Pretty in Pink.
written 2000-03-15 20:22:39

In case anyone was wondering, my research seems to suggest that the most
expensive gas in America can be found at (surprise) DisneyWorld, but
apparently we can't complain too much. Once you take into account the
metric and currency conversions, Germany's got us all beat by a
kilometer: they're closer to US$3.50 a gallon. Ouch. Stephane assures me
that France's situation is simillar, so think about that next time you
roll up to a pump; just say, "at least I'm not in Europe..."  Sorry to
those with a ".de" email address on this list.

Today I recieved an email from my ex-girlfriend's sister. When I say
"ex-girlfriend", in this case, I'm referring way, way, WAY back to those
hideous high school years. And I'm not just speaking of a time
frame. It's also a state of mind: an uninspired, unshowered,
disinterested state of the soul.

Forget about your prom, and that AP exam that you aced. Those happy
moments are more or less accidental. Misery, however, is completely
calculated in high school. Therefore concentrate instead on those moments
of pure rage, frustration, and uselessness that have hardened, darkened,
and defined your demeanor for the rest of your life.

Oh, wait. Maybe you CAN focus on your prom, then.

But let me focus on someone else's prom for a second.

It would have actually been -my- senior prom, but after being coerced
into going to one my junior year, I felt pretty confident I had gotten
all I could out of the experience. I mean, the gig's the same every
year; the only things that change are the styles (but not the
tackiness) of the music and costumes. So if you missed your prom, or just
have a masochistic need to relive it, then fear not. Your local video
store has an ample stock of Molly Ringwald movies available for just this

The reason for my attendence at my junior prom is also the reason I
mention my senior prom. The astute among you have already figured it
out: the ex-girlfriend. To protect the innocent, we'll just create a
false name for her. From here on, we'll refer to her as "Karie".

Karie really REALLY wanted to go to that senior prom. In retrospect, I
don't think this was a "girl thing"...I am willing to believe that Karie
is the only creature on Earth that looked forward to the prom for purely
selfless reasons. Guys would look forward to potential booty, and girls
would look forward to outdoing other girls, but Karie just loved the
thrill of the night. For her, the event wasn't gaudy: it sparkled.

However, there was no way in hell I was going to that prom. None. Threat
of torture, death, and Menudo concerts would not coerce me into attending
this event. It just wasn't going to happen.

But being the modern boyfriend I was, I was willing to compromise. Karie
could go to the prom WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Made perfect sense to me. Sure.

The reason I'm going through this ancient history is because Karie's
sister--remember her?--sent me an email to tell me about Karie's wedding
shower. For those who aren't in the know, she's marrying the guy who she
took to her senior prom. Yes, people like that apparently -do- exist. And
in this case, you don't need to rent a Brat Pack film to see it.

Karie and her fiancee are tying the knot in about two weeks, on
(yikes!) April Fool's Day. And for this, I am filled with an overwhelming

But no, this isn't a scene out of "There's Something About Mary" all
you people that have been keeping a betting pool on me all these years
can put your money away.

My sadness, in all truth, is that the world is growing up around me.

Or maybe the world's growing old around me. Whichever one applies.

Karie is only a few months older than me, and is merely hours away from a
honeymoon. It all seems so foriegn to me. Is this the real world? How
have I sheltered myself from this so effectively? I don't mean marriage
necessarily. Maybe just...maturity?  Getting a bank account is a
terrifying experience for me, so you can bet that Marriage is ranked
right up there with Death in my book. They are things that happen to
"grown ups," a class which I supposedly should be a card-carrying member

I wonder what I did that night while my young destiny was silently being
altered across town at my unattended prom. Did I play Nintendo or work on
some stupid program, without the knowledge that both activities were
subconsciosly preparing me for this life in California? Probably. Nintendo,
programming, and masturbation were my holy trinity of activity.

Okay. Okay. "Young destiny" is a bit much. But I'm a big believer in
chaos theory. I think even the utterly insignificant events have an
incalculable, but nonetheless present, impact on us all. If I had gone to
that prom, or said a few more sweet nothings, or opened up to the
possibility that anyone could have cared half a fuck about my existance,
then who knows? Maybe I'd find myself getting married in two weeks. Maybe
I'd spend my days in Pennsylvania with litters of kids. Maybe I'd even be
content. Or happy.

Isn't it funny? Happiness isn't a boolean state; it's not on or off, like
a light switch. Video-game-hacker-in-California happy isn't the same as
family-guy-in-Pennsylvania happy, but they are both happiness, all the
same. Hhm.

So if any passes this email on to the happy couple (as my emails
apparently have trouble sitting still in people's inboxes), please tell
them that I wish them BOTH the best. And as a wiser man than I once said:

"May you live as long as you like, and love as long as you live."


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