I can't sleep. My mind is focused on the large business project I'm working on. So I'm trying to distract myself as I lay in bed and not think about it. I was doing a pretty good job too... But I couldn't help myself, I had to get up and get this out of my head...
I try not to use this space as a source of weaponization and after reading back some of these words, it comes across as a little, I don't know, cranky? I assure you that's not my intention and there is nothing but love here.
I'm in my hometown for a couple of weeks, and nostalgia is a powerful drug. My memories always come flooding back to me when I'm here. Stuff I haven't thought about in over 30 years will suddenly pop into my head. A simple drive down a street you haven't driven down in decades because of a road construction detour is all it took for this one...
I was a freshman in high school and I got set up on a "double date" with a senior class girl. I should actually describe her as a woman, but I was definitely a boy. Her name was Jenna and it wasn't a particularly good matchup, and I still don't know how it came about. Other than my friend Chris, who was also a freshman, was dating a senior girl named Kathy. (Shit, I should probably change the names in this story to protect the innocent. So let's call her "Cathy". And we'll change his name to "Kris". And let's see, we'll call my date "standup comedian Jenna McQuestion".)
As I said, I don't really know how this all went down. Like why me? Why me and her? I was probably only there to distract her so Kris and Cathy could make out or something. It was a weird night. I think we all went out for fast food or something and then went back over to whomever's house was in Forest Park. I think it was Jenna's place? And nothing really happened. We probably popped a movie in a VCR or something. I really don't remember the details. There was nothing remarkable about the evening. At the end of the night someone with a driver's license dropped me off in my driveway. I don't remember who. And that was it.
There were no sparks between us. Romantically or otherwise. We were friendly with each other, but we didn't have anything in common other than we went to the same high school. She seemed so much more mature than the girls I was used to hanging out with. And I'm sure she was. I don't know if she smoked but in my mind she was a smoker with a black leather jacket. It's the vibe that I remember and I could be way off.
We didn't run in the same circles so other than sharing this evening together and being in a musical with her, we didn't really see each other a lot at school. We certainly didn't have any classes together. And then she graduated, and I assume went to college somewhere, as I barely started my high school career. So I didn't know what she was up to for a long time. Then we became Facebook friends at some point in the last 10 years. And other than seeing an occasional FB post, I haven't really thought about her too much over the years.
It's funny to me now that she's a stand-up comedian, I don't remember her being particularly funny. Not that she was required to be. But having been a fan of standup even at such a young age, she didn't give off stand-up vibes. (I was a HUGE fan of Comedy Central and as an early adopter of cable television, would watch any standup specials I could as a kid. Yeah I was weird.) She always kind of had a Janeane Garofalo vibe. That's what I always kind of thought of her. So I stand corrected, maybe she did have a standup vibe.
She had a role in our High School musical "A Chorus Line" where she sang the song "Tits and Ass". Only we had to change it to "Boobs and Buns". Hey, we were a Catholic High School pushing the envelope of artistic expression... We had to cut the song altogether for the Grade School Performance... 😂 That's probably why I thought of her more as a "woman". She was dealing with mature subject matter and I'm trying to get someone to pull my finger.
I wonder what she thinks about this evening. If it made an impression on her at all. She probably doesn't even remember. Jenna, if you ever read this please hit me up and give me your thoughts. Or maybe this is fodder for your act. I hope so. That would be a really cool ego boost for me. 😂
When I found out she did stand-up a few years ago, I was like her? Jenna? Standup? It didn't really compute. Mostly because the only real impression I've ever really had of her was from this one evening. Or singing "Boobs and Buns". You can search for her on YouTube (Yeah, I've done it) and see a little bit of her act. It's good. I'm glad she's pursuing her dreams. Color me jealous because I've always wanted to do stand-up but never really knew it was a career option. Maybe someday I'll grow some balls and get behind a mic.
Jenna, thank you for being my muse today. Thank you for being a distraction. I really needed it. Now I'm going back to bed.