High School Reunions: Do You Go to Yours?

romy and michele's high school reunion

My 10 year high school reunion is coming up. I’ll spare you the “I can’t believe I’m so old blah blah blah” because, news flash, although I often act like an elderly woman I don’t actually think being in your late 20s means you’re old. And, in a a lot of ways, it does seem like 10 whole years have passed since I’ve graduated. I’ve gone to college, worked a few different jobs, gotten married, and done a bunch of other things.

But just because I feel like a grown up and I’m cool with aging doesn’t mean I want to go to my high school reunion. Because the thing is…I’m not “over” high school. And I don’t know if that’s normal.

I did not like high school, which doesn’t make me unique. Most people didn’t like high school. In fact, if I met someone who was like, “Sure, I loved high school. Living under tons of rules, being in captivity with mostly people I hated, having to do constant awkward group work and eat disgusting cafeteria food…it was all awesome!” I would not trust him or her. You’re supposed to hate high school…but I also think you’re supposed to not have strong, bitter, sometimes fearful feelings towards the people you went to high school with ten years later, right?

To be clear, I was not bullied or anything in school. I was made fun of in exactly the same way that 99% of most girls are made fun of, by which I mean other girls cruelly and calculatingly zeroed in on the flaws I was most sensitive about and then made me feel terrible about them. And, of course, there were always those girls who were just straight up nasty bitches, but they were mean to everyone. I couldn’t really take it personally. But by the end of high school, it seemed like things had sort of…calmed down. In the last week of school, everyone was, weirdly, really nice to each other. It was like everyone realized that the high school movie that had, up until that point, been our lives was ending, and we’d all be going off to star in our own college party movies or staying in Bellville to star in our own depressing indie movies.

So when our five year reunion rolled around, I don’t know what I expected. I guess I thought that, to keep this movie thing going, it would be sort of like Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and everyone who was ever mean to me would end up learning a lesson by the power of Alan Cumming and his dance moves. But that didn’t happen. For starters, Alan Cumming didn’t even bother coming, which was a real slap in the face. There were no Cyndi Lauper inspired dance scenes. And no one came up to me and said, “You know what? I’m sorry I didn’t realize how gorgeous and hilarious and amazing you were back when you had an underbite and braces and a much more noticeable lisp–I mean, yes, you still have a bit of a lisp now but it’s like a quirky thing that I’m strangely attracted to–and, come to think of it, it’s actually sort of cool that you spent all your weekends reading and writing in your weird dramatic journal instead of drinking like a normal 17 year old! Honestly, how did you not have like 50 boyfriends? Well, anyway, I’m ugly and unsuccessful and I have to get back to my home, which is a literal box in a literal gutter, so I guess I’m just sorry I once made fun of you for being bad at gym class 15 years ago. Bye!”

If I’m being honest, that’s the only scenario that would have made me think, “Whoa, this reunion is really killin’ it!” And that’s sort of (okay, really) messed up. There’s a big part of me that wants to have something impressive going on to show off to these people I barely knew years ago, but as my BFF sagely pointed out, nothing that matters to me would impress them anyway. Do you think they’re going to care about writing credits? No! My mom recently had to do business with a former high school classmate of mine (who once pushed one of my friends into a locker and called another one of my friends a gay slur) who literally did not know how to set up an email address. That girl doesn’t give a shit about what websites I write for.

I never even had the chance to say this.

I never even had the chance to say this.

Or this.

Or this.

OR THIS.

OR THIS.

But back to my five year reunion. What ended up happening? Nothing, really. I ate undercooked potatoes, poorly played some minigolf, and talked to my friends. Even though I didn’t like high school, I was lucky enough to meet some of my best friends for life there. But here’s the thing–I can talk to my friends any time I want to. I don’t have to go to a combination bar and grill/go-kart track/minigolf course to do so, thank God. And the people who were assholes in high school…big surprise, they were still assholes! Also, while my friends and I were playing minigolf, they took the group photo without us, which is pretty symbolic of my high school experience.

