Memories of Beth

The wedding wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be; in fact, I guess it wasn’t even bad at all. I was expecting a monster truck rally, but instead was treated to a lovely traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony. Still, I would have preferred a monster truck rally – more stories.

My best friend, Miss 4th-6th Grade, was there. Yes, I like to mark the Best Friend title by the years the person occupied the position. She was the Matron of Honor. Is Matron right? It looks wrong there, but ok… Anyway, she pulled me aside at one point and began a sentence with “Do you know what I remember about Beth?”

Oh God.

These types of questions are rarely good for me, because they’re usually unflattering and almost always end with me leaving a wake of destruction, people losing property (heirlooms, prized toys, whatever) or just simply me freaking out and possibly instigating all sorts of badness. It’s never me doing something cute, saying something precocious or saving puppies. It’s ALWAYS bad. (This is why it’s better I don’t have kids.)

Some examples – Where you might have played “Superstar”, I played “Heckler”. Yes, I’d boo and hiss until you were too embarrassed to stand in front of the family and sing. You played “House” (and not the surly doctor version who spends 45 minutes diagnosing people incorrectly and somehow avoids losing his job on a weekly basis), but the sweet role-playing version where you broke out the baby dolls. Well, I played “Slum Lord” and divided the house up into apartment units – you were expected to get your rent in on time and oh please, I was not fixing anything. Also, trust me when I say the best property was either the bathroom (access to water and a working toilet) or the kitchen (if you liked to do things like eat or have access to the outdoors). My idea of “School” involved strict lesson plans (that I wrote up and recently found – that was personally embarrassing) and began with roll call. Oh, and I did assign homework – typically math because I wasn’t big on English (some things never change). I was an only child, living with a newly single parent and I was determined to make the same tired old games more interesting.

Of course, if you were just set on being around smart and cute in my family, you really had to go to my cousin Tony. If you wanted someone to stomp your favorite toy, I was your girl – the heavy-handed family juggernaut. The kid your adult friends would try to avoid by leaving you off invitations. You know the sort.

So, needless to say I hate questions like that, because I like to pretend that I was actually sweet, adorable and fun to be around. I’m building “new” memories to help me through my adult years.

She finally answered her question. “I remember Beth at the playground when we used to hide under the jungle gym.” Wonderful. I remember that, too and while it almost sounds sweet, it wasn’t. It was me dragging out all of my Mom’s Cosmopolitans (the most risqué magazine I’d seen in my life) and flipping through the pages. Great, Miss 4th-6th Grade remembers me as the soft porn peddler. I hinted at this memory and she blushed a little and said, “well, yes” that’s what she remembered, too.

I bet you thought there would be a twist where this girl remembered something nice or sweet. Sorry, it’s not that kind of story. These “memories” never end that way.
I think if anything, this wedding taught me something very important – avoid people who’ve known me for too long or maybe the lesson is never let old friends around people you’ve just met – something like that. I’ll work out the details as I dodge questions involving memories of me.

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