Class of 1994

Here’s a weird thing to say out loud.  I think I was a cool kid in high school.  I didn’t know it at the time but as my 20th high school reunion approaches and the boxes of memorabilia have come out of the attic, I have had to face the truth.  That girl who spoke graduation weekend and got good grades and had a few nice boyfriends and friends in lots of different cliques – she was lucky.  If I am honest with myself  (or if I look at a high school yearbook with a discerning eye) I think I was, gasp, popular.

So, I should be excited about my upcoming high school reunion, right?  I even got conned into kicking around ideas with the planning committee, now if that doesn’t scream “in crowd” what does?  I should really be looking forward to this, right?

So, what gives?  I can’t be the only one that feels like I might throw up and has a knot in her stomach.  (Ha.  I never censor myself.  And I just did.  See? I must be nervous.  It’s not a knot in my stomach.  It’s a week’s worth of shit.  And about 12 teaspoons of Metamucil.  I have a friend that gets vicious diarrhea when she is nervous.  I am jealous.  It seems I am having the opposite problem.)

What am I afraid of?  It’s not seeing the people I knew in high school.  The 20th High School Reunion no longer holds the mystery it did once.  I am unlikely to be emotionally sucker-punched by an old flame or startled by the icy chill of a former friend.  The internet has kept us in touch as much as we’d like to be.

It’s me.  I am afraid to go home and see me.  High school me, that girl with so much potential.

I am in a good place.  I have fought hard to make peace with who I am and where I am and I no longer make self-deprecating jokes about figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  I am in a really great marriage.  I am proud of the mother and the wife I have become.  My athletic endeavors give me something to make small-talk about. I feel pretty good (discounting the turd baby, of course.)

But fuck, I am nervous.  I really don’t think I am scared to see a bunch of people from high school.  They weren’t scary then and age has tempered most of us by now.  It has to be me.

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Does she look scary? I mean, she looks kind of bitchy, but I don’t know about scary.

So, here we go, 2oth High School Reunion Weekend.  Listen up Kelly circa 1994, your hair looks smoking, I will give you that. And you look like you have had a decent night’s sleep in the last decade.  I will cop to being super jealous of that. But you don’t have this one thing that I have now.  You didn’t know what you wanted. You thought you wanted to be an actress so that you could pretend to be all kinds of different people.  You thought that if enough people said “You’re so talented” or “You’re so funny” or the holy grail of teenage self-worth “You’re so pretty” that it would be enough to make you happy and it never, ever was enough.

But this life, this family, these people that love me – this is so much more than enough. This is all that I ever wanted.  And I have it.   I won’t return triumphantly home to say “Look at me, look at me and my fancy self and my great big life” but instead… Instead I will try to listen. I will say “How are you” and “tell me about your life” and “show me a picture of your kids” and I will let my smile speak for itself.  And I hope that when someone says “Did you see Kelly at the reunion” that someone will reply “Yes, she looked happy.”  I also hope that nobody says “Sure, she looks happy but it seemed like she was full of shit.  Seriously.  Full.  Of.  Shit.”  One can dream, right?

To my fellow classmates, I am looking forward to seeing you. Please, feel free to tell me a poop story as soon as you see me.  It will level the playing field.  Seriously.

 

 

13 responses to “Class of 1994

  1. I love this post. Love. This. Because this would scare the shit out of me (notice, out-of-me, because I (ahem) have the opposite problem…) Reunions, even if you were okay then and if if you’re okay now, there’s this thing you hit on that’s totally right and that’s when we meet up with our old selves’ expectations for us, well, it’s hard (hard as a four-day-old poop baby, I imagine…) But if we can be honest with ourselves (and reach back in time and shake the shit (thankfully) out of teen us) we’d realize that being happy is all we ever really needed. You go, girl! (I mean, GO.) ;-)

  2. The girl in the picture looks like she has a very sweet soul. John

  3. I remember you being very popular in high school. I remember wishing I had just a tiny portion of your confidence. And now, looking at the reunion pictures on facebook, yours is one of the few faces I recognize. But let me say, I think today’s Kelly has even more to be confident about than the Kelly back then. So I hope you had a blast at the reunion.

  4. Damn. That picture was sexy 20 years ago, and it still is. That is all.

    P.S. you are still a knockout to this day, of course, but right now I’m just talking about that picture. Because damn.

  5. You were popular in high school? I’m not sure I can keep following your blog. I have too much self-respect to kowtow to the cool kids.

    • You should rethink that position, Kelly wasn’t of the mean/bitchy/stuck up ilk. She was just cool, hilarious and totally approachable to a geek like me, two years her junior. The first time I met her was about a month into my freshman year at auditions for the school play. As I sat uncomfortably alone in the theater, she hopped into the next seat and chatted me up! Thanks Kelly, nothing but fond memories.

  6. Ha! You were so popular that you didn’t even need to be friends with popular people. You were meta-popular. If you went to school with the Heathers, they would be wearing overalls and trying out for South Pacific. But then they’d be kind people, bc that’s what you were.

  7. It would be super to see the “popular girl” be the one who was actually interested in the person who didn’t have: great hair, a clear complexion, tons of friends and, generally, happy memories of his/her “formative years.”

    I hope she shows up.

    As someone who didn’t have a whole hell of a lot going on in the mid 1970s myself, I was fearful of my 10th reunion. I had just gotten married. I had a dream job and a beautiful wife who was working on Wall Street. I had made it. Unfortunately I took little solace in the fact that most of my peers were still living in the past. The means girls were still that. They had stayed local so they weren’t really interested in someone who’d moved away and began a career in something as esoteric as US foreign policy making.

    And that was all good because I realized I had lived my dream and it didn’t include them and I didn’t need their approval. That was 1987 and I haven’t been back again.

    I grew up and moved on. I am over the pain I once felt and don’t require their affirmation. I look at my 3 grown children and am quite pleased with the adults they’ve become. I enjoy the material possessions we have collected and are beyond anything I could have imagined when I was an awkward kid in Feeding Hills, MA (yes there really is a place called that).

    And I would be happy to share any number of poop stories with you.

  8. My 20th was a few years ago. I kind of wanted to go but was also terrified. Fortunately, long distance, no money, 1 kid, and 1 pregnancy sort of put the kibosh on it before I could have even dragged out a suitcase. Kind of jealous of those who got to go!

  9. Yeah… we all looked up to you in High school. Class of ’96, two WHOLE YEARS your junior here. Totally loved you and your mom having matching tattoos. (Or was that just a rumor?) And you being the tall, beautiful island girl in “South Pacific”. And your mom let you have the CAST PARTY in your HOUSE? And she was a Drama mama and all that and knew the kids names. Yeah. You were cool. (Also, your mom was cool too.)

  10. Dude. You were terrifying in high school. TERR. I. FYING.

    And stop it with the Metamucil. My doc friend told a constipated member of our group that when you are already backed up it just adds more bulk and makes it harder to go. I think you are going to have to up your game to laxative, my friend.

    Have fun this weekend. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    Go Rams!

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