Total bullshit that this never happened.

Total bullshit that this never happened.

So am I going to go to the 10 year reunion? I DON’T KNOW. On the one hand, it’s happening during a weekend when I’ll be home. It will probably be at least interesting. And I know I should feel like, “Well, we’re all older and wiser and let bygones be bygones” and other cliches, but…I don’t know that I’m mature enough to feel that way. The attitudes in my hometown are weird, and I don’t necessarily enjoy putting myself back there.

What about you guys? Have you gone to any of your high school reunions? How weird were they? Did anyone give you an elaborate apology (or did you elaborately apologize to someone)? Did Alan Cumming have the decency to show up? Was there interpretive dance? Please, let me know any and all high school reunion experiences in the comments.

Thursday Link Party!

Okay, so Wednesday Link Party is actually Thursday Link Party this week. I’ve been out livin’ life, okay? It’s been a super fun week. On Friday night, we had the chance to go to a baseball game with Cat and her husband (I love baseball games because I get to eat hot dogs) before hitting up 16 Bit for 80s-themed drinks (I had the Elizabeth Shue). I spent the weekend hanging out with my family and eating lots of food for Father’s Day. And on Tuesday night, we got to see The Preatures in concert with our friend Jessie and her boyfriend. For someone who rarely leaves the house, it’s all been a lot. I hope you guys are having fun too! On with the links!

Jennifer Weiner has always been and continues to be the best: “…if you’re a guy writing a funny, fast-paced, relatable comedy of manners, with a Jewish protagonist, you’ve written a book. If you’re a girl and you wrote that same thing, you’re… me.”

I’ve been a fan of Emily Gould since I was in college. I read all her blogs, I bought her memoir, and you better believe I’m reading Friendship. In this Elle interview she talks about money and Lena Dunham and is just all-around great.

There’s nothing I hate more than a snob, and this piece about The Goldfinch has some prime quotes from quite a few of them.

Was that too many lit links in a row? Okay, here’s a Tumblr dedicated to Harry Styles in a headband.

The boys and I watched Enough Said this weekend (seriously, I feel bad for you if you don’t just watch movies with your brothers all the time like I clearly do) and I just liked it. But now I find myself thinking about it a lot, so maybe I more than liked it? Anyway, all of the performances are wonderful. James Gandolfini was very good and the world needs more Ben Falcone/Tavi Gevinson in films. A.O. Scott really loved it, and he’s a lot smarter than me, so maybe you should listen to him.

Here’s some stuff I want to eat: Lemon Lentil Soup, Teriyaki Shrimp Burgers, Summer Slaw Sandwiches with Fried Pickles.

Badlands: The Most Stylish Movie I’ve Ever Seen About Murderers

Recently I watched Terrence Malick’s Badlands because Alex kept telling me I would like it, and I trust his opinion (but only enough to watch something several years after he recommends it, apparently). He was right! It was great! If you ever want to talk about Badlands (especially the scene with the fish in Martin Sheen’s room, SERIOUSLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING?), I’m available. But until then, let’s talk about how great Badlands looked.

Kit and Holly may be some truly messed up people, but damn it if they don’t always look great. Even when they’re living in the woods and on the run from the law, they still manage to look fly.
badlands woods

Apparently Sissy Spacek was actually in her 20s when she played 15 year old Holly, but I totally would’ve believed you if you said she was 12. Either way, her dresses are pretty amazing.
badlands dress

And, I don’t know, I’d probably wear this dramatic eye look.

Too bad only Martin Sheen is around to appreciate this.

Too bad only Martin Sheen is around to appreciate this.

And speaking of Martin Sheen…

He even looks hot holding a chicken.

He even looks hot holding a chicken.

I mean...

