Remember how I mentioned that there was going to be a reunion of my elementary school chums and that I was going to miss it because I was going to my friend’s wedding?
Well, about that.
I mentioned to an old pal of mine that I thought it would be all kinds of hilarious if someone were to blow up a picture of my face and put it on a stick and have people hold it in photos so that it’d be like I was there. She totally jumped at the idea so I sent her a face shot. Then we made sure to exchange numbers so that she could essentially “live text” the event for me while I sat at home in the comfort of my apartment watching The Soloist and drinking wine.
Did I win out on this deal or what?
Throughout the night she’d email me photos which, to my horror, would both catapult me back into my awkward ‘tween years and make me feel grateful that I’d aged rather gracefully. Because seriously? Why do all my old classmates look like THEIR PARENTS? Oh right, because we are basically the age of our parents when we all went to school together.
(When did we get old!? And why is time flying!?)
Truthfully, I could venture to guess they were probably thinking the same thing about me (via my head on a stick image). They were probably saying to themselves, “She sure looks like her Mom, Mrs. Skippy.” Because my Mom worked at our elementary school and also bore a striking resemblance to Annette Funicello who, at the time, was in all the Skippy Peanut Butter ads. True story.
Ah, good ol’ 1984.
It’s interesting as a non-attendee to look at the photos from the reunion and hear the snippets of gossip about people’s lives (who is a homophobe, who is on their second marriage, who continually hooks up with addicts, who is half-out of her mind, who made out with whom in the bushes while intoxicated). It’s just made me think about what really matters. At first when I heard about this reunion I kind of panicked. I’m too fat! I am not successful enough! I am not married/don’t have kids/don’t own a house/am not rich/am not famous!But all of that? That’s not real. That’s not what matters.
We’re all just people trying to make the best lives for ourselves. To deal with aging. To love other people. To be good humans. To work hard. To try to overcome our childhoods. Etc., etc., etc. It has actually made me stop and realize that I am really proud of my life. Not in comparison to other people’s supposed shortcomings but because IT IS MY LIFE. I live in a great city that affords me both culture and outdoorsy-ness. I have two awesome jobs that I am really good at that allow me to save for a house that will someday be all mine. I’ve got a great social circle and live a life of authenticity that is incredibly rewarding. I am close with my family. And maybe being single right now just means I’ve successfully avoided bad marriages (knock on wood). I never had anything to panic about. . . I was just too wrapped up in all the shoulds and supposed outside pressures.
I’m a little sad I didn’t get to go to the reunion. People have been emailing me saying I was missed and how they’d like to get together. I’m honestly touched. I guess I was actually more “popular” than I thought. That’s one good thing about aging- perspective.
Confessional P.S. The shy girl inside of me that felt overlooked and bullied back in grade school is gloating just a tad because her arch nemesis did not age gracefully. It’s not very nice to say but there’s a little satisfied smirk tugging at the corner of her mouth.