Monday, July 29, 2013

The Class of 93 Is The Epitome*

My 20 year high school reunion is this weekend. Which means I have exactly five days to hurry up and do something with my life.

I thought my first step could be to get a tan, because that would probably surprise people the most.

Holy crap, that Gina chick is tan! She used to be so ungodly pale!

After that, I thought I'd lead with the fact that my dream of becoming a Fly Girl never came true, and then transition into showing my former classmates photos of my cat.

Everyone is going to be so excited to party with me.

Whoomp! (There it is.)

The Marion High School class of 1993 voted me class clown. Which is great and all, except what I really wanted was to be voted best dressed. I didn't wear oversized plaid shirts from Goodwill and listen to grunge for my health, you know. Clearly I was misunderstood. (My clothes were the cry for help, not the jokes.)

I asked Ray to help me come up with some lies to tell my classmates since I don't have much to offer in terms of actual entertaining life stories.

Indignant, he said: "I disagree. You have a lot going on. You're getting married. You bought a 106-year-old house with your husband-to-be. You ride around Cincinnati on a cool blue scooter. You have a good career and great friends."


The only really exciting thing I have going for me is health insurance. Which actually IS impressive. If my classmates could see the bill that Humana has picked up for me over the last 15 years, they would be super impressed.

This is a photo of me from 1993. I found it on the last day of school, abandoned in the school newspaper's darkroom. When I stumbled upon it I envisioned one of the photographers hearing the last bell, throwing it into the air and saying 'I'm Audi 5,000!'

Because that's what we said in 1993.

The ring I'm wearing I made in jewelry class my senior year. Sadly, I lost it that summer toilet papering someone's house. Which sucks because usually we forked yards. (I still remember who's house we were toilet papering but I can't recall a single thing I learned in geometry.)

But in general, I look pretty much the same as I did then.

I fear people will see me at the reunion and be disappointed I am not fat, bald or the mother of sextuplets. And I haven't been on any reality TV shows either. I am a high school reunion disappointment. I probably shouldn't even go I'm so boring.

Me: Hi! It's Gina! I'm tan!

Them: Oh. It's you. You're the same. Bye.

I know at least one of my classmates is excited to see me.

I'm excited to see her bitch ass too.

Judging from Lizz's and everyone else's Facebook pages, my classmates are doing well.

There were about 425 students in my graduating class, which made for a diverse group of kids. Rich, poor, blue-collar, white-collar, black, white, Latin, gay, straight. 

The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads. I'm excited to see them all.

Everyone likes to kick around ol' Marion, Indiana, but it was as good as any hometown. (And don't front like your hometown was that great, ok, because it wasn't.) While none of us went on to solve world hunger, we did pretty well for ourselves.

Mm hmm. '93 is gonna be creepin' to that reunion like a phantom.

It's like this and like that and like this and uh
It's like that and like this and like that and uh

Imma roll up in there in my six-four. Ok, fine. I'll just be in my Honda Civic. BALLER.

* our class slogan

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Like A Rollercoaster Ride With Gina at the Switch

It rained for only about 20 minutes on Saturday but I like how this photo makes it look as if Ray was so eager to jet ski he just sat in the rain and waited. In truth, it was me who spent the majority of the weekend on the jet ski. And I have the burn prove it - knees, tops of thighs, around my life jacket.

We spent the weekend relaxing on the party pontoon, cruising around on jet skis and floating in Norris Lake with some of Ray's long time friends. It was marvelous.

The real highlight for me was hanging out with 16 and 19-year old siblings, Rachel and Ryan, at the marina on Friday. The three of us ditched the 'adults' late in the afternoon to go get fried pickles and ice-cream at the snack shop.

They're both Cincinnati kids who grew up in Mason, so King's Island was both of their first jobs.

When I was in middle school and high school my parents would take me to King's Island every summer for one day. It was the highlight of my very existence. I would ride the Vortex over and over, then excitedly get in a two hour line for the Beast and follow it up with riding the Racers a million times.

Back then I couldn't have imagined the dream world it would have been to grow up near there. To my high-school eye the kids working there always seemed hot and miserable, but I imagined their lives were filled with off-hours rollercoaster rides, all the blue ice-cream they could eat and lots of flirting with other teenage King's Island workers.

In a word, heaven.

