, "Who are you?" "Who are you?" All I kept thinking was, when I'm old in 10 years will I lose my memory too? Will I have to ask everyone who they are? And in 10 MORE years will Paul's class be walking around asking each other "Who am I?" Who am I?"- Because a few people did that- especially the lady in the tie-dyed tent and her husband wearing the matching t-shirt. I think maybe the tie-dye ruined their memory and that was why they didn't know who they were. A little later another cousin stopped in and we had a beer and he confirmed that yes, my dad does still love me but his wretched wife won't let him show it. By 9:00, I wore out my welcome with the three people I knew and was ready to GO. Paul ordered another $4.00 beer (yet ANOTHER reason the first time at the Legion will be my last time as well), and went to talk to the tie-dyed people as I muttered something about, "you made me come here, now you entertain me..." Paul asked me in front of tie-dyed man if I knew him. Well, no Paul, this guy keeps asking people "who am I?" I don't think he even knows who he is... Mr. Tie-dye told me I looked like an angel so I must be one, and I told him he is correct!! Anyway, it turns out he not only rode my bus, but let me sit in the back with the "cool kids"!! He told me I'd walk to the back of the bus in kindergarten withmy pigtails like I owned the place, and he had to let me sit back there or my cousins would beat him up since the only kids on the bus were my cousins and his family. I found out Mrs. Tie-dyed was Mr. Ness'-one of my favorite teachers- daughter and her brother was the guy walking around with the blue button shirt unbuttoned. Not to be mixed-up with the "hottest guy in the grade" who walked around with his white button shirt unbuttoned. When I realized these were Mr. Ness’ kids I was a little sad for him. I bet it sucks to have your kids not really turn out so good. I also wondered what is it about Barnesville and guys taking their shirts off at the bar? I swear it's 50-50 when I go to a Barnesville bar some guy will end up walking around with his shirt off hanging it around his neck, or unbuttoned. Later I was hit-on by a drunk who kept yelling "sweetie" and "baby" at me with his tongue hanging out like it was sexy or something. I can't decide which was more of a turn-on, when he fell off his bar stool or the tongue thing. I found out that guy was my favorite teacher's kid! What's with that? Teacher's kids are suppose to grow up to be engineers, doctors, lawyers, President, kings and queens; not falling off their bar stool, losing their shirts, or wearing tie-dye in public. I also found out I wasn't the only sister that came as their brother's date. A lady who is four years ahead of me came with her brother. She said it's the only time she could spend time with him (even though they both still live in Barnesville), so we had something in common- and I found out being your brother's date isn't creepy at all. Toward the end of the night I talked to Paul's good friends from high school and that was nice. I also found the excitement of the class reunion contagious, therefore I'm seriously reconsidering my decision to skip mine in August. If I do go, I should SO make my brother be my date. Oh! I also realized 50 isn't THAT old. Hey if 30 is the new 20, 50 must be the new 40...
Stay tuned for my next post; "I think I'm going bald"

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