Friday, July 9, 2010
I am two weeks away from my high school reunion. And lets just say it is not my first one. I am looking forward to going back to Billings, Montana, where I was born and lived until I was 23. Then, I did what you do when you are 23, out of college and a bit fearless, I packed my small car up with my belongings and left for Seattle, sight unseen, no job, never even having visited. I did have the sense to have a roommate set up and the rest of it I just took as it came, and here I am many years later, happily married with two little people, having survived navigating my 20's and 30's life in a big city. And I learned that I am a city girl, through and through. Although I think that Seattle is like a bunch of little towns that make up a big city--our neighborhood, with its tree lined streets and great neighbors, is very similar to the very street I grew up on.
Ok, back to high school. I had a great time in high school, lots of great memories and fun. I ran around with a group of guys and girls all through that time and we were very tight--we continued to see each other each Christmas at my best friend Michelle's house for a few years into college. Then the wind blew us in all directions and its been really a Christmas card and/or reunion type of relationship with most of them since. My friend Michelle and I were the best of friends back then, and she could not have been more different than me, which made it work all the better, I believe. She is thin with dark straight hair, played the violin, an instrument she named Myrtle, has a beautiful singing voice, took French. I had a wild mop of permed crazy blonde hair, too