My X Factor

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back in the early 90's, I worked for Jenny Craig. We inundated the market with strategically placed commercials; in the morning after the kids left for school, midmorning while Mom was doing laundry or right in the middle of Oprah. Sure as the tides, the phones would start to ring after a 60 second spot ran touting "50% off Registration if you act NOW."

Our first goal was to read through the phone script to convince them that they had to come in TODAY before they ate one more cupcake. The theory behind this sense of urgency was that each person has that one thing that makes them pick up the phone and call.

Maybe their child said "Mommy has a fat butt" or they tried putting on their jeans and couldn't zip them up. We called that their "X Factor", the thing that made them say, enough is enough.

My X Factor happened last week when I signed up for my 25 year high school reunion. I try to work out regularly and I was thinking that I looked okay until I waved to someone the other day and when I stopped waving, my arm kept going. Okay, so maybe I need a little toning.

My high school had a large graduating class of about 450 and I pretty much stayed under the radar. I wasn't a jock but I wasn't a "burn out", either. I could easily mix with both groups but never quite fit into either one. My memories kind of blend from one non-momentous event to another.

Until prom.

Prom is the pinnacle of a young girl's high school experience. That moment when she can dress up like a princess and gather with her friends, bidding adieu to her childhood, looking hopefully toward her future as a young woman.

Then there was my prom.

I wasn't dating anyone and so I agreed to go with a friend of mine since he wasn't dating anyone either. We'll call him Vince, since that was his name. He was on the football team and hung out with the jocks. He had a great body but average looks so girls weren't exactly swooning.

Vince and I had been friends all through junior high and high school and I told people that we were just going as friends. Vince's perspective was a little different as you'll see.

I went shopping with my girlfriends for my dress and after prom outfit and was really looking forward to the night. About 3 or 4 days before the big event, I ran into a friend in the bathroom.

Friend: "Oh my God, Chrissy, I just heard about what happened with Vince. I'm so sorry!"

Me: "Hmm? What do you mean? What happened with Vince?"

Friend: "Um. Nothing never mind."

Me: (blocking the doorway so my petite friend couldn't leave) "WHAT do you mean?"

It turned out that Vince really liked me and was upset that I was telling people that we were just friends. So he asked someone else to go. Someone who had a huge crush on him. Someone who was a FRESHMAN. Or maybe a sophomore. Anyway..she was younger.

He never did have the balls to tell me himself until I managed to get him on the phone and make him fess up. Everyone in the school knew what a shitty thing it was to do and so Student Council decided that they were going to pay for me and a date to go. Have you ever been 17 and tried to find a date 2 days before prom?

Needless to say, I couldn't find anyone to go so a friend volunteered his younger brother. He was very nice, even though he stepped on my dress and tore the bottom of it almost completely off while we were taking pictures before prom and he didn't speak at all the whole night. But, hey, what a trooper!

Wait, it gets better.

My date wasn't able to go to after prom. I don't think he was allowed to stay up that late or something. So my friend Lisa and her date said they would swing by and pick me up at my house after I went home to switch outfits.

I eagerly changed into my cute after prom outfit and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I finally called Lisa's house to see where they were and her mother told me that they had left over an hour ago.

They never picked me up because Lisa's date thought I looked pretty and she was jealous.

I never spoke to Lisa or Vince again until 10 years later when I ran into Vince out one night. He looked really different and I wasn't even sure it was him.

Me: "Are you Vince? Vince...(Okay, I won't say his last name)?

Vince: "Yes", a puzzled look came over his face as he tried to place who I was.

Me: "You bastard! You ruined my prom!"

He was shocked to see me and seemed really upset about what had happened all those years ago. I told him how it had hurt my feelings at the time but that I had gotten over it because we were kids and kids do selfish things.

Then I saw Lisa a few months back.

And she was fat.

It was fantastic.

Gosh, I hope she makes it to the reunion so we can catch up...


  1. tee, hee, hee....isn't karma a wonderful thing???

    HA! HA! Lisa and Vince!!!

    And good for you Chrissy, for telling Vince how you felt!

    OMG...I can't wait for you to see Lisa at your reunion. She'll probably be the one standing in a corner all alone, eating a pound cake!


    Have a great weekend Chrissy!

  2. Hey Ron!

    Welcome back!

    Yes, my grandmother always used to say, "don't get upset, God will get them."

    She also said, "marry for money, you can learn to love them later."

    I miss her..sniff sniff

  3. I have intentionally stayed OFF the radar. No one really paid attention when I was there, why would they now? 15 years next year, I wonder if I should show up?

  4. You're right, Sarah. The last few reunions, I was really more interested in what people looked like more than anything else.

    But there are always those that it's really fun to see again.

  5. So the moral of the story is that Lisa's so fat that during the reunion, will be standing next to everybody? :D

  6. I LOVE that Lisa was fat. It's shallow, but it does make a girl feel better. How did Vince look?

    My best friend slept with my boyfriend when I was in the 9th grade and she was in the 8th grade. She's now in prison for murder with no chance of parole. (Ok, that's not like becoming fat.) I will be blogging about that soon because I have an update.

  7. Hey Judge,

    Well, she wasn't THAT fat but we do have 3 months before the reunion so one can only hope...

  8. THANK you, Tina. I knew the women would understand.

    About Vince, well his bod was gone and I can't even remember what his faced looked like anyway. :-)

    OMG, I can't believe that girl is in for murder. Ain't karmic debt, grand? Can't wait to hear the details!

  9. At least you went to prom. No one asked me so I took the matter into my own hands and courageously asked a guy from another high school. He agreed to go with me. Then, a week before prom he called to tell me that he didn't want to rent a tux- too expensive- and so he wasn't going to go. And that was that. Your story is MUCH better.
    What I have learned since high school from going to a few reunions is that the people who were super popular in high school tended to peak then and the nerdy invisible folks like me seem to still be climbing.

  10. Sorry he was such a jerk. You're probably lucky you didn't go. Just another over rated event.

    I agree. The people who were super popular went downhill after school. I, like you, am still on my way up. :-)


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