I was a nun in high school.
Figuratively speaking, of course. I didn't drink. I didn't smoke. I didn't do anything bad.
Never been kissed? Alright, I wasn't that holy.
Then, I went to college and although I couldn't bear the thought of drinking beer - ew! - fraternity boys in kahki pants and nice ties would serve cocktails to sorority girls like me in fancy dresses. Yeah, it was the perfect school for me.
And so began the transformation from nun to fun.
Proof: After the cocktail parties, we'd change into jeans and drink beer at the real parties. It didn't taste so bad after a few cocktails.
Then came law school in Boston & then lawyer life in NYC. Show me someone who can make it through that stress without ever needing to go to happy hour. Only a nun ... or a saint.
So, at my high school reunion, I'd forgotten about my pious ways all those years ago
... Until, I made a trip to the bathroom.
I walked by a room and...
Oh, hey, hi Jesus!
I had to stop. I stood there and couldn't help but wonder "Should I go back to being a nun?"
Well, you know, I mean in the fun department ... a nun who's happily married to a nice Jewish boy but who never, ever - G0d forbid - gets silly when reuniting with her old friends.
I heard a voice. The angels were speaking to me.
strongly and firmly,
but lovingly and loudly - "NAH."
So, I went back to the open bar.
Where Gigi was:
1. Meeting Manzos
Yes, it was at the Brownstone.
2. Stealing people's name tags
Me: Have you seen Rich? I haven't said hi to him yet.
Gigi: He's right here.
3. Having so much fun.
These days, I skip the beer for the most part.
But I don't skip the cocktails at a party -
Which also means I know the definition of hell - it's the morning after your high school reunion.
As I walked through the valley of the shadow of my headache, I finally accepted something. It's not that I can't eat shellfish when drinking white wine. It's not that I'm allergic to red wine. It's not a lemon or lime that's going to make the difference. I actually once pondered, "Maybe my body has some sort of chemical reaction with the citrus and it gives me a headache the next day."
ITS CALLED A HANGOVER, YOU IDIOT. You're old. You just can't drink like she used to, ol' girl.
Still, it's so rare these days that I experience that kind of evil hangover that, when I was finally able to handle direct sunlight, I felt nothing but happy that I went to my reunion. So, in the spirit of Roses, here's to reunions.
You should go to yours. Why? Because it's fun. And fun is a blessed thing.
Plus, as my friend Mel and I agreed the next day, it really felt like the room was filled with love.
Maybe that's just us. (Honestly, who would utter such a thing but a couple of dorks?)
Or maybe it's Belleville kids.
I've lived in a few places now and I can say, truly, Belleville has the greatest pizza (sorry, Chicago) and the greatest people.
G0d bless 'em, as my people say.
By people, I mean Jersey folk, not the nuns.
Fern Ronay relocated to Los Angeles in 2014. Her first novel, Better in the Morning, the story of a single 29-year-old Manhattan lawyer who is guided in her dreams by her dead Italian grandparents, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Follow the hashtag #BetterInTheMorningBook on social media and follow Fern on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @FernRonay.