Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The High School Reunion Conundrum

In a little over a month, I am subjecting myself to a time honored tradition of both terror and nostalgic delight...the 10-Year High School Reunion.

I am excited to see my friends who have moved all over the country (all three of them) but also nervous.  Why so nervous?  Possibly because I don't usually measure myself against a ruler that I defined 10 years ago.  Even though I am pretty certain my life is awesome - it isn't exactly what I imagined at age 18.

Growing up in small town Indiana, there was a cookie cutter vision of the future. Go to college, meet man of dreams, get engaged, get dream job far away from home, get married, and then around age 28 you should be ready for babies.

However, like Robert Frost, I took the road less traveled.

I love my life.  I love that my mother told me that I remind her of Chelsea Handler (more specifically she called us both "Diabolically irreverent").  I love that I watched all 6 Seasons of Lost while hungover on my couch this winter.  I love that I can run a half marathon one weekend, drink an entire bottle of wine on a Sunday in a San Francisco park the next weekend, toast on top of The W in D.C. while looking at the Washington Monument & White House the following weekend, and then accidentally purchase two JUMBO slices of pizza at 2am and when the cashier tells me I should probably just get one...I feel personally offended and challenged enough to eat like 7,000 calories worth of pepperoni.

I love that I am going to Coachella...then back to Lollapalooza...then to MoogFest all in one year.  I love my bikini body t-shirt collection. I love life in general - which is why I promised myself live it to the fullest even if its just little things every day.

Yet I am not exactly sure how to express this sentiment.  Most of the people I grew up with have multiple kids...are married...and work at one of the small, maybe even seasonal, businesses in town. I have no husband, no kids, and a job that most people don't understand.
 I have even joked with my BFF about getting wallet sized glamour shots of Bitchy Little Rat Dog to pull out of my wallet when people ask me if I have children. "Why yes, I have the most stunning little girl...with the fluffiest tail in the world!"

It doesn't matter what other people think of me. I know that.  But, I think my bigger fear isn't what they think...but that maybe seeing myself through their eyes will bring back those old standards of success I envisioned when I was 18.  Maybe I won't measure up in my own eyes.  Maybe having to repeat over and over that I am not married, engaged, dating or even just sleeping with anyone will make me wish that I was.  (However, to be clear, I couldn't be more happy about not having kids...for that, they will never change my mind)

So to get excited and pump myself up for this event, I have to do what any respectable movie character does....lose 10lbs and pretend I invented Post-Its!
 And then, in true high school fashion, plan a killer afterparty where I can get ricock wasted and make some bad decisions at our Riverboat Casino!  It may not be Vegas, but I heard we have the loosest slots in Indiana! (real billboard advertisement...)  Until then...I shall be conflicted with fear and fascination of what's to come.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

20 comments:

  1. Rumor has it that the 10-year (I just passed mine, but skipped it) is still awfully clique-y. Although please do post updates...

    And well played on the Romy and Michelle references...

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  2. I can't wait for my school reunion, but that's because I was the nerdiest shy little weirdo back in the day and now I'm confident, going places and pretty damn hot! I just want to go back and be like "YES THIS IS ME!" the people I have bumped into over the past few years from school haven't even recognised me and one guy who used to bully me actually tried to hit on this THE NERVE, I put him in his place telling him what a dick he was (turns out he's nice now...oops)

    I imagine most people will be the same as they always were, same friends, same groups and same shitness but I really want to see what's happened! 

    Oh and I am totally taking a picture of my dog to show around as my baby! He is definitely cuter than their born were they were 16 inbred creatures... 

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  3. I totally understand what you're saying. I still have a couple of years before my reunion, but while I'm happy with my life, it definitely doesn't look how I thought it would. I'm grateful for that. And I hope by the time I get to reunite with those crazy people, I'll feel even more confident in this fact.

