I can hear you doing the math. I'm 43.
I'm not usually one who gets too hung up on age, but there is something about being 25 years out of high school that is getting under my skin.
Maybe it's because I feel, emotionally, about 25?
Physically maybe closer to 30, but nowhere near 43. Not even in the ball park.
I was one of those kids in high school who knew a whole bunch of people, but who didn't really have a clique. I was a jock who was also in the marching band. I could hang out in the smoking area (not smoking, don't worry Mom) and not get beat up and held my own with the brains in every topic but math.
So I kind of pinged around, never really finding one place I truly fit in.
Of course, back then, it made me feel wildly unpopular, not having a clique. Looking back, though, I realize not having a clique is actually a blessing. But try telling that to the girl who thought the bigger her hair was, the more friends she'd have (remember, folks, this is 1987) :
It took me HOURS to make my hair do that. And I think I'm personally responsible for the hole in the ozone due to the amount of hairspray needed. Okay, maybe my best friend Amanda (in the blue) is also partially responsible (you're welcome, Manda, for sharing this photo with the world. Again.) :
That guy to my right (white suite a la Miami Vice) is Kevin. We were voted class couple. The guy on the far left is John, Kevin's best friend. I know Kevin won't be there tonight, which is too bad, but I'm hoping to see John, first to explain that I put a picture of him on the internet,and then to give him a hug. I think in this picture we were on our way to Senior Class Night. But I digress. I was simply trying to make a point about hairspray, I think.
So I'm a little wistful about my 25th. Maybe it's because I'm remembering my 5th reunion (or parts of it, anyway, like leaving with only one shoe on) back when I was still drinking. Or my 20th when I was 90 days sober (not the best idea I ever had) and having someone say to me - bug eyed - "you don't DRINK?! At ALL?! Man, that must SUCK!". (And for the record? That night? Yes. Yes, it did suck).
Since my 20th reunion I have gotten sober, Amanda has gotten sober, and my life has taken twists and turns I couldn't have imagined (one of them being the blessing of going to my 25th reunion together with my best friend and sober sister).
It doesn't suck to be sober anymore. I lost my Dad. I survived cancer. I built a jewelry business. My kids are both in school full time. I lost 100 lbs. I went on Oprah (albeit not because I'm famous, more like infamous). I lost most of my hair because of radiation, and grew most of it back again. I'm still vain about my hair, but no longer wrap my self-worth around its poofiness.
But I don't know that there is anyone who doesn't feel an inkling of insecurity about reunions. I mean, those of us who have stood with our school cafeteria trays looking for a place to sit without looking like we're looking for a place to sit. Or who have waved enthusiastically at a Senior who waved to them when they were only a sophomore only to find him waving to his entire football team, who are all sitting behind you and laughing at you. Not that that happened to me. *cough*
Don't we all have that little fantasy of kicking in the door, looking decades younger than our peers, and having everyone gape at us in amazement at how fabulously our life turned out?
Or is that just me?
Maybe I need a little more work on humility.
Or maybe I'll just crack out the curling iron and hair spray.