Tag Archives: Queens

Day 280 – Why I’m Probably Not Going to my High School Reunion

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I received something in the mail a few weeks ago that really brought me back.

Back to a time of few to no responsibilities. A time when your “job” meant working four hour shifts in the mall or at the grocery store. A time when your parents chauffeured you to and from parties. A time when you were convinced your boyfriend of four-months was the man you were going to marry. A time when people were generally shittier versions of their current selves.

High School.

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Ugh, ugly thumb syndrome.

I received the invitation to my 5-year high school reunion and after some thought I think I’ve decided not to go. Why? Because there are just some people that I’m okay with never seeing again. And if life decides to have us cross paths? Okay. But it doesn’t mean I need to subject myself to that happening inside my high school cafeteria.

But for those of you who do plan on going, here’s my prediction on who you’ll be interacting with.

The Five People You’ll See at Your High School Reunion

5. The Principal/Dean/Guidance Counselor

In high school, I used to wear sunglasses on my head as an accessory almost every day (Foreshadowing that I’d be in college in Miami?), and it drove my principal crazy. I’d walk from my locker towards my homeroom and there she’d wait, in the same spot, and swipe them off my head as I walked by. “You’re inside now, Ms. Chuber,” she’d remind me. And I’d nod, wait till she was out of sight, and then push them back onto my head.

Whatever your relationship was with members of authority in high school, chances are you were way more of a douchebag then than you are now. And so you’ll probably have to deal with Past You’s annoying attitude when you interact with these individuals. Maybe you spent a lot of time in detention. Or in the Dean’s office. Or being dramatic to your guidance counselor. Whatever it was, the faculty will definitely remember you because of some particular detail. And they’re going to bring it up, at some point or another. I can hear Sister Kathleen now… “Where are your sunglasses, Kristen? Did you leave them down in Miami? Do you still wear them, whatever the weather?” Yes. Yes I do.

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4. The High School BFF

This is someone that normally, you’d love to catch up with! The girl/guy you were super close to for four years. They’re the person you went out with on the weekends, spent your free periods with planning your Sweet 16, and gossiped with about boys in adjacent bathroom stalls. Yet you two may have drifted, such is life, and years may have passed since you two have spoken. While I personally would enjoy catching up with my high school best friends, within the confines of a high school reunion, it may feel unnatural.

A few things may happen. First, you may experience what any fellow How I Met Your Mother fans will understand as “Revertigo,” where in order to make interaction normal, you revert back to the high school version of yourself. So if you two were notoriously boy crazy, the first thing you would probably ask would be, “So, what’s your guy situation right now??” You’d take MySpace style pictures and maybe even upload them to Facebook. #besties #reunited. Or maybe something came between the two of you in order to end the BFFriendship, and that event/person will be the elephant in the room for the extent of your conversation. Or maybe you’ll assume you can just pick up where you left off and maybe it’ll be much harder than you thought because one of you went through a drastic life change like giving up drinking or going brunette. There’s definitely potential for awkwardness there. So just beware.

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3. The Person Who Not-S0-Secretly Hates You

Whether or not it’s out in the open, there’s that person that you know just isn’t a fan of yours. Maybe it’s because you made fun of them in gym class for being a total weirdo or because you dated her boyfriend after they broke up “even though she said it was okay.” But by no means are you friends, and they’re definitely not trying to be.   You might try to avoid them, or maybe you’ll do the opposite, and try to be overly sweet to make up for your less than happy memories with this person. Regardless, you should probably keep an eye out, in case you’re on their hitlist.

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2. Your High School Worst Enemy

Everyone had a worst enemy in high school. The person that you absolutely could not stand. So much so, that on graduation day, you thanked your lucky stars you’d be rid of her for good. And you’ve managed to avoid her for five years. But here you are, going to your high school reunion, knowing she will be there. It’s not that you care about the drama anymore; after all, it was five years ago. But there is ZERO part of you that wants to see this person. Ever again.

