Talkin’ ‘Bout Bad Girls by Deb Jenny

So our theme this week is “being bad” but I’m afraid nothing compelling will be forthcoming from me on the subject. So, those of you with children gathered ’round, have no fear, there will be no titillation in this posting. Because, alas, hate to disappoint you all, but I am not a bad girl. Never have been. More than likely at this point, probably won’t become one. Now I say this with a bit of regret because honestly, bad girls tend to have a lot of fun. And I really love to have fun. But I’ve always been plagued with this tendency to follow the straight and narrow and do the right thing. Damn those morals that were imposed on me at an early age!

All right, I’ll admit. There were times when I stepped out of my comfort zone. Like back in college when I rode with a bunch of very drunk TKE fraternity brothers to Fort Lauderdale for spring break in a rickety RV from Pennsylvania to Florida. But in my defense, I didn’t realize they’d be, uh, imbibing, while they drove. By the time I woke up and we were halfway there, what could I do but just hope for the best? Remember, this was back in the days when we didn’t know how stupid it was for people to drive drunk. And it was my only way to join all of my friends in Florida for spring break. I mean, I had to actually see The Button! It was the wild spot of the Eastern Seaboard! (author’s note: in case you linked the Button there, sorry. I tried to find a picture of it but all that came up in Google was this fellow, so he’ll have to suffice!)

Now, once I got to Florida, I didn’t do the stupid things that many of those other coeds did—no wet t-shirt contests for me (she’s sorta scary, isn’t she?), no flashing strangers or appearing on Girls Gone Wild videos (well, they didn’t exist back then, but I can assure you, I would not have been in one). And I did use better judgment when it was time to come home: those guys had pretty much trashed the RV by day three of the week, so there was no way I would spend 24 hours headed north in something that smelled like a room full of rotting cadavers. My mom got me on the next flight out of there, and there was no debauchery on my plane ride home, thank goodness!

Okay, so there were a few other times in which I displayed less than oh, Junior League-level behavior. But when I gave that wretched formal date of mine (Chip–I shoulda known with a guy named Chip!) a bloody nose it wasn’t because he ditched me for part of the time to be at another formal with another date, and then came back pretending he’d been in the bathroom (for two hours!). Really, honestly, my foot slipped on the dance floor, my arm swung up, and kapowie! my fist met with his schnoz. Purely unintentional!

Now that I’m ‘fessing up…yeah, yeah. It was me. Inaugural Ball, 1984. But I was really tired of waiting around. I’d been standing outside in the sub-zero weather for hours greeting exceedingly rich women bundled up in fur coats and designer ball gowns while I stood in my strapless Jessica McClintock polyester number with goosebumps giving way to goosebumps.

So I ditched my post, snuck over to the bar, met up with my friend who, unlike me, wasn’t stuck volunteering at the thing (trust me, it was one boring evening). Okay, still I was bored. Even when we saw Cha Chi. Remember him? Happy Days Cha Chi? Joanie Loves Cha Chi? I mean we were young, cute enough. Surely Cha Chi would suffer through a photograph with us, right? Well, ol’ Cha Chi posed for the picture like he’d rather have been having gastric bypass surgery than standing next to the likes of me and my friend. Well, fine. I read recently in People Magazine that Cha Chi—who apparently has a problem committing and I suspect a leetle bit of a sex addiction—claims he knows the minute he meets a woman if he’s going to sleep with her. Harrumph! My friend and I are just a tad bit insulted that Cha Chi must’ve known then and there that there was nothing about the two of us that blew his skirt! I mean, honestly, he passed us by for this?

Sorry, I digress. So we were bored. We’d exhausted all forms of entertainment: greeting rich women while freezing to death, flirting with Secret Service men who are absolutely un-distractable (is that a word?), scoping out sexy Marines in their dress whites (also unwilling to be diverted from their appointed duties), drinking watered-down, overpriced drinks in miniature plastic cups while munching Beer Nuts and Lance Nip Cheddar crackers, forcing ourselves into Kodak instamatic memories with the likes of sex addicts like Cha Chi while waiting for the much-vaunted appearance of the President and Vice President.

