Saturday night was the Hubby’s Christmas party. He is an education student who is (praise the lord!) graduating this spring, so this semester he has been completing his internship at a school. Since he has only been at this school for four months, I have never met any of his fellow teachers. I’m not exactly a shrinking violet and since I love Christmas and parties, I was totally up for going. There was, however, a bit of a catch.
We live in a small city, and for anyone who has lived here for any length of time you are bound to bump up against your past from time to time. Well, our past was at the Hubby’s Christmas party, cocktails in hand, in the form of two people we haven’t spoken a word to in seven years. Let’s call them Judas and Yoko.
The Hubby was already good friends with Judas when I met him twenty years ago. Actually, friend is too weak a word; the Hubby idolized this guy. Judas was a bit older than us; already had a ‘real’ job, already had a baby and a wife, he was a guitar player in a band, etc., etc. He even had a cool dog. Judas had everything the Hubby aspired to have and from the Hubby’s perspective, Judas was The Man. I think Judas legitimately liked the Hubby, but there was certainly no idolizing going on the other way. The Hubby was to Judas how coke is to rum – complimentary, but by no means necessary. I was trying to come up with a better analogy than that, but I’m on the second day of a killer hang-over. Bear with me.
And I liked Yoko, although she was oddly competitive. I’m not very athletic, so us playing sports together was just fine for her. I’m not very domestic, so spending time in the Martha Stewart paradise she calls home was okey-dokey. However, she once decided to take an English class and asked me to read her first paper. After I started correcting her grammar she got a little miffed and that was the last time I saw any writing of hers. I was young and didn’t catch on to the fact that Yoko just wanted me to ooohh and aaahhhh about her writing talent, not point out the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Anyhoo, the point being is that the Hubby and I were very young, new parents who were trying to find our way in the world. Judas and Yoko were our older more ‘mature’ friends who seemed to have it all together. We thought they were WAY cool.
Fast forward a few years…..the Hubby is a bit older and wiser, the rock band he had played in for ten years had just broken up and he was determined to play his first solo show. It was an ambitious project for a guy who had always been just the drummer (insert your favourite drummer joke here) of the band playing second fiddle to three young, buff, uber rock gods of the stage.
The Hubby wanted to have his own show – play guitar, do the singing, organize the song list, etc., etc. What better a partnership for this new adventure than to play with Judas? Judas is The Man! after all. Judas is a great guitar player, and not unlike Yoko and her writing, the Hubby just wanted Judas to be impressed with him as a musician. The Hubby imagined him and Judas rocking out, playing together as equals over a few cold ones. Yeah, that’s not how it actually went down.
Judas initially agreed to play the show with the Hubby, but after a few short, ill-fated practices Judas disappeared. Literally. The Hubby called him more times than a drunk girl calls her ex-boyfriend leaving a series of pathetic and pleading messages for Judas to please please PLEASE call him back. The show was looming, no practices were happening, the Hubby was becoming increasingly frantic and then finally, THREE DAYS before his first ever solo performance, the show that meant more to him than any show he had ever previously played, the Hubby was greeted with this note on his car windshield:
I’m not showing up or playing at your show. I’ve never really thought you were anything other than a giant pain in the ass, and I’m going to take this opportunity to completely fuck you over. You are a shitty friend, a bad father and a sucky husband, and I am better than you in all ways so go fuck yourself.
OK, so that really isn’t the note he left, but that was the long and short of it, trust me. That was seven years ago, and neither of us have heard a peep from Judas or Yoko since. The Hubby has never really gotten over being bitch slapped by the one guy he had always looked up to, and I have never really gotten over wanting to go and beat the living shit out of Judas for making my Hubby cry. I get a little ‘mama bear’ about that kind of thing. I can make him cry, but if anyone else does it I’m going to punch them in the face.
Saturday night, December 6, 2008: Christmas party with the teachers. As it turns out in this dreadfully small world of ours, Yoko used to work at the same school where the Hubby is currently interning. I knew this fact, but it didn’t occur to me that Yoko and Judas were going to crash the Christmas party! She doesn’t even work there anymore! I think the Hubby knew, but he (wisely) didn’t share that little bit of news with me. I was very surprised to see these two people show up at the party and was immediately caught off guard. So what did I do? I started drinking.
I don’t really drink that much anymore, but something about having Judas and Yoko plopped in the middle of my current reality made me think that getting completely and totally shit-faced with a bunch of Catholic teachers would be a good idea. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve really tied one on, but let’s just say this – I went to the dark side. I may as well have been wearing a lamp shade while trying to organize a game of quarter bounce. I’m glad I never have to see these people again because in the light of day, I feel like an asshole.
There are two types of drunks – the ‘fighting and belligerent’ drunks, and the ‘I love you guys' drunks. I’m the latter, so after my initially distaste and trepidation (not to mention the undeniable urge to indulge in the punching) I started warming up to Judas and Yoko again. I’ve been so focused on hating these people (well, Judas, but Yoko by association) that I haven’t really given my self a chance to mourn the lost friendship.
Yoko is exactly the same. She looks the same, acts the same, laughs the same, dresses the same….it’s like she was frozen in time and then thawed out right before the Christmas party. I sware Judas picked her up off the counter and ran her under the sink for a few minutes before heading out the door. Judas, on the other hand, has dropped a bunch of weight and did not seem to be the easy going, casual guy I remember. He seemed almost pompous, in a way. Has he really turned into a pompous ass, or was he embarrassed by his past behaviour and was over compensating because he feels guilty? Or, is he just humiliated by the “I’m way better than you” tone of his go fuck yourself note? Or, maybe he was just the same as he used to be and I’m looking for problems because I’m still mad at him? Hard to say, because my judgement was, ahem….compromised.
I guess it doesn’t ultimately matter because the Hubby won’t be at the same school next year and I’m sure it will be another seven years before fate and the small town that is Regina brings us together again. Either way, the evening was enjoyable. Even if Judas and Yoko think we’re losers who are not worthy of their friendship, it was nice to have an evening with them again. And I didn’t even punch anyone.