I mean…

I should probably find him less attractive because he’s a murderer. And I hate to play armchair psychologist and diagnose a fictional character (because that is a very boring way to watch a movie), but let’s get real: he’s psychotic. It makes it a little better if you look at this behind the scenes photo of him and Terrence Malick (ol’ Terry!). See? Totally not really a murderer!

Terry!

Terry!

But even aside from Martin Sheen being the most attractive murderer ever, this is a great movie. The tone is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, it’s totally weird, and it’s just beautiful. Check out Sissy Spacek’s house, which might just be my dream house (never mind that it meets an untimely end):
badlandstitle

And it’s just a truly gorgeous movie in general.
badlands
badlands bridge
badlands martin

Badlands is a movie I could watch a million more times and always find something new. What about you guys? Have you seen it? Do you want Sissy Spacek’s weird eye makeup? Is Martin Sheen super hot? That last one was an easy question. You’re welcome.

Wednesday Link Party!

Happy Wednesday, guys! I hope you all had a fantastic week. I definitely did! On Friday I got to have dinner with Creative Lady Angela (we went to The Pearl–highly recommended!), and then I spent the weekend hanging out with my family. There was a bike ride on this beautiful trail, a sweet potato pound cake, and a viewing of Behind the Candelabra. Perfect weekend, is what I’m saying here. Anyway, on with the links!

-I haven’t seen Obvious Child yet, but man oh man am I loving all of these Jenny Slate interviews. She is always so charming, weird, and funny. In this Vulture interview, she says things like, “I don’t like that. Especially when it’s something I had said and it was a genuine, beautiful feeling that I had when I was on mushrooms.”

-Okay, so we’ve all read like a million profiles of and interviews with Mindy Kaling, right? But she says a lot of great things in this Guardian interview, including this on the value of entertainment: “When my mom was very sick we’d watch Modern Family, and it was a rest from that situation, that was so wonderfully needed. I know that’s what entertainment can do at its very best.”

-You guys ever read the Wikipedia page on Ren and Stimpy? I don’t know why, but I did this week. What a weird show.

-Shonda Rhimes gave an insanely great commencement speech that I can’t stop thinking about.

-Scenes from My Imaginary Friendship with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: ” When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson calls by accident at 3am because he’s filming in Tunisia and his internal clock’s all messed up, I’m not angry. I just listen. ‘How are you?’ I ask. There’s a long pause before he quietly says, ‘I’m gonna be honest. I’m not too great.’”

-Not a link at all, but a story: when I was a freshman in high school, one of my friends had a huge crush on this guy who was OBSESSED with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This was before he was a movie star, back when he was just a wrestler. I ended up learning a lot of The Rock’s particular language, and I still use it from time to time. Namely, “the people’s elbow,” “jabroni,” and “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?”

-This week I wrote about The Truth About Alice on HelloGiggles! Check it out!

This Movie is the Best Movie: Behind the Candelabra

matt-damon-michael-douglas-behind-the-candelabra-hbo

When it’s a Saturday night and you’re trying to choose a movie to watch with your two younger brothers, the best choice is obviously Behind the Candelabra, the HBO film starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. It was between that and Enough Said, and honestly, if you don’t spend your time with your family trying to decide between a middle-age dating comedy starring James Gandolfini and a biopic about a closeted flamboyant piano player, than I feel sorry for you. I’ll never know if James and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss make it work (unless I actually watch the movie on my own), but I do know that Liberace had a lot of small dogs. I recommend this film highly…it’s full of laughs, tears, and weird tanlines on Matt Damon’s butt.

The boys and I didn’t know much about Liberace before watching, and let me tell you, Steven Soderbergh wasted no time at all explaining him. By that I mean that there is pretty much no explanation of who Liberace is, but that’s okay. You figure it out pretty easily (he’s shown performing and wearing his trademark glitzy clothes).

At the beginning of the film, Matt Damon befriends a mustachioed Scott Bakula, who honestly looks younger and better than he did on Quantum Leap. How are you aging backwards, Bakula? Share your secrets!

