This is less of a post and more of an apology letter to my former classmates whom I will be meeting up within less than a week’s time for our 20-year high school reunion. Yes, that’s right–TWENTY YEARS. I’ll give you a minute to do the math, and yes, I am really old. Complaints of hip pain and hearing loss have already been well queued up.
In any case, while my introverted self would never normally go to such a gathering, my sweet, very kind and caring best friend from childhood is the one heading it up and as such, attendance was never optional for me. I know, must secure saner friends… So I’m going. I will be there. But I will not be there in the way I planned.
When my friend first began flirting with the notion of pulling this event together, I got on board. I could do this. I could get myself together, show up with pride and have a blast! I would secure the perfect sitting situation for my kiddos so I depart calmly without stress! I would lose all the weight! I would get my hair highlighted and find the perfect outfit! I would have my donated door prize basket together weeks beforehand and tied with a brightly colored ribbon! I would take a minute to page through my high school yearbook so I would remember people’s names! Heck, I would even make sure to find my yearbook so I could actually do that!
But then a ridiculous thing got in the way of all these shiny plans for my high school reunion.
20 years of life to be more specific.
20 years since I merrily skipped down that commencement aisle and met up with the world.
20 years of learning, growing and stretching.
20 years of loving, heartbreak, new life, and death.
20 years of having corners rounded off–again and again and again.
20 years of what is real and what is not.
20 years that include the most recent years of kids, homework folders, playdates, recitals, soccer games, starting my own business, dogs, husband’s business trips, and endless, endless mountains of laundry and dirty dishes.
20 years of me, my mess, my reality and all the beauty it holds and all the hopes and dreams it both precludes and fills.
So here I find myself a few days from touching down on this rather epic soiree, my 20-year high school reunion.
I would have scheduled the hair appointment (heck, I might have even gone to it!), but I forgot where I put my Groupon and then the dog got sick.
I really did mean to sort the gift basket weeks ago, but it felt more important to help my daughter with her reading and play Pandemic with my son or you know, sleep every now and again. Last minute is so chic anyway.
About the weight, I’m really sorry. I did become a gym goddess for a few weeks and eschewed all sweets, but then Halloween happened and with the 16 fall festival parades my kids had every single day prior to the holiday, squeezing in exercise became a tad tricky.
With my husband’s work schedule, dropping off the kiddos to a sitter will be more coming to a rolling stop in front of my dad’s house and shoving them out the door as we race to the reunion. Apologies in advance for being 30 minutes late.
And I have no clue where my yearbook is or what I am going to wear.
You see, I did try. I did. It just didn’t work out so well because I was busy living my life. Living those 20 years that got me to the point where I could say, “I’m off to my 20-year high school reunion.”
So I won’t be able to offer you a polished, slim and trim, calm, organized version of myself because she doesn’t exist anymore, and I’m sorry about that. I’m not really sure if she ever did. I may not even know who you are at first (darn yearbook hiding somewhere to spite me), but I can promise you one thing: I will be real. Yup, me and my messy reality will be there ready to chat you up and take a moment to celebrate both who we were and who we are, and feel grateful for all the 20 years of living it took to get us there.
And hey, maybe we’ll get it together for the next reunion?
Maybe. But probably not. And I’m okay with that.
See you there, friends.
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Janine Huldie says
I love this and my 20 year reunion was 2 years ago. Ironically enough I was away in Disney at the time for my first time ever. To be honest. I felt a moment of guilt I was missing it and then remembered that this is my life now and high school was 20+ years ago. Still, I wish I could have used your note above for all the reasons why I’d apologize to my 20 year old high school friends as quite frankly it was perfectly said!!
I love how we are at the age when know what works for us and can enjoy what’s in front of us, whatever it is. Go you for enjoying Disney–can think of no sweeter way to celebrate 20 years of adulthood 😉
Kathy Radigan says
This is perfect!! I went to my 20th and my husbands. I actually had more fun at his then I did at mine. But I was glad I went. And you are gorgeous!!
Aw, honey, thanks for the encouragement–I need it. And so cool that you had so much fun–this gives me hope! 🙂
LeahAnne B says
This made ma laugh and being true to whom youve become is the best thing to do. Sadly i will not be at our 20th reunion due to fact no one would care if i was or not. I was always the in the background at all times student anyhow. But i do remember you! I love thid article and thank you. Have a great time at the reunion
LeahAnne, I remember you too–even from elementary school! And I so appreciate your words of encouragement. I am sorry you won’t be there, but I understand–keeping up with this high school gig is absolutely not for everyone, and that is just fine. Appreciating who we are now is what matters! Thank you so much for checking in <3
Carley Iannacone says
You are amazing. And this is the writing that I just love- raw, and real, and funny.