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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Because four years isn't nearly enough time

Edit to Add: COUGH, COUGH. Ahem. Especially that fourth category, unless you are voting for Heather Anne, and then I guess that's ok.

“The past is strapped to our backs. We do not have to see it; we can always feel it.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

If there were a group called Over thinkers Anonymous (OA™); I would be its President with much fanfare and praise for those with the uncanny ability to think about things until they become obsessed in hopes for preparing for every single outcome possible. It’s a wonder that I didn’t do well in math given my propensity to figure out the probability of all things to come. Which brings me to why I’m suddenly obsessed with my ten year high school reunion. “But surely she jests” you scoff “For she’s a mere babe”. True, yes. My ten year high school reunion will be in 2011. But I feel like I must have adequate time to prepare for such a thing. I need something to be proud of and talk about despite how well I can hold my liquor.

Thus the reason for during those rare occasions home, I tend to shy away from any location where I might run into someone from high school, because then I might be forced to speak in coherent sentences with proper structuring. And God forbid, I pepper my speech with the ‘f’ word and my thoughts on Malbec, because I really have nothing else to say. Not necessarily because nothing is going on but because…well…I just don’t know what to say to these people, short of ‘durrrrr’, which is the primary reason for moving 400 plus miles away to a city where I have my own (relatively) happy life.

Fast forward to a random Sunday a few weeks ago, I was headed towards Dunkin Donuts (for coffee) after the gym. I’m a Dunkin Donuts whore from way back in the day, when I used to skip math class and head over to the closest DD in my minivan to smoke Marlboro lights and procure hazelnut coffee. A rebel, I tell you. So while headed to the Dunkin Donuts, looking disheveled (natch) I looked up and saw a familiar face. The face of someone with whom I had spent hours with in the library of Guilderland High School, commiserating over our disdain for Honors English and his disdain for Hillary Clinton and well, there was that time he came out of the closet. But there, he was, standing at the door of Dunkin Donuts in DC staring back at me. And I was in lycra and sporting a pseudo fro held up with a headband (Men of DC: Call me!) and so I had to endure small talk dressed as such, and laden not with spontaneous ‘fucks’ but with ‘durrrr…donuts…Albany’ (Men of DC: I’m a great conversationalist, to boot!)

Fast forward again to a random Monday night, Columbus Day in fact, during a quickie trip to the Urban Outfitters in Gallery Place. I was hot and sweaty in cashmere and oily because my t-zone hates me after 11 AM and frizzy hair because my hair hates me…oh, about 24/7. And it was during this quickie trip that the line was 30 people deep and there was one lone employee at the register. Up at the front was a girl purchasing 450 items including – and I’m loathe to write this – leggings. Green leggings. So I am now sweaty and annoyed and oily and frizzy. The lo and behold the girl at the front of the line whips around and stares right at me. My heart skips a beat with the recognition of another! Person! From! High school! And I quickly put my head down in deep prayer of hope that she won’t realize that it’s me, to which she yells out “HEATHER!” To which I reply with a meek “hey” with that added oompf of “oh holy mother fucker”. And I cringe and want to curl up in a ball and forget about my fabulous sweaters. But I stick it out through small talk and exchanging of cards and me whimpering inside.

You see the problem with all of this is that I wasn’t cool in high school and have never been cool. I am friends with cool people, but I? I am as cool as Velcro sneakers and aquanet, not that I was actually alive for the advent of aquanet, but you get my point. And so to see people from high school in my territory gives me hives and makes me want to die a little inside. Not because it was such torture and the teen angst, though I did listen to a lot of Greenday, it’s because my brain doesn’t compute. It doesn’t understand that high school was over June 24, 2001. And that a hell of a lot has happened since then and while I may still not be cool (Men of DC: Check out my crazy HTML coding skills!) or anything, I’m probably different and smarter and I chock full of vitriol and funny stories and a collection of Coach bags, but I still have that fear that ‘they’, whoever the infamous ‘they’ might be, will hate me and snicker.

