Welcome to the Second Super Tuesday, Valentine’s Day Pump Priming Pony Party du jour. Show us those purple thumbs (oh, wait – sorry, wrong country). Okay, how about show us your “I Voted!” sticker or a receipt for a Pony Party-approved Valentine’s Day gift (those would be the ones that are NOT from Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Sears) and help yourself to a shot of the Ponies’ 80 proof Primary Antidote!
Tonight’s special Obamary (or is it Hillama?) edition is brought to you by Bum Wine, for reasons that will become clear later. (We were going to go with the same sponsor as last week – David Nadelberg’s latest book, Mortified: Love is a Battlefield. But when you discover an entire website devoted to wine that the FDA could reclassify as an incredibly bad headache in a bottle, well, there’s just no turning back.)
Speaking of our sponsor, you can learn more about such delightful, love-quenching beverages as Thunderbird, MadDog 20/20 and Cisco Red at the website (www.bumwine.com).
Here’s a tasty little sample:
Our research shows that Cisco is actually the second best tasting of the five great bum wines, especially if you’re having one of those hankerings for cheap Vodka, Jello and Robitussin. We must also note that Cisco is the best of all 5 bum wines at putting the darkest and puffiest bags under your eyes. The nuclear-tinted color of “Cisco RED” is reminiscent of diesel fuel. Most Cisco flavors are named by the fruit flavor that they are trying to emulate, but one is simply called “RED.” This chemical disaster will get your head spinning in no time.
The sticky, sickeningly sweet taste with a hint of antifreeze really comes through in the repellant taste of Cisco. Available in various flavors, 375 mL and 750mL sizes. Down a whole 750 mL and you had better be ready to clear your calendar as you suffer through Cisco’s legendary 2 day hangover.
Bottom line: Take one (or more!) of these babies home and discover the satisfaction that comes from drinking “wine” that costs less than bottled water and, in a pinch, can double as paint thinner, lighter fluid or nail polish remover. Think of it as an economic stimulus package in a screw-top bottle!
Anyway, back to Mortified, with a quick recap from last week: David’s book revisits first loves with diary entries, letters and songs composed by heartsick adolescents caught in the headlights of love’s hormone-blinding glare. At the end of every chapter, in the “Adult Me says” section, the actual authors have a chance to make peace with the past, achieve closure or whatever the current jargon is for “wrap it up.” It was the “Adult Me” blurbs that inspired my own revelation, below.
And by the way, considering that there are two versions of Mortified – one about adolescence in general and one looking at first loves — I have to hand it to David. Anybody who can claim authorship of two cult favorites that are both mostly written by other people has totally got this writing thing figured out! Way to go, Dave!!
But enough about him. Just reading this book made me think about high school and that made me start looking for the Dramamine. As far as I can tell, there are two kinds of people – the ones who loved high school and the rest of us. I hated it. If water-boarding had been an option back then, I would have seriously considered a brief session if it meant no more high school.
What was the problem? Well, first, I was taller than nearly everyone except the guys on the basketball team. Second, as a professional late-bloomer, I spent most of high school known as the person most likely to be Olive Oyl’s stand-in.
There were about four of us who were girlfriends mainly because we had no choice. First, we were united by our group crush on the dreamy 11th grade math teacher (seriously – what is it about a man who can do quadratic equations in his head?). Plus, there was our shared disdain for the mainstream “cheerleader today, Junior League tomorrow” look – blue eye shadow, pink lipstick and one demure strand of mock pearls.
We had our own make-up “statement” — red lipstick and neo-Cleopatra-style black ring-around-the-eyeliner. In one photograph, we look like a pack of raccoons that had just ransacked a cosmetic counter. (In fact, looking back at the old photos, I am no longer surprised that my sister got a huge cedar hope chest with all kinds of linens and who knows what, while I was handed a cigar box with a pair of salt and pepper shakers. It was a nice cigar box, but still….)
Obviously, my girlfriends and I didn’t have to worry about our phones ringing off the hook. I can’t recall how many Saturday nights the four of us spent together, painting our toenails and writing stunningly bad poetry. But it’s safe to say it happened pretty often.
Then, one day toward the end of our junior year, Terry appeared. His parents were getting a divorce and he was staying with a relative while the dust settled. Terry was tall enough not to be intimidated by my 5′ 8,” and he didn’t seem to care about the late-blooming deal.
And there was another BIG plus: Terry was actually funny and smart, a pretty rare combination in that town. We became such good friends that I even got him to join the Latin Club (talk about hours of fun!) and we spent all our free time at school together. Mostly with me wishing we could be more than friends but pretty much clueless about how all that worked.
Since the prom was coming up, I thought Terry would be a good date, and figured that the best way to make that happen was to impress him with something unbelievably wonderful and exotic. So one day at lunch, when we were talking about summer and heat and humidity, I casually mentioned that I really didn’t mind because we had a swimming pool.
Just for context, you should know that in this little town, indoor plumbing was not something you could take for granted. Two bathrooms under the same roof catapulted you into the upper echelons of society. A swimming pool — unheard of! So, of course, Terry was impressed.
Since we lived way out in the country and most kids were too poor to have cars, it never crossed my mind that he might find out the swimming pool didn’t exist. But, of course, he did. A couple days later, somebody drove him and a few other guys out to our house. A half dozen high school boys on the front porch wearing swimming trunks was nothing short of scandalous. To say my parents totally freaked out would put me in the running for the Understatement Hall of Fame. I can’t remember how long I was grounded for – eternity maybe?
The only good thing was that the school year was almost over, so the mortification was brief. The summer passed in a long, slow agony of groundedness. In the fall, when school started again, Terry was a no-show. He probably went to live with one of his parents. Although I prefer to think that he was so crushed by our “break-up” that he packed his bindle and hopped a freight, preferring to drown his sorrows in Thunderbird, Cisco or one of our sponsor’s other memorable liquid refreshments, rather than face a lifetime without me and my imaginary swimming pool.
ADULT ME SAYS: Terry (if that’s your name, I honestly can’t remember for certain), you’ll never believe this, but I have a swimming pool now!! For real. It’s made of blue plastic and has Sesame Street characters on it. The dogs love it!! Hey — don’t laugh. Okay, fine, be a jerk. Hope you’re enjoying the Thunderbird, loser.
The ponies have class in a few hours and are pretty distracted, so don’t expect any coherent replies. (And if that’s what you came here for, you’ve obviously never been to a Tuesday night PP.) Giddy-up on over to the amazing Front Page and Recent & Recommended Diaries, where there are no teen-age boys in swim trunks and the wine bottles have corks and there’s even synapses between the brain cells. Oh … there’s not? Well, in that case, just stay here, be excellent to each other and try not to break anything.