So over soft serve at the marina, Rachel and Ryan gave me the scoop on what it's like to be a teenager working at King's Island. I hope this doesn't ruin your teen years.

• Food service totally sucks but that's where you make the most money (about $8 an hour).

• I always thought being a character would be the worst job. WRONG. The characters have luxurious gigs. All they do is walk around for ten minutes, take photos with kids and then they get to sit in an air-conditioned breakroom for 45 minutes until their next character walk.

• Scratch that - the characters' escorts have the best job. They get to walk around with the character only they don't have to wear a costume or make-up and they get to sit in the air conditioned breakroom for 45 minutes. Their only real job is make sure kids don't pee on or punch the characters. (Apparently peeing on the characters is a thing.) This gig is so sweet you have to know someone to get it.

• The ride workers, the kids who check the seatbelts and safety harnesses, also have pretty good jobs. While it seems as though they are stuck at one ride all day suffering in the heat with the families who want on the mini-Eiffel Tower, they actually rotate every 30 minutes or so. Their jobs are cushy compared to food service.

• You get a free pass to go anytime you want but you never go because you have to work too much and therefore hate King's Island.

• The kids work all the time. Thirteen hour days are common. The days are even longer if you work in catering. Rachel has slept at the park several nights because her catering shift won't end until midnight and then she'll have to be back for a morning catering event at 2 a.m. to get started on breakfast prep. So she'll sleep at Timberwolf Amphitheater.

I was gripped the entire time they were telling stories. It was like every detail was more unbelievable and amazing than the previous detail.

Really?! The characters! I don't believe it! You slept at Timberwolf Amphitheater?! I saw Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine there once. Have you ever heard of them? No? It's ok. Continue!

I couldn't wait to get back and tell Ray everything I had learned about what it's really like to work at my teenage dream job.

He is going to be so pumped to know all this!

But while I was lapping up an oversized twist cone and tales from King's Island, it was turning dusk. Unbeknownst to me, Ray was back at the pontoon and then the condo wringing his hands wondering where we were and at what point he was going to call the authorities and take the speedboat out to look for us.

Oblivious, Rachel and Ryan and I went speeding off on our jet skis back to the cove. Rachel was on the back of my jet ski and every time we'd bounce off of a wave we'd both squeal with delight and crack up laughing. We went to the cove to find everyone had left. No worries, we'll just speed over some more waves and motor on over to the condo! Wee!!!!

I roll into the condo after the time of my life with my new teen best friends, filled with fried pickles and ice-cream, laughing and yucking it up, to find Ray somberly wanting to know where we were.

'I thought you were lost. I didn't know if you knew how to get back to the cove. Lake Norris is a big lake. Maybe you ran out of gas. Maybe the jet ski broke down. It was six minutes from getting dark. I was about to come find you!'

Hee hee hee. Oops. Everyone else may have been drunk on Summer Shandy, but me and the teens were drunk on freedom!

So I excitedly tell Ray all the stuff about King's Island and he's like, 'I hate King's Island. You know I don't like rollercoasters.'

'Yeah but, teenagers! They're so funny and really sweet. Who knew?! And the characters have the best jobs, can you believe it?!'

'Yeah, crazy. I was really worried about you. So if this happens again I've devised an emergency plan...'

Blah blah blah. I didn't hear anything after that.

The next day I did get lost on the jet ski. Norris Lake, it turns out, is really big. I got turned around, lost my bearing and got kind of panicky when I couldn't find my way back. I was gone for like two hours and no one noticed.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Invites Are Out

Ray allowed me to address about 10 wedding invitations before he took over. I guess he wants the post office to be able to read them or something.

He's so particular.

Actually, he really is. I found him using a ruler to ensure that the return addresses were centered on the back of the envelopes 'just-so.' Some of you lucky invitees will see the fruits of Ray's labor. The rest of you will marvel that your invite actually made it given that your address was illegible.

There was no turning back as of Saturday afternoon. Sure, it's not 'official' until the license is signed and sent to God the probate court. But everyone knows it's as good as done when the invites hit mailboxes.

And here it is.

Feel free to crash it. We're cool with that.

Monday, July 15, 2013


This crew hit the town Saturday night to celebrate my upcoming nuptials. Drinks were had, dance floors were hit and weird dudes were let down. (And not gently.)

I've long thought that my friends should be friends. Saturday night my wishes came true.

It was great.