So a short while back, I was sitting in the hair salon, waiting on Daughter #1 to get her split ends chopped off and also to have her caterpillars trimmed up because she was starting to look a little like Oscar the Grouch. And as I sat there, listening to my iPod and playing some game (iPhone is an amazing little piece of technology that I fail to understand how I ever lived without it for so long and those fuckers at American Idol are damned lucky I got mine to power back up after Lee DeWitz killed it last night) - and all of a sudden, this guy in a leather apron (Stay with me here people - that was not some Freudian slip -he had on a LEATHER APRON) - comes up to me and sits down. So I give him some fake smile - you know, the one that shows politeness but at the same time screams "What.the.fuck are you doing perv? There's other seats in the place!" That one. So he smiles back and asks if my name is bleach blonde. Umm - yeh. And now I'm looking really freaked out. And then he drops the bomb on me - "Do you remember me?" Ummmm - that's a negatory pal. And then, because he's like fucking social Rambo in a leather apron, he drops another bomb - "One night..." - at that point I think I might have blacked out. Any story that starts with "one night" and involves me and my past (God only knows WHICH past) cannot end well and I start to fidget, and sweat and also look furtively toward my daughter, whom I certainly do NOT want to hear ANY part of this fucked up story he's about to share with me.
My mind raced backward in time - to every bar, every concert, every party I'd ever been to - it's sketchy at best and I'm not placing this dude anywhere. I'm really nervous at this point, wondering what fucking horrible part of my past is about to be aired in the hair salon. Jesus. Why don't you just call fucking CNN? It'd be less dangerous than sharing my past in the hair salon. I must have looked VERY nervous and shaken up because he quickly spit out the rest of the line he was working on - "you, me, your friend C and her friend K went on a double date!"
WE did? Who was with whom I'm wondering. Was I on the double date with this leather apron donning man? I still look totally confused and baffled and admit I have NO CLUE who he is. None. It's not coming back to me at all, but the names of the other two involved rang a bell - from my high school days and I haven't seen either of them since high school, so at least I had an excuse for not remembering this guy - it had been over 25 years since I'd seen him. How the fuck did he recognize me? Finally he blurts out his name. And I jump up and screech - "OMG - NO FUCKING WAY? OMG!!!!" And then I punch him in the arm - for some reason that is still unbeknownst to me. I never punch anyone in the arm - so why I punched him will forever remain a mystery to me. But I did. And instantly his eyes lit up and his smile warmed the entire place - he was happy that I remembered him! Sadly though.... I really didn't. I still had no fucking clue who he was. The name did sound somewhat familiar - but I was still not making the connection - but I didn't want him to know that. Maybe that's why I punched him? Still a mystery.
Anyway -I finally sat down and acted like a civilized human being and we chatted for at least half an hour. He was living my dream. Which totally pissed me off but in many ways I found it so ironic. Here's this guy, that I supposedly went on a date with (I don't even think I was allowed to date back then), haven't talked to in over 25 years - may be closer to 30 actually because he was 4 years older than me (still is, oddly enough), and he's living my dream. Started his career in corporate America, climbing the ladder, held prisoner by the golden handcuffs by a job that was sucking the life out of him. And one day he woke up and decided that was it - he was sick of waking up on Monday, wishing it was Friday, and essentially wishing his entire life away day by day JUST BECAUSE HE HATED HIS CAREER CHOICE. So he quit. And now he's a cook!!! He does BBQ catering ONLY - so he just cooks all day and people come and pick up their food from him. And he was so warm. And happy. And gentle. And sweet. And we chatted and chatted like long lost friends who had just reconnected (which, evidently in his world we were - in mine though we were still total strangers because I have obviously killed off that part of my brain). And he was pissed off about morbidly obese people like I am. And he was grossed out by this one girl from our high school (just like I am) who cannot stay out of the tanning booth or stop bleaching her hair.
And then he told me that he thought I was always pretty damned cute, but to be certain to go back and tell my husband that I'm even better lookin' as a 40 something woman than I ever was as a high school girl. I thought that was sweet and it really boosted my confidence and sometimes I need that.
And we just sat there and chatted and chatted. And it never did click with me exactly WHO he was. But I liked him. Not in a romantic kind of way - but I liked the person I was sitting with, talking to. And as I drove home, I longed to spend more time with him and meet his wife and we could have them over to dinner. He was just a cool fucking person and talking to him that morning made my entire day. And when I got home, I scurried to the basement and dug out my yearbook from 1981 - and I looked him up. Hmmm. Nothing. I still did not recall him - I mean his picture looked familiar - but not like someone that I knew really well or hung out with - but clearly we had as he remembered me and all of my friends and told stories - after all these years. Feeling like a complete dumbass, I reached out to one of the girls he had mentioned - told her I'd run into him. She laughed and said she had JUST run across a picture of all of together in high school. What.The.Fuck? Here's this kick ass human being, that I evidently knew at one point in my life and have now completely erased ALL memories of him? Jesus I was a contrite little bitch back then. I now wonder how many other amazing human beings I excused for whatever shallow reason made sense to me at the time?
There's a place for people like me. You guess the name of it.