And that’s okay. While most of the problems that existed between high schoolers was based on immaturity and probably just boredom, you don’t need to reach out to every person you disliked in the past and attempt to rekindle a friendship. As long as you can both be civil if and when you run into each other somewhere, that is enough. No need to force a friendship just to prove you’re not the grotsky little beotch you were in 10th grade.

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1. A Horrible Version of Yourself That You Want To Forget Forever

“I was probably the best version of myself in high school,” said no one ever. We all thought we were the coolest thing since ice pops, and let’s face it – we weren’t. I would truly love to shake High School Kristen by her shoulders, letting her giant hoop earrings swing back and forth smacking her in the face, and tell her that she’s a giant tool and to STOP. I want to say, “No, Kristen, you should NOT have a Xanga! Your future college friends are going to find it and never let you live it down!” Being back in my high school, looking at old pictures, and talking about 15 year old me is only going to remind me of how lame and obnoxious everyone was in high school. And by everyone I mean primarily myself.

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So I don’t think I’ll be attending my high school reunion this time around.

I’d rather catch up like normal people. And grab a coffee with someone I recently reconnected with on Facebook. Or get a big group together and go to a bar. And chat about the latest episode of the Bachelor or how hot that guy I dumped in 12th grade got and whether or not the 10th grade English teacher ever hooked up with a student or, my favorite, how awkward our past selves were. And I don’t think I need to pay $50 and feel awkward for 3 hours in order to reunite with people from my past.

Plus, thanks to social media, it’s really easy to reach out and get back in touch with people. If and when I want to reconnect with some friends from the “old days,” its nice to know that everyone is just a Facebook message, a Tweet, a text, or an e-mail away. With the technology available to us, reunions aren’t really necessary anymore. In fact, we probably already know a lot about what everyone has been up to thanks to that technology. I’ve seen your new apartment on Instagram, saw your Tweet about working for Goldman Sachs, and noticed you updated your Facebook to include NYU Medical School under your Education. 

Regardless, I hope everyone has fun. And I’ll strongly consider attention The Mary Louis Academy’s 10-year reunion in 2018 🙂

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The girls who made high school a little less crappy. June 1, 2008.

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Day 170 – More Trick, Less Treat

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Needless to say, Halloweekend came to a much more serious close than anyone would have expected. And Halloween has never felt less like a holiday dedicated to candy, costumes, and scaring people. Hurricane Sandy did enough “scaring” for a good, long time.

It’s been a rough few days for people in the Northeast. While we were given warning of this Frankenstorm’s coming, and heeded the warning for the most part, I don’t think anyone really expected the magnitude at which she would hit us. Electricity was lost all across the tri-state area, trees uprooted and thrown on top of houses and cars, subways and railroads flooded and debris strewn across the tracks, dooming commuters to days of difficult and dangerous travel.

The news has never been more heartbreaking. Views of Breezy Point and The Rockaways in Queens, and Long Beach, Long Island, were the worst for me; watching these areas flooded, broken, burnt to the ground was truly hard to watch. With so many friends residing in or near these areas, it put a pit in my stomach to think of them losing everything that they had once called home. My thoughts are with everyone who was put in such a horrible situation.

My family and friends are lucky enough to all be safe from harm, and enjoying electricity, heat, and cable in our homes. Yet our neighborhood itself suffered quite a bit of damage. Fallen trees in the streets make getting anywhere difficult, and wires and street lights lay dangerously on the corners of many blocks. With no railroad or subway service, we’ve been a bit stranded and are working from home, lucky at least to have power and Internet to do that. While I am definitely suffering from a bit of cabin fever, and am devoted to finding a reason to change out of sweatpants today, I know I should count my blessings because in the wake of this disaster, I truly am one of the lucky ones.

The Chuber Tree-House

Daddy’s shed out back…eek!

Cars are ruined, houses damaged, but as usual, the one thing that always stays in tact is New York’s strong and solid disposition – we will get through this.

The rewarding thing is watching New Yorkers (and those from New Jersey and Connecticut, as well) pull together and reach out to help one another. Even in my own town, we saw and heard stories of neighbors opening their doors to those without electricity. Those reaching out over Facebook and Twitter to offer help and assistance to those who needed it. Volunteers going back into flooded areas to save friends and neighbors who chose not to evacuate. Just like in other devastations, just like we always have, New Yorkers looked out for each other, and stood together.