So! I have four(ish) years to further analyze and obsess, invest in Murad skin care and teach my hair to lay the fuck down already. And adding a few more Coach bags to the collection couldn’t hurt.



Blogger GirlGoyle said...

hummm...wait...whatever happened to lesson learned #6. And I quote:
6) The above is probably because I’ve stopped giving a shit about what people think about me. Yeah, I’m weird and quirky and I really have no time or energy to care about whether or not you approve of what I do. Period.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Well, it seemed like a good idea... said...

Ha, great post. I know what you mean, I am already thinking about the reunion four years out as well. Luckily though 2,000+ miles from home is just enough to not run into anyone I know.

Hilarious site. Great stuff.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I also dread the reunion. I almost wish my school had a 5 year reunion, because then 1. it would be over already (I am old), and 2. 5 years out of high school you're just out of college, so it is acceptable to still be floating around figuring out what to do with your life. By the time the 10 year reunion rolls around, half the people there will be doctors and lawyers or high powered CEOs, and I'll still be floating around, thinking about how office life sort of sucks. And I only have 2 years left, so I'm pretty screwed. There is no way I'm going to have my life together in 2 short years!

3:13 PM  
Blogger ducklet said...

don't worry, i had the same fears about my high school reunion and the people who held the keys to my self esteem. but i had one thing all those people didn't: A SCHEDULING CONFLICT. so they might have thought me a loser, but 1. i wasn't there to confirm it and 2. they don't know that there was in fact no scheduling conflict, i was just ashamed and made it all up. Ha! Who's the loser now? Don't answer that.

ps thx for the shout on finslippy. e

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Just don't go to the 10 year reunion. In my opinion, 10 year reunions are for those people who peaked in high school and can't wait to return... most of whom never left home after high school in the first place. Wait until your 20 year reunion when all those guys are already dried-up has-beens and you are at your peak of super-fabulousness, because you actually have a life beyond the Capital District.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

girlgoyle: Yeah, I know. It's jut that...I don't know...I'm learning. It takes awhile. I'll try better, promise.

well, it seemed like a good idea: The sad part is that what seems like funny stuff is actually the sad, sad truth. But I thank you very much.

jen: glad to know that I'm not the only one. For real.

ducklet: ooooh a fake scheduling conflict, that is most excellent. You are welcome for the shoutout. You rock.

stephanie: yes, I do have a life. But those others are invading my life here. It's just interesting to have people that knew me then, see me now. And I rarely know exactly what to say.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Abigail said...

Dude, since my high school is always trying to get money they have "young alumni" events at least twice a year. I was totally planning on going to the "Young Alumni Christmas Mass" (oh, Catholics, and their sneaky ways of getting money) my first year out of high school until I realized that I was exactly the same person.

Then I moved 2,000 miles away. I'm not the same person anymore, which means I probably won't be going back ever.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I haven't gone to any of my reunions. Still not cool, still not sorry.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous jonniker said...

Haven't been to a single reunion, not because I really care/thought about it that much, but scheduling just didn't work out. However, I would like to point out that I was the antithesis of cool: I played the oboe, and I really think that sums it up right there. xoxo

11:07 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Wow. That would be psychotic if it wasn't so funny. You know, you can always skip, as most sane people tend to do, with great results.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Lux Lisbon said...

Just watch Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion before you go.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

ok, a few quick things:

1) I don't actually walk around pondering my 10 year renuion, but it's just really fucking odd to be walking around the street, here in DC and have people from Albany in all my usual haunts. I always obsess and it things always work out fine.

2) My other reason for being mildly apprehensive about HS is that something happened (not to me, but to my brother) which effected me very, very deeply and when I went home after this incident it was really awkward. It even made a simple run in with a former teacher a long and drawn out thing during which i wanted to cry.

3) Did I mention that I played the clarinet from 4th grade on? My cool factor just dropped WAAAAAY down.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Heather Anne said...

This is painfully funny to me because I feel the same way. every. single. time. I leave my house. The difference is that I live in the Bible Belt and if I let the word "fuck" slip out of my mouth, I'll be called in for an exorcism.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

did you erase my incredibly witty comment?

1:39 PM  

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