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Last night was one of the more bizarre experiences of my life. My aunt recently moved back her from San Francisco with her three demon spawn children. After the Chicago sect of the family abandoned the concept of “family parties,” save for important occasions like graduations and, of course, an annual Christmas party, this aunt comes back and decides, “HELO I ARE HAVING DAUGHTER WHO SIXTEEN OF YEARS SO LET PARTY.” And with that, a group of busy people, not used to having family parties, attempted to clear their Saturday night to celebrate the sweet sixteen of a child who for all intents and purposes should have been killed years ago. I guess in a way the fact that she is still alive and has not been admitted to a rehab clinic, an STD clinic, or an insane asylum is an important milestone worthy of celebration.

I could have gotten out of the party. More to the point, I should have gotten out of the party. Nobody knew I quit my job, so I could have used that as an excuse. Or, since my mom is a terrible liar, I could have stayed home to do all the homework I need to catch up on. If we ignore the fact that I wouldn’t have actually been catching up on said homework, it wouldn’t have been a lie.

The party itself wasn’t particularly bizarre. In fact, it was exactly what I expected—the demon spawn summoned matrons of the damned for some sort of sacrificial ceremony upstairs that involved a great deal of screaming, thudding, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. After they drank virgin’s blood (they must have sent away for it) from novelty-sized wine goblets, we settled in for presents and cake, and we got the hell out of there as soon as cake was done. The only highlight was that I got to see the twins, who are so much fun they make me want to puke. I’ve never been more entertained by the idea of hitting balloons and climbing down stairs.

The bizarreness actually came somwhere in the middle of the party, when I was sitting watching one of the demons take possession of an electronic soul and force him to weave around Alcatraz on a skateboard, and I overheard two of my aunts:

Aunt Frick: …yeah, it’s his 21st birthday, but his mother says he won’t drink. They’re toasting with 7-Up.

Aunt Frack: Oh really?

By gum, they were talking about me. And I could hear them! Excuse the frank urban patois, but what the dilly-yo? It was strange that we were virtually in the same room, and yet they were talking about me like I didn’t even exist. I was also somewhat humiliated by the implications of the “toasting with 7-Up” line—not only was it inaccurate, but it made me sound like an autistic 4-year-old girl.

So then dinnertime rolled around, and since they were sitting at The Table™ (there was only one, which I found odd considering the large amount of people in attendance), I ended up sitting in the general vicinity of them. Aunt Frick asked me, “So, after you turn 21, what do you say to going out for margaritas with me and Aunt Frack?” To which I tersely responded, “No, I don’t think so.”

I felt like I was being sabotaged for some inexplicable reason. Then again, my paranoia occasionally (read: on an hourly basis) gets the better of me. It was like they were trying to goad me into some sort of ridiculous fight about the merits of getting all liquored up versus staying sober, or “straight-edge,” as they call it in a comical section of the seamy punk subculture. Maybe I’m just too used to college, where arguments like that run rampant, and I am generally on the defensive because I’m a minority. I don’t even fit in with the straight-edge kids because they’re all defined by their conscious effort to not drink or use drugs, whereas it was just a decision that I made and decided to stick to. But I don’t walk around making a big deal about it, nor do I write songs how cool I am because of it or get my ass kicked attempting to beat the hell out of somebody who does drink and use drugs.

Granted, there was a time when this did define me, but I’ve since gained the more enlightened perspective of not really giving a shit. That doesn’t mean I want to hear everybody’s hi-larious stories of getting trashed, because they’re generally the type of stories where you have to be there, and be drunk, in order to even vaguely find them amusing. Or maybe that’s just me.

So I refined my response to Aunt Frick, who was staring at me with a sort of slack-jawed befuddlement. She knew I was going to say no, and I knew she knew I was going to say no, but my response did leave just a bit to be desired. I said, “I’m not a drinker. It’s just not my cup of tea. I’ll go with you, though, and hang out and get coffee or something.” They didn’t seem to like that idea. Apparently it was a lot more fun when my sister turned 21, because she apparently enjoyed getting loaded on Aunt Frick’s dime. Which is not cool. I don’t understand why my cautious aversion to my genetic predisposition towards alcoholism (which is streaming through the horrible genes on both sides of my family; thanks a lot, Ireland) has become a liability.

Maybe Jive is right. I need to get hammered, have some “accidental” sweaty man sex, and just get it all out of my system. Shake out the sillies, as it were, and then be done with it. Hrm…on second though, maybe that’s not the best idea, either. I can take the tearing of the anal tissue, but it’s the profuse, unending bleeding that is certain to become problematic. They don’t make maxi pads for the ass.

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