Wearing the hell out of that scarf

Wearing the hell out of that scarf

Scott Bakula, keeper of all knowledge, introduces Matt Damon to Liberace. Liberace is played by Michael Douglas, but it’s seriously like Michael Douglas BECAME Liberace. I read that Robin Williams was originally considered for the part, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

He can't believe it either.

He can’t believe it either.

What could've been!

What could’ve been!

Even though Liberace is eccentric at best, Matt Damon is still attracted to him…or at least he’s willing to move into Liberace’s insane mansion. Things are going well (or as well as they can when you’re dating someone who wears 60 pound fur coats) until Liberace decides to get some plastic surgery. He wants Matt Damon to get plastic surgery, too. And who does he want him to look like? Oh, you know…just a YOUNG LIBERACE.

Normal.

Normal.

Matt Damon is apprehensive, but Scott Bakula encourages him to go ahead with it. And no one in his right mind would ever deny the advice of Scott Bakula. So Matt Damon ends up looking like this:
behind the candelabra gif

Which is to say deeply upsetting (but with a chin dimple).

The surgery scenes are made more bearable (sorry, I mean DELIGHTFUL) because Rob Lowe is the surgeon. That’s right, Rob MF’ing Lowe is a plastic surgeon who’s clearly used a few too many of his own services.

No, he's not skeptical...that's just how he always looks.

No, he’s not skeptical…that’s just how he always looks.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to hear bizarre lines delivered by someone who looks like that and speaks like Chris Traeger…well, let me tell you, it’s wonderful.

Various other things happen. Dan Aykroyd is involved, as are Paul Reiser and Mike O’Malley. There are almost no women in this movie (aside from Liberace’s mother, they do not exist in his world). Liberace and Matt Damon, predictably, have a falling out. As Alex put it, “I guess what we learned is that you can take a lot of baths with someone, but never really be that close to them.” Indeed!

A few assorted thoughts about the film:

1. I was a little skeptical about Behind the Candelabra because it was an HBO film, but this is a legitimately good, well-made movie. Duh. Steven Soderbergh reportedly said that it aired on HBO because no studio wanted to take on such a gay movie. This is, admittedly, an extremely gay movie, but that’s not a bad thing.

2. Before it came out, I feel like a lot of the buzz related to “Michael Douglas + Matt Damon + GAY,” so I sort of assumed that sex would be a big part of the movie. It wasn’t! I mean, yes, it’s about Liberace’s and Matt Damon’s (the character has a name, but I’d rather call him Matt Damon–this is my blog, I make the rules!) relationship, and sex is a part of that, but it’s not a very explicit movie. I’m not saying you should watch this with your parents. Unless you’re VERY open with your parents, I’d avoid that, because it’s going to be awkward. But honestly, it’s not all that graphic. Much like another Steven Soderbergh movie, Magic Mike, the hype around it was a bit misdirected.

3. That being said, you DO see a lot of Matt Damon’s butt, always with different swimwear-related tanlines.

4. Did I mention that Rob Lowe was the best part of this movie? Oh, I did? Well, it bears repeating.
behind the candelabra rob lowe hair

5. Don’t think it’s all Rob Lowe with tape pulling back his face or Scott Bakula wearing odd, tiny scarves. Behind the Candelabra is also pretty emotionally affecting. I loved the final, campy, still very sweet scene.

6. It’s also a genuinely funny movie. I laughed a lot.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it if you have an interest in destructive relationships, gay culture in the 70s/80s, the AIDS crisis, giant fur coats, Rob Lowe looking bizarre, or tanlines on Matt Damon’s butt.

Scott Bakula, take us out!

SCARVES!

SCARVES!

Previously in This Movie is the Best Movie: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, You’ve Got Mail, Pretty in Pink, Magic Mike, Post Grad, Elizabethtown, While You Were Sleeping, Valley Girl