February 28, 2014

Social Standards That Are SO Last Year & Fool-Proof French Onion Soup

My school has it’s 35th year celebrations coming up soon and even though it’s been over a decade since I graduated, there’s no denying high school was hard! The crews, the cliques, the competition to be cool. Fans and followers aren’t just a Facebook phenomena, friends.

Almost everyone wanted to be a part of the wolf-pack, but the commandments of cool were constantly evolving and consistently cruel. I commend the kids who had the capacity to cope and keep up. 

For the rest of us, foolish feats were the fast and fool-proof way to fit in.

Back in the day, it was all about being aboard the band-wagon and because peer pressure was more powerful and persuasive than any parent on the planet, I pulled some seriously stupid stunts. 

Who hasn’t, right? 

Of course, said dim-wittedness had to be a precise degree of dumb and dangerous to dignify any kind of acknowledgement from the upper crust, but I missed that part of the memo and totally botched my bad-assery.

Some of my most mortifying moments include crank-calling a crush after the invention of caller ID and getting caught, feeling fabulously fashionable only to come home to the horror of finding my fly hanging wide open, or my personal hallmark of humiliation, being pulled over by a pissed off uncle amidst an enthralling egging expedition.

Oh, the trials of being a teenager! 

In a time when image was everything, it was all unbearably awkward and terribly tragic. 

Fortunately, fifteen years is plenty of time to put things into perspective and forget these faux pas as a painful, but passing phase. 

Or was it? 

It's assumed that as an adult it’s easier to keep the buffoonery at bay because, obviously, we’ve grown up, gotten over the high school hunger games and are completely capable of putting the past to bed.

But I had a weird winter and it made me wonder, does the drama ever end?

Here’s what happened: in the time-honored tradition of dumb december decisions, I designated “Do More, Dammit!as my mantra for the twelve months of 2013 and, damn, did it bite me in the butt!

P.S. The sting was still sore so this year I played it safe by praying for the power to poop Paulo-Cohelo-esque profundity because, clearly, that’s more of a spiritual request than a resolution, right?

Really, who knew resolutions were woeful regrets waiting to happen, huh? More on that in a minute. 

Gratitude before gripes, babies. 

So, on the upside, it was a year full of firsts.

I broke a vow to never get behind the wheel and dared to drive. Granted, it was a golf-cart, but still gutsy by my standards. I finally caved into fashion and conceded to rock red lipstick and, really, it was revolutionary. I made more desserts than I have in the last three decades without any fiascos or the feeling of impending doom. I also managed not to miss a single second of MasterChef and finally ditched the denial and dropped those pesky pounds that made my pants fit funny. 

However, if you ask the husband, the real highlight of this hallowed year had to be my willingness to head out on a (semi)regular basis without being a perpetual pain in the a** about it.  

That’s right! Contrary to custom and as a nod to my complete commitment to that nagging new year’s resolution, I skipped my annual hibernation and had a seriously hedonistic holiday season instead. 

My only comment on the craziness: fun times, but I’m not fit for the fabulous life.

The reality is, any activity that has me end up the Just-Took-Four-Finals-After-Popping-Fistfuls-Of-Pills-And-I’m-A-Crazed-Maniac-Who’s-Slept-Sixty four-Minutes-In-Five-Days-And-I’ll-Be-Crashing-On-My-Couch-For-The-Rest-Of-The-Forseeable-Future edition of exhausted is against my religion.

BUT, and the husband will probably experience genuine joy when he hears this, partying really isn’t the problem. Who doesn’t love to dance?

And for the most part, people aren’t the perps either. Frankly, there are some fantastically captivating characters milling around in the mix. 

The soul-sappers are those sneaky little suckers known as social standards. I’m not implying that all edicts are evil or equal. Seriously, ’don’t pee in public,’ is a splendid societal precedent. Clearly, it hasn’t caught in our country, but that’s a separate story. No, I’m speaking specifically about those snarky pillars of preposterous pretensions stipulated by the snotty set, presumably for the purpose and pleasure of seeing “outsiders” squirm. 

In other words, I suspect Lahore is a parallel universe and the legendary laundry list of dos and donts lives on and lives large.