I submitted this picture of me and Gretchen to Free Crappy Portraits and they posted their rendition yesterday! Click here to see it. It’s satisfyingly crappy, and I think it captures us pretty well. The original picture was taken at one of our sorority semi-formals last year. I’m not sure how it got started, but over the years that stupid-ass face somehow sort of turned into our signature, and I swear I am making it in 97% of the photographs taken of me in the last five years.
Early on in our college career, a gentleman friend of ours sometimes invited Gretchen and me over to his house to enjoy PBR from his homemade kegerator. On one of the many drunken nights that we spent in his company, he accidentally made up a portmanteau that sort of became a staple for me and Gretchen even after we stopped spending leisurely hours with this gentleman. One of his friends was leaving the party, and he was like “hey dude, call me tomarty!” and the friend was like “…huh?” and the gentleman responded with “shit! I meant to say ‘call me tomorrow, we’ll party’ but I think I just invented a new word! TOMARTY!” We adopted that word into our lexicon, and somehow that idiotic drunkface that Gretchen and I always make in pictures became known as the “tomarty face.”
When Gretch and I were freshmen we thought we were sooo fucking awesome. We actually used to tell people that we were “Lynsey and Gretchen, your favorite freshmen!!” thinking that our ability to sort of rhyme and to down dozens of cans of Natty Light in a night was somehow impressive. Looking back on it, I’m a little bit humiliated when I think about the specifics of how utterly ridiculous we were at times during our freshman…and sophomore…and junior years of college, but mostly I’m just nostalgic for the completely carefree lifestyle we led back then, before we had to worry about things like a morning commute, real bar tabs, and health insurance. Life was easier in those days, but even as we get older and more adult-ish, we still have that precious drunkface to guide us through.
As our brief bio on Free Crappy Portraits explains, Gretchen and I are hetero-lifemates who share an unusual fondness for portmanteaus and Taco Bell. Last weekend two of our friends came to visit from out of town, and they caught us up on their new lives with their new boyfriends, and Gretchen and I caught them up on our new lives and our lack of boyfriends, and then we all got drunk and I proposed to Gretchen with an onion ring. I’ve jokingly asked her if she wants to be my date to my five year high school reunion coming up in a few weeks, because the only thing that would actually make that event appealing to me would be for me and Gretchen to tell all of my former classmates that we invented Post-Its while making our best attempt to drain the keg in record time.
The thing about the reunion isn’t that I don’t want to see my high school classmates, it’s just that I really hate the charade that people put on in those kinds of situations. If we weren’t friends in high school, chances are I’m not going to be excited to see you at the reunion, and I’m not going to pretend to be excited, and I’m not going to expect you to pretend to be excited, either. In fact, if we weren’t friends in high school and you seem like you’re excited to see me, I’m going to feel a little uncomfortable, and I’m probably going to drink more than necessary and say really awkward and self-deprecating things, in an attempt to be funny and make myself feel less awkward, which is going to create a gigantic catch 22 and then everyone is going to feel awkward until we all get drunk, and then things will either get fun or they will get even more awkward. I already saw almost my entire graduating class over the fourth of July weekend the summer that most of us turned 21, and I just don’t have a burning desire to have that “so, what are you doing these days?” conversation 100 times in one night.
So I sort of haphazardly bought a plane ticket to go visit Allison in Philadelphia that weekend instead.
Party on, Wayne.