flashback: party in 1993

Sick at home so I dug out my treasure box of old mementos and diary entries of my high school years.  An embarrassing memory came to mind and thought I share.

Summer 1993

It's been a good couple of weeks.  I felt like Collin and I bonded a lot over the summer.  My heart flutters whenever he's in sight.  But now there's also this annoying habit of mirroring his feeling.  If he's happy I am too, if he frustrated or sad, I followed.  I hate it actually.  I am my own person but why am I affected by him ?  It seems though, we got like a "thing" going, as in we like each other, no, no words were exchanged but I think when someone gives you so much attentions it means they like you right ?  I really don't know :-/   Maybe it's just a summer crush, it'll be over before I know it.

I'm going to be in grade 8 this year.  I'm super duper excited I couldn't sleep, I can't keep all these anticipations inside much longer.  School start already !  I know I am a bit hyper, ok, really hyper.  I skip when I walk and I laugh like A LOT, over anything and everything.  I need to control myself.  I often forget to.  I don't have a good laugh, this I know.  I possess an annoying one in fact, the kind of laugh where it begins with a hearty laugh then ends with a whizzle because I am gasping for air.  People would laugh at my laugh and say it's cute but I feel other wise.  I really don't like "cute".  

Night followed by morning and next thing I know, summer ended along my obsession with Spin Doctors' "Two Princes" and school started.  High school was mind boggling, terrifying and exciting all at the same time.  JH was a huge school with so many Asians !  I was like one of 5 in my elementary school.   I tried to make friends but many already have their groupies from before.  Lucky for me, 2 girls, B and C asked me to hang out with them and we became fast friends.  

One beautiful autumn day, the weather was cool, the sun was high, a perfect day, when a popular girl in school, CC, invited me to her birthday party.  Wow, this is going to be AMAZing !!!  while my 2 friends weren't too thrill with that news at all (they weren't invited).  They made fun of the "cool" kids, teased the heck out of me, but then was nice enough to offer to help me with the birthday gift.  I was so happy and relieved as I have no idea what to buy !  this is my first high school birthday party.  It's kinda big deal.  

Day of the party, the girls and I went to San Francisco Gifts and I let them put together a little gift bag for CC while I pick out a card.   I don't know what they picked but saw a set earrings and a bunch of little colorful stuff.  I didn't pay attention and asked the sales girl to put all into a gift bag for me, I'm sure they're good.

That evening, I wore my cherry blossoms print ruffle shirt with white pants, pulled my hair up high into a pony tail and walked over to CC's house.  So many people were there already and I was greeted by a cute boy who looks like Vanilla Ice !  

I only recognized 1 or 2 familiar faces amongst the crowd so I kept myself busy by flopping right in front of the TV ! What was I thinking ? going to a party where I barely know the girl and her friends :-/  My boldness surprise me some time.  The boy who greeted me at the door came over to keep me company and checked up on me every so often after.  I was very thankful for him.  

Just when I was about get up and take my leave, it was open-presents time.  We all gathered to one side of the room while the birthday girl CC took centre stage surrounded by her parents.  There were many presents, there're music cassettes, cash gifts, amongst other stuff.  Then there's my little cute bag !  I can't wait to see what's in it and her reaction.

CC pulled out a Lets Party earrings, smiles, then she pulled out something else, candies ?  I can't remember.  Then last in the bag, out came packets of CONDOMS, many of them, colorful flavoured ones (someone said out loud).  The room went silent and it also feels like everyone stopped breathing.  CC doesn't look impress and I'm sure her parents aren't either.  I sat there not understanding what is going on.  But I got a feeling something isn't good because the person in front of me cringed and whispered "who bought that?".  I was about to opened my mouth but then decided against it.  I'm just going to shut up.
The party carried on after that unfortunate event, allowing me to quickly say my thanks and goodbyes and on my way out.  I don't get why condom balloons are so offensive ?  They're just balloons...I mean, maybe we're too old for it but there's no need for the over reactions right ?  I don't understand.  I don't get high school at all.

Growing up in Vietnam, condom were sold as balloons and only rich kids can afford them.  I begged my mom to buy for me and she bought it for me only once.  Wet sticky balloons that can blow up so big without popping, unlike the Vietnam made ones, too much air into the balloon and it will POP !  The elders would watch us blow them up and comment on how everything is better in the west, even balloons.  They say, just look at the quality, so thin but so durable.  Too bad it didn't come in colours.
It took many MANY months until I found out what those western "balloon" is (from Degrassi High) and was horrified upon the discovery, thinking back to the party.  My girlfriends weren't very nice :(  that's a mean prank/joke.  One of my first and sadly, not last, embarrassing moment of my high school year.


After thoughts:  I came to Canada when I was about to turn 10.  The time between 10 and 13, I was playing catch up with my would-be childhood: playing with Barbie dolls, Trolls, begging my mom to buy me a Cabbage Patch doll (she never give in) and enjoying my new found freedom to wear running shoes.  Girls were discouraged (not allowed) to wear runners in Vietnam then, as they are for the boys.  How things changed so much since then.  If Google existed then it would help me out a lot !  it would save me from so many disasters.