Hours elapsed. Yawns set in. So when finally, finally, finally the Vice President arrived, amidst the frenzy, the fanfare, the Hail to the Chief (or assistant chief?), all that hooplah. Well, what can I say? Impulsivity took over. Yes, it was me along the velvet cordoned rope, the one who shook his hand and couldn’t help but pull him in for a smooch on the lips. I mean, hey, how many times was I going to be right there, with cameras a-snapping? It would’ve made a great Christmas card photograph, if my friend had actually remembered to take the picture. But in hindsight, probably just as well that little Kodak moment was preserved merely in our memories. And just as well the Secret Service didn’t haul my butt off to the brig for a couple of years of quiet contemplation.

Oh, wow. I just realized I wasn’t going to stoop to titillation. Yet I wrote about sexual deviants like Cha Chi who probably still loves Joanie (uh, by the way, Chach? She hasn’t aged so well, if you know what I mean…), and moments of drunken debauchery (albeit not mine). And I linked a picture of Cha Chi in his skivvies! My apologies to any young folk in the audience. But rest assured I have no part in Cha Chi’s deviant behavior. I mean, after all, he knew right away, evidently. It was only gonna be 20 years till I realized I was an insta-loser in Cha Chi’s eyes.

Nowadays bad girl behavior for me is reaching for the Peanut M&Ms for the fifteenth time that day. Or having seconds at dinner. Worse yet? Staying up past midnight when I know I have to wake up to go to the gym at 5:30 a.m. That’s Jenny at her worst. Okay, okay, I know some of you are already online, trying to find the perfect t-shirt to reflect the new me (by the way, the royal blue one would probably look good with my eyes, in case you’re wondering). But I’ve reconciled myself to my lot in life, and I realize that going to bed early is actually a good thing. Well, sometimes.

And you can rest assured that even in the good old days, there was absolutely no Jen Gone Wild. No, siree. Most of the time I was home studying for my calculus exams, crocheting blankets for the indigent, and generally doing anything but being bad…

So, are you ready to confess to your wildest moment?

27 thoughts on “Talkin’ ‘Bout Bad Girls by Deb Jenny

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jen! You’re always so funny! And while I’m not going to confess my wildest moment, I will say there was a time I thought it was good to be bad… Also, loved the visuals!!

  2. Thanks Gail. Somehow I can’t exactly see you throwing caution to the wind too much…but that’s a good thing. You know us straight and narrow girls…

  3. I don’t mean Gail Gone Wild or anything… in fact what we used to call wild is probably considered tame now, but didn’t everyone want to be bad at some point in their lives?? Have I revealed too much?

  4. Jenny, Jenny, I would love to see a picture of you in your Jessica McClintock dress shaking hands with the big wigs.

    As for that wild youth. I’m on the church counsel and chair of the PTA subcommittee on something (can’t remember what) so I can’t write any of that stuff down now. Let’s just say when someone asks my maiden name I usually make something up. Let’s just say I don’t have far to travel in my imagination when I am writing “scenes”

    Suz whazzername

  5. Jenny this is a howl. You coulda been a contenda! A Monica Lewinsky!

    Sigh… Kim Gone Mild. A few crazy parties at Dartmouth (original home of that crew in your incredibly clever links!) and an interesting night on the floor of the Harvard boat house. Tile. Cold. I was clothed and that’s all I’m saying. Never did Spring break in Florida in college either. Cancun once but with a friend’s straight laced medical student older sister.

    Great post!

  6. I put alot of my wild stories in the book. I can’t give them all away! 🙂 (I didn’t however, include the schoolnight joyrides at 3 am in my parents’ minivan, or the high-speed high-five with a carful of boys on Highway 41…Frankly, I am lucky to be alive today, given some of our old high school stunts!!!)

    One of my high school boyfriends looked like a poor woman’s version of Cha Chi. It still makes me cringe.

  7. Ahhh, White Trash Cha Chi–I can totally see it (though that’s actually sorta redundant, especially if you look at his all-grown-up picture and read about his trashy life in People Magazine 😉

  8. Hilarious, Jenny!

    Though my life is pretty tame these days, I admit, I have a few stories. But since I have a guest blogger this week, I won’t be having to choose which ones to tell or not tell. Hmm.

    Which president did you kiss?!

  9. Hee hee, Jenny.

    I was a rotten kid in high school – just awful to the teachers, getting sent to the principal’s office, telling tales, skipping classes, forging notes, booze, boys etc. Then school became tedious and I just quit. Yes, I was a bad girl, but anyone who has met me in the last decade would never, ever guess. I can’t even make it to midnight, let alone past it.

    Yup, my previous life as a bad girl is a well kept secret…at least it was until now.

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