I think I have more than proved that I am a VERY social person. Not only am I an attention whore, my years on stage and in the workplace testify to that, but I thoroughly enjoy social settings like parties, gatherings, reunions, barbecues, weddings, you name them, I'll be there. I love meeting/observing people. One source of disappointment I've had to endure was the loss of the social atmosphere that used to reign at the Studio Six. Back in the day (I find that I say that phrase way too often now-a-days), you went out to the club to meet people. Yes, there were the sexual hook-ups and the meat-market aspect that all clubs have but one of the things that people have often remarked upon, especially those people that went there years ago, is that they met the best people at the Studio. It was like a common living room, an ongoing cocktail party that friends and neighbors went to on nearly a daily basis. And everyone was invited to join in on the fun. The primary object was to meet people and have a good time. And along the way, we met some of the best friends of our lives, friendships that last to this day. It was unlike most other clubs that were primarily places for people to meet for a one night stand. Cheap and abundant and anonymous sex.
And then the culture changed. So many alphabet drugs came around and before you know it, the music got too loud and intense, the people were too fucked up to engage in anything but getting more fucked up and the rapid degeneration of that wonderful era ensued and the primary function seemed to be about isolating oneself through excess.
It's hard to be social when you no longer speak the language. In this case, Crackinese.
Lance had asked me to attend his high school reunion a while ago and I had forgotten about it. I also was working at Le Grand Fromage at the time and on the day of the reunion (a Friday) so the possibility that I could go was slim to none. Then, as it often does in life, things changed and I was free on the day of the event and I agreed to go with him. He was surprised and kept asking if I was sure I wanted to go. I told him I was looking forward to it and I couldn't wait for the day of the party.
Now, some people would not want to go to someone else's high school reunion. I mean, it's a bit awkward being the perpetual outsider at the event. You have no touchstone with these people except for the music of the time period. Other than that, they have their stories and inside jokes that you can never be a part of. And, as an added wrinkle, it was Holy Spirit High School, I went to rival Atlantic City High.
But I'm not those people. I really couldn't wait to go! The week before, I went to the M.C.B.A. mixer at the Chelsea Hotel, it's our local businessperson organization and political meet-and-greet. I know most of those people but, honestly, I have no real business being there. I'm not much more than a professional party guest. Wait. I guess that gives me (tenuous) credentials. I had a ball hobnobbing with the Atlantic City elite and keeping my skills finely honed. It's a bit like Dorothy Parker and the vicious circle when you attend these little shindigs and you have to be on your best game. Politicians aren't the nicest bunch of humans although with all the fake smiles, you'd think they were actually enjoying themselves.
I found a dark blue, two-button Ben Sherman fitted jacket at a second-hand shop the weekend before and I decided that was what I'd wear to the reunion. It fit me to a T and with a crisp white shirt and nice tie, I thought it would be sharp. The day approached and the Thursday before, a slight wrinkle was thrown into my plans.
That wrinkle's name is Tara!
Next: Hurricane Tara and the Homecoming Queen