I’m getting old. My 20-year high school reunion is officially around the corner, and I am SO NOT READY for it. For a variety of reasons.
Where should I start?
I’m not a doctor or a lawyer or a future Nobel Prize candidate. Haven’t written a novel yet. Never saw the point in graduate school—or at least, not after that time I applied for my MFA in 1995 and didn’t get into the writing program I wanted and then gave up altogether like a little crybaby. I FINALLY achieved a decent skinny size about 8 years ago, and even got back to it like a champ after babies #2 and #3 were born…but then I proceeded to screw it up about 3 years ago for no particular reason, and today, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to give a hoot (so I don’t try that hard). I also cannot afford a lake house. My family of five survives on one car (a decrepit minivan), and it’s got more trash inside it than a Nikki Minaj album. My tennis is passable at best, and I have never in my life done a real chin-up.
Sigh. I’m just so average.
I could take this moment to wax poetic and sentimental about being grateful for the all blessings in my life. Sure, I’m very happily married to a bonafide genius Renaissance man who rocks my world. I can lay claim to the three MOST PERFECT children in the universe. My work is something I find enjoyable, and I’m pretty good at it. So there’s all that. Blah blah blah.
Let’s just call it like it is, people. This is a milestone reunion. And it’s not some Romy-and-Michelle affair either—since my graduating class held all of 80 girls (yes, I went to a girls’ school for 12 years). There won’t be any pathetic soiree in a high school gym full of balloons and balding men and dark corners where you can hide out with a bottle of gin and go unnoticed. This will be a lovely luncheon on campus, and a family picnic, and a dinner party, and photographs, and ample room and time for intimate conversations and catching up. Everything will be beautiful, and everyone will be so nice. Truly.
So, like any resourceful woman feeling totally inadequate for no good reason, I’ve devised a list of the Top 10 Tactics to Boost My Confidence When Facing Blasts from My Past:
1) I will start posting progressively more hideous photos of myself on Facebook. My goal is simple: To lower people’s expectations. I figure if they’re anticipating my appearance as a bag-lady-dinosaur, I could really wow them with that $50 dress from Kohl’s and an old pair of heels.
2) I will arm myself with a hidden list of the more embarrassing things that I remember about my fellow classmates. Then, if anyone unwittingly makes me feel like an ugly failure, I can reach for the list in my purse, like a talisman. Or a voodoo doll. (Of course, I’ll also need to quickly align myself with any one of the 20 girls who did become a laywer. Someone is bound to remember the stunts I pulled, too, and I reserve the right to remain silent.)
3) I will bring a puppy. Everyone loves puppies. People with puppies are unflappable heroes.
4) I will take copious notes during every conversation and tell people, “It’s for my exposé.” Fear and power can be an intimidating cocktail.
5) I will casually offer to pre-arrange the marriages of my children. Nooooo, not to be a suck-up and mooch wealth wherever possible. What do you take me for? I’m just looking to ease the busy planning schedules of some of our more successful graduates. I’m altruistic like that.
6) Self-tanner. Like, top to bottom. I’ve heard it works miracles.
7) I will pretend I’ve moved to a distant exotic country, like Brazil, and that I really only speak Portuguese now. Oh, wait. We’ve already got one of those in our class. Plus she’s like a marathoner and a supermodel now. Maybe Papua New Guinea? Do women wear muumuus there?
8) I will pretend I got lost on the way to the party and show up only for the last five minutes. True, being unable to find something these days with all the GPS technology available will likely make me look more stupid. But at least I’ll breeze in and out so fast that all photographic evidence of me will seem as doubtful as a Bigfoot sighting.
9) I will stuff a (small and probably unnecessary) pillow under my dress, and tell everyone I’m preggo with #4. Upside: No Spanx required. Downside: Unoriginal. I was pregnant at my 15-year reunion. Plus I won’t be able to drink anything without seeming deplorable, and we can’t have that.
10) I will simply send someone else in my place. I’ll rig the skinny bi#@% with an earpiece and a microphone so I can hear everything and feed her all the right lines. She will be paid extra for witty banter and memorizing names. (Cuddling with my hubby, however, will be grounds for dismissal—so ladies, if you see her make a move, text me, ok? I’ll be out in the car eating Cheetos.)
Note to all my classmates who might be reading this: You know I’m just kidding, right? Right? You SAW me do that chin-up in 1989…in the weight room in the new gym…remember? But seriously, I’m looking forward to seeing you all in a few weeks. Pretend I look awesome.