I was happy to be home in NYC this weekend, regardless of it all. I think had I still be in Miami, I would have felt helpless and out of place. No matter what the weather, there’s no place I’d rather be than New York. My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives, their homes, their belongings, and the places they made some of their fondest memories, from Seaside Heights and Staten Island, to Breezy Point and Long Beach. Yet I encourage everyone to stay strong; we will get through it all, as we always do. It will be slow, and it won’t be easy, but we will rebuild all that we lost. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

That being said, it is Halloween, and if anyone has any interest in coming over, curling up on my couch, and watching The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with me, we’ve got bags of Reece’s peanut butter cups just begging to be eaten. Plus, I think we could all use something sweet and a few laughs and smiles after a rough few days.

Day Eighty-Five – Waitresses Gone Wild!

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I was introduced to some of the coolest people I’ve ever met wearing a little boy’s black button up dress shirt and a striped gold and black tie. Embarassing, right? Well, not when everyone’s wearing the same thing as you.

A large part of my four years as a college student was the summers I spent working at my restaurant in Bayside. It was absolutely a rewarding experience; it was a great way to make money, but more than that, it was the way I met so many of my favorite people. I don’t know if it’s like this at every food service establishment, but at my restaurant, the behind-the-kitchen-door culture had more of a family feel than anywhere else I’ve ever worked. Like, to the point that I still refer to my manager as my second mom.

You realize a lot of things while working as a waitress.

1. People are cheap.
2. People are rude.
3. People are dumb.
4. People have really weird taste.
5. People eat like SHIT. No wonder this country has an obesity problem.

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…Like that bitch needs dessert anyway…

6. Some creepy old men will hit on you even if you’re wearing a tie.
7a. You have to ignore and embrace #6 if you stil want a good tip, otherwise, see realizations #1 and #2.
7b. Flirting with these men also helps.
8. People out to eat spend half their dinner on their phones. (See #2)
9. There are always as least two people dating each other on the waitstaff. And when I say dating….
10. The chance your waiter for Sunday brunch is still drunk is very, very high.

Maybe it’s the countless hours on our feet, or the stress of dealing with cheap, rude, dumb, strange customers, but no one knows what it’s like to need a beer after work like a restaurant employee. Specifically, those I work with. The minute you’re able to wrestle that tie from around your neck and rip the apron from your waist, you’re already halfway to the bar. Lucky for us, our restaurant is located on a strip in Bayside, Queens with a handful of other bars/pubs/restaurants for us to spend our hard-earned cash.

It’s amazing how fast your friendly, neighborhood waitstaff can turn from this…

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Into this.

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When you’re not free until 11:30 p.m. and your “weekends” are Tuesday and Wednesday nights, you’re on a different schedule than the rest of the world. It means if someone asks, “You partyin’ tonight?” you’re probably answering, “Absolutely.” It means you and your crew are the only people in the bar on Monday night at 2:00 in the morning, and you’re all wearing the same pair of black slacks. It means you know which bar is having Ladies’ Night every night of the week. It means you’re doing shots of Jameson with the rest of the staff because, why not? You don’t have to be back at work until 10:30 tomorrow morning! It means there’s no way you can drive your car home, so it’s gonna stay in the same place you parked it until after your next shift. It means tomorrow someone is asking you, “Dude, can you watch my tables? I need to throw up.”

Inevitably, it means everyone on staff is super close. Between crazy nights out and messing around while on the clock, these people become some of your best friends. Plus, you kind of have to like each other. Because everyone knows too much about you. And has plenty of blackmail pictures of you, dancing or sleeping on a bar somewhere. :p

So shout-out to my awesome friends, or family, that the word “summer” always reminds me of, and that I can always count on for an amazing time.

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See realization #7b.

If there’s one thing I want people to learn from this post, it’s this:

Tip your waitstaff! Beers don’t buy themselves.

Cheers!