It was 1994 and just a few short days past my 18th birthday. A ridiculously large portion of my senior class decided to go down the shore for Memorial Day Weekend. If there was Twitter and texting and such when I was in high school, it would have been DTS 4 MDW (cool, right?). Rooms were booked, bags were packed, cars were loaded up and off we went.
When we checked in to what was one of the most disgusting hotels I ever recall staying in, we were informed by management of the rules. No outside guests (and we had to wear wristbands to prove we belonged there), no parties, no alcohol. OK, chief, whatever you say. We were barely into our room when the booze was broken out. I truly don't know where it came from or who got it for us, but I was surely drunk by 3pm.
A girl from another room that none of us knew, later dubbed Crazy Chrissy, ended up partying with us for quite some time. I know she existed because I have pictures of her. Despite the fact that we drunkenly proclaimed undying love for our new friend and our pledge to keep in touch after the weekend, I don't think any of us ever heard from Crazy Chrissy again. I might still have her number in my scrapbook. Maybe I should call her.
Much of that weekend is a blur, due in large part to the drinking. I'm sure that we were loud and stupid and obnoxious. I'm sure I looked totally slutty, too, because that's what you do when you're 18, there are no parents and you are too stupid to realize how slutty you look.
During the day we laid out on the beach working on our tans. There was baby oil. Then there was sunburn. I remember playing beach volleyball for what seemed like hours and I blame this for the worst sunburn I've ever had. My shoulders ended up so inflamed that I could not lift my arms more than a few inches and I couldn't wear a bra for days. The bra thing wasn't so much an issue since I didn't grow breasts until college. Not using my arms was sort of a problem.
I have an enormous forehead. It's so large, in fact, it's been referred to as a five-head. In any event, because my hairline starts where a middle aged man's does, my forehead burns very easily. The burn on my face rivaled the burn on my shoulders. When it began to heal and the charred, leathery skin it left behind began to peel, it conveniently did so in the shape of the Bat Symbol. It was a real conversation starter.
On our second night there, between the sun and the drinking and the poor nutrition, I ended up with the mother of all migraines. I recall being on the top of the ferris wheel with a friend and hitting that point where I knew it was time for me to head home. I don't really remember going back, though I'm pretty sure someone walked with me. My room was locked and I didn't have the key. Luckily one of my good friends was in the room next door and she said I could sleep there. She was hanging out with her boyfriend. Any other time I would have declined this offer, but I was in so much pain I agreed to lie down for a while.
The next morning, I was advised that it had been quite an eventful night! The police showed up, checking rooms for alcohol. I was so passed out that despite the officer shining a flashlight in my face, I did not wake up. My friends explained that I wasn't on drugs, that I just had a migraine. The police left. I'm not sure how they didn't find all the alcohol in the room or why they weren't concerned about the unconscious teenager with the flimsy excuse. After the cops left, my two friends decided I was clearly asleep enough for them to get frisky.
They proceeded to have sex in the other bed while I slept. Even now, I'm a bit creeped out by this notion. I'm a deep sleeper and all, but since I remember about 12% of that night and even that may only be based on the stories others have told me, in hindsight, I'm wondering if someone slipped me a mickey!
The rest of the weekend was more of the same, with a bunch of high school seniors acting like drunken idiots. Ferris Wheel Guy and I pretended to have sex in the giant motel room window (fully clothed, of course, lest we appear as though we had no class). Another guy snuck into the bed I was sleeping in with several other girls. I woke up to him trying to spoon me. I punched him and made him sleep on the floor. He wasn't a creep though, so somehow it was funny and I had to give him credit for trying.
We took a ton of pictures - one of my friend pretending she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer (from the movie, not the TV show), another of a friend who could not bend since the entire back of her body was sunburned. Pictures of a Ferris Wheel/Window Sex Guy with a tampon in his mouth.
One of the really cool guys later told me that he didn't know I could be as cool as I was that weekend and he wished he had actually talked to me in high school instead of just being a jerk to me the whole time. Having my coolness measured based on alcohol consumption sure was validating. Thank goodness I had that little exchange or else who knows where I would have ended up in life, you know?
My Memorial Day Weekends are much calmer now, with family BBQs and such. We get together on Sundays so that we can rest on Monday before the short work week takes a toll on us. But every year, I think about the events of 18 years ago. Our wild, carefree days. I smile.
And then I think that if my kid ever asks me to go down the shore for Memorial Day Weekend with his friends during his senior year, I will let him go so that I seem like a cool mom. But I will follow him down and stay in a nearby hotel and stalk him the entire time. And then if he acts like a jerk I will yank him out of there by his ear so fast his head will spin and everyone will know that his mom, despite appearances, is absolutely NOT cool.
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