When I was in grade 11 (1987), I made several diverse, different and new friends. Some; to this day; I am still very close with, others...not so much. Two of the people I met, were friends already through church. Truth be told she didn't go to his church (his family were, and still are HIGHLY religious) except for Friday Night Youth Group and the occasional Sunday service. But let me assure you her going to his church was not to glean any teachings of the Lord. it was because she desperately wanted in the pants of our friend. I'm still not certain to this day how or why I ever introduced my friend Rachel to Richard and in turn Lori Ann - I just know that I did. None of us were really friends with Lori Ann, she was just sort of there because that's where Richard was. Honestly folks, the story you are about to read is completely true. I wish I could make this shit up, but I kid you not...truth is most definitely stranger than fiction. ****I was asked if I have changed the names to protect the innocent. The answer is No, I did not. My thought is...if I'm going down...we're ALL going down. LOL****
Rachel, Richard and I hung around together most lunches (there were others involved but really the core was the three of us - Lori Ann was there too of course but really not by any of our choices). Never did you see a stranger mix of people. Rachel was fashion forward and chic with her finger on the pulse of what was "cool" in the world (in my eyes), I was a geek with chic connections, and Richard was our good Christian boy. Rachel being Rachel would frequently push the envelope with Richard. I think she often wanted to either see just how far she could push him or see if she could crack him like a walnut. I often bit my tongue and watched to see how it would all play out. Sometimes Rachel liked to stir the pot -- truthfully (even to this day) sometimes it cracks me up when she does it. I was the wide eyed kid waiting to see what would happen next. I think more often than not Richard was intrigued by what made Rachel tick. I think he often over analyzed her and made more out of situations than there was.
Lori Ann forever trailed behind diligently waiting for some form of attention from him that never came. She was like an annoying yappy dog that won't go away and tries to hump your leg. She would often open her mouth and speak about things she had zero concept or clue about. Something that would come back to bite her in the ass during our "Christmas dinner" at Richard's parent's home.
Now, when I say Richard's family were religious...I mean to say hands in the air, praising the Lord, Tent revival, healing hands, speaking in tongues, Get behind me Satan, Yer going to hell if you don't believe and believe THEIR way - Religious. Neither Rachel nor I were raised as such...in the slightest, I believe Rachel had a more formed religious upbringing than I of that I'm fairly certain. On top of this, his parents were rich - and I'm talking both filthy AND stinking. I was 16, and uptight parents (like Richard's) made me VERY nervous.
Rachel had had a dinner for us at her family's home and of course not to be out done Richard invited us to his house - Lori Ann had invited herself, much to all of our chagrin. And Richard being Richard...didn't un-invite her either.
I remember Rachel calling me that afternoon after I had come home from a funeral that I had been to. A friend of mine had killed himself and the funeral had been that afternoon. She called to make sure I was alright, and that I still wanted to go to Richard's that evening. She was concerned and said it wasn't too late to back out if I didn't want to go, that Richard would have to understand. I know she didn't particularly want to go, but felt obligated as he had come to hers. I told her I was fine, and we went anyway.
We were dressed up (dinner was semi-formal) and we sat in the "formal" living room. The formal living room was the kind of room that is sparsely decorated with extremely expensive furniture that no one should be sitting on, but it's what you're "supposed to have" in that sort of room. It usually tends to have a floral print on it and has plastic over it that squeaks no matter how slowly you try to sit down or how little you move on it.
Rachel was nervous and I was uncomfortable. Richard's Mother loathed me (I think She felt I was a promiscuous whore who was only there to lure her innocent baby boy into temptation - a Jezebel in her midst! I dyed my hair and wore make up and listened to "devil music" -- I wonder how Duran Duran or Wham! would've felt about their music being referred to as "devil music"? LOL ) and Lori Ann...well she was oblivious which was about to come to light in a blinding sort of way. Honestly I think she disliked Lori Ann more than I...Lori Ann would tend to hang off of Richard, something I NEVER did. Strike One against Lori Ann....strikes 2 and 3 were quickly approaching during dinner. Batter up!!
Dinner for me is somewhat of a blur. I do recall Lori Ann turning to Rachel during the salad and saying she thought it was "weird" that Rachel was using her knife and fork to eat it with, and that she was taking the time to cut the larger pieces of the lettuce down into smaller bite sized pieces. Mrs. Mc Cutcheon turned to Rachel at this point and quickly interjected with a "That's European isn't it dear?". To which I can recall a mortified Rachel nodding her head. Strike Two for Lori Ann.
Make no mistake, Lori Ann was not trying in anyway to make Rachel look stupid or feel bad - this chick (even to this day) is not the tallest Hobbit in the Shire. I kid you not. I'm not saying that to be mean or rude...but she's completely clueless and vapid. She doesn't even realize that she's clueless, which I think makes matters worse.
Dinner progresses and some how (I don't remember how) the conversation turns to World War II and Oskar Schindler's involvement and what he did for the Jewish people. At that point I knew very little about World War II (at the level they were discussing it) and knew nothing about Oskar Schindler. I was intrigued by the conversation so I sat, listened and learned. At some juncture in the conversation Lori Ann who has gleaned that the conversation is about "a war" of some sort pipes up with "I've seen the movie Platoon". For those of you who may not have seen Platoon - it is not about World War II. It is about Vietnam. It has nothing to do with Oskar Schindler and aside from the fact that it was about a war - it had no barring on the conversation at all. Strike Three for Lori Ann.
I remember you could have heard a pin drop in that moment after she made her statement. I think we were all completely dumbfounded that she'd made such a daft statement. I recall I opened my mouth to say something, and then closed it again when nothing would come out. Across the table came this loud laughter from Richard who knew how much of a stupid statement Lori Ann had just made. Richard's Mother sat with this perplexed look on her face as if she'd passed out and missed a bunch of conversation and was trying to figure out how they had gone from talking about Oskar Schindler to a recently released (for that time) movie about the Vietnam War. I believe Mr. McCutcheon gently said something like "That's about the Vietnam War wasn't it?" putting a little stress on the word "Vietnam" hoping Lori Ann would clue in that her statement had been a completely random one. That it had nothing to do with the conversation that had been going on, Oskar Schindler, his roll in World War II or what he had done for the Jews. But in typical Lori Ann form it went completely over her head and she was clueless. I could not wait for dinner to be over.
Of course, like all nights that you wish would just end so you can just go and relax it never does. I'm certain in some alternate universe I'm still stuck there...me and Rach. It's our own private hell. I think truthfully after that "Platoon" comment Rach and I would have been more than happy to pack it in and call it a day. We had all had more than enough of Lori Ann to be sure - who may I remind you had invited herself (not the first time nor would it be the last!). Eventually the night ended, I went back to Rachel's house to spend the night while we still sat in her basement shaking our heads about Lori Ann, and the entire dinner. It was one of those nights that was bizarre from beginning to end - and really maybe you had to be there. But I can assure you, I really wish I hadn't been!
One Last Glimpse,