Monday, February 23, 2009

At seventeen...

I'm not going to my high school reunion. I had actually planned to--oddly enough. But there's a conflict of dates and, well, the job wins (paycheck and all, you know). But I'm strangely disappointed that I can no longer attend. Odd indeed.

High school was pretty much four years of hell for me--five if you factor in the fact that I started RVA in 8th grade and therefore "high school" was nothing more than a dorm move and the privilege of staying out until 7:15. Wee junior highers had a curfew of 7pm. However, it has recently been brought to my attention that just about everyone was miserable. No one really enjoyed high school. Even those on the rugby team who have declared those years as the Best of Years of Their Lives. I say, Bullshit. You were fooling yourself then and you're lying to yourself now.

When we first started chattering about a reunion my first thought was, well...have fun. I won't be there, but you all enjoy yourselves. Late nights reminiscing over scrapbooks and field hockey scars. Knock yourselves out. Then I thought about it some more. And I decided that I would go--if for no other reason than to lay around in a two piece bathing suit. I was, um, rather large the last time most of these people saw me and, um, so clueless when it came to clothes and what looked good. It was sad. And the two ton chip I insisted on carrying around on my shoulder most likely did little to add to my attractiveness. It was remnants of that chip that propelled the decision. Yes, show up and show them. I am in far better shape and in much, much smaller jeans than I was at 17. And that 17-year-old wanted to cause a little ruckus. I blame her rebellious behavior on Bon Jovi.

I didn't date back then. No one did really. It was boarding school with rules and regulations. We had to have our bathing suits inspected prior to our senior trip to Mombasa--no two pieces, nothing too high or too low, preferably without holes in the knees. One was either single or attached at the hands with the boyfriend o' the term. Me? I had a total of one "boyfriend". It was when I first arrived. The relationship was short lived even by middle school standards. The death of the relationship was the moment just prior to what was supposed to be the first kiss. My first kiss. Ever. I knew it was coming--two laps around the lower rugby field clued me in. But just at that moment--I choked. Couldn't do it. I wanted to tell him why...I was nervous, scared, never been kissed and all that, but I think what actually came out was something like, "Uh, nuh-uh" and a shake of the head. (The look of horror on my face was apparently so repulsive that it wasn't until our senior year that we actually managed to speak more than two words to each other.) I was the girl the guys talked to to get the 411 on another girl. And I wanted to show one or two--or three--of those that so cluelessly broke my poor little heart that I turned out Hot. So there.

Then, over the past several months, the strangest thing happened. Somewhere along the way my reasons for wanting to attend the reunion changed. I blame facebook. And the blogosphere. Usual suspects, I'm sure. However, in this case it's true. Over the course of the past year, year and a half, I have gotten to know former classmates in a way that I never did before. And the oddest thing--I like them. Most of them. The one that has ignored my friend request for the past two months can kiss my booty. I was only trying to be nice. Whatever. So I started to look forward to the reunion. Even made some small attempt to help plan (sorry, Melanie!). I wanted to look at everyone's scrapbooks. I wanted to sit and remember interms and Senior Safari. Make fun of Hagerman's lame attempt to teach Swahili. Laugh about the cattle crossing sign Mr. Wilson put up on the walkway to the senior girls' dorm. Just be with this group of people who all have that Thing in common--that Thing that sets us apart and marks us as "not being from around here". Third Culture Kids. Global Nomads. There's a freedom in being together--the freedom of not having to explain any of it. The freedom of not having to answer the stupid questions (yes, there are stupid questions). Amongst ourselves we're all normal. And, at times, I crave normality.

I suppose I'll have to settle for waiting another five years. I can stay in shape until then.

10 comments:

Sean said...

and yes boys and girls, capitol letters on Hot are appropriate for my wife, TYVM!

Elise said...

This post is exactly why I was so looking forward to getting together with you!!
Though I do have great memories of RVA (really, truly I do!), I was also secretly very very scared about going to the reunion and am maybe relieved I'm not.
And you know, I have no memory of you being overweight or anything, just you being you!!
I hope we can meet IRL sometime before we are ancient and grey and we've lost our hottiness....

Tina said...

OH Dori, I had no idea you felt this way. I always thought you were a cute girl!! We never hung around in the same group b/c I was one of the ones attached to the hip with a "boyfriend"!! I am sorry I didn't get to know you better but am glad I have had the privaledge lately!!!! I did enjoy RVA, however there were struggles, I won't lie.

I am sad that I am not going to be able to see you at reunion but I would so like to try at some point and time to get together. Right now we can settle for blog and FBOOK.

Dori said...

Ok, so my husband can still make me blush. :D And, Marit, just look back over the pictures of snior night. Oy! Maybe we'll just have to make a trip to Holland one day. Tina, the image of you and Davis attached is still pretty funny! Tiny you, big him. Hee, hee. I also remember an enjoyable free weekend with you and your dad.

Tina said...

LOL!!!! We were a funny pair but he was awesome, and still probably is. : )

I had forgotten about the weekend you spent with us, don't feel bad, my memory is sooo bad, I have to be reminded of yesterday!!!! : /

Glad we have reconnected!!!!

Stephanie said...

First time on your blog. I am a fellow police wife. Just wanted to stop and say hey!

Oh, my HS reunion is this summer. Still haven't decided if I want to take the trip back... Part of me would love to see what people have been up to, but the other part of me isn't sure I want to make that trip. My husband is all about going (we went to HS together), so I am guessing we will be going.

beth♥ said...

So, my underclassman memory doesn't remember you being chunky. Still - BRAVO for looking/feeling better now. That is awesome!

I'm stuck planning our 20 year RVA reunion. I don't know how the job landed in my lap, but it did. Alas! I guess I will have to go! :O)

Dori said...

Stephanie--so glad you stopped by! I enjoyed reading your last couple of posts (I have a Plan for every disaster! Fire, flood, break in, driving the car over the side of a bridge--you name it, I have a Paranoia and a Plan to match!). But for some reason the word verification wasn't showing up and couldn't leave a comment. Oh, well. Glad to have found another LEO wife though!

Dori said...

Hi, Beth! Thanks for stopping by--just keep your expectations low. :D I'll dig out the albums and scanner--obviously no one believes I used to be fat. Now, there's a problem I never thought I'd have!

Donia said...

OK...just 2 things. First, you were only "chunky," as some have called it, your senior year...and I, for the record, despite normal (?) teenage growing pains, loved high school at RVA. NKP.