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  4. I skipped my reunion - I was not going to go to the land of babies and stay at home moms to defend my life.  I love my life and I'm proud that I also have taken the road less travelled with all it's twists and turns.  But at the same time I was not willing to subject it to the scrutiny of a group of people who I really wasn't really friends with to begin with.  Those who I was friends with I still am now - and babies or nobabies they all opted out.  I think there are worst things to be compared with then Chelsea Handler like a 50's mute housewife who discovers she is void of a soul because she didn't pursue what she really wanted.

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  5. Maybe it's because our lives are so similar that I'm going to say this, but YOUR LIFE SOUNDS FABULOUS! ;) 

    Seriously, you walk into that thing like you run the world! Honestly, I bet the majority of those women would trade their first born for one day in your shoes, and I bet the majority of the husbands wish their wives were more like you! 

    You have balance. 

    They have a children balanced on their hip while on the phone trying to reschedule the appointment with the marriage counsellor because Little Suzy just stuck a jelly bean up Little Tommy's nose and they need to rush to the ER, again. 

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  6. I got wasted at my 5 year reunion! I imagine I'll do the same for my 10 year

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  7. The road less traveled is always more interesting. I think you have a pretty awesome life regardless of the choices of your peers or the choices you thought you would make.

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  8.  I know that is true - to my very core! Its just that I have never been very flashy or cocky - but I still want others to know how awesome it is...without having to sell out.  And again - I know, it shouldn't matter who thinks I am awesome/sellout/cocky...but it sort of still does. :-/

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  9. Great move...I will definitely reapply at the after-party if not before!

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  10. THANK YOU!  My life IS fabulous.  And for me personally - I will never regret being married - NOT married to my college fuckup boyfriend.  And I will never wish/hope that I had children by this point in my life. But - I don't want to disparage all women who are married with children - I have many friends who juggle it all beautifully....BUT I imagine those who don't WILL most def envy Bitchy Little Rat Dog and I cuddling on the couch for 27 hours watching netflix TV. :)

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  11.  I can't skip - but because I can't (I am sort of on the hook to plan it) I am forcing all my REAL FRIENDS to come...so hopefully it will be more happy than not...and if any 50s mute housewives judge this?  I will just smile, finish my drink and ask that they kindly step away while I make awesome happen. :)

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  12.  I am certain you will feel confident by then - what you need is to realize NOW that it is ok...then in a couple years you will be ok.  If you wait until one month before the reunion...probs too late. :) 

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  13. Good for you!!  How did you transform from such a shy girly into a confident rockin chick??

    But I do think that baby pics of you dog are totes hilarious!  I will probably do it - since you approve!

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  14.  I will keep you fully updated...I have a feeling that the cliques have all changed based on who "got out" and who didn't.  BUT, perhaps this is naive! I can't wait to see.

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  15. I graduated 6 years ago and back in 2005 I would have been 100% sure that I would be at least married at my 10 year.

    In 2011, I am 100% sure that i will NOT be married at my 10 year unless there was some sort of shotgun situation :)

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  16. You and me both, sister!  I also held on to the belief well into my 20s that I would be married by 30....just gave up on that one, too! ;)

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  17. I watched all 6 seasons of Lost when I was hungover too! (I've moved onto the X Files.)  <3 Netflix

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  18. Ooh...I haven't thought about the X Files.  Lost used to give me crazy dreams every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (it took 24-48hours to clear the Lost binge from my system)  - will X files do that too??

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  19. Ur the hottest thing to come from Greendale...don't ever forget that!  Not having kids, a husband, a "normal" life makes me love your life. The fact that you have a job people from IN don't understand...makes you even cooler.  I feel like that little girl who painted her dollhouse walls bright blue has grown up into the coolest woman.  You should be proud. Always.  PS kids a re fucking gross!

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  20. Thanks, E!  But, as I recall, I mixed bright blue with metallic silver OIL paint to destroy that dollhouse!

    And I couldn't be more happy to have you home for a week, Miss World Traveler!  Here's to more "Sorry for partying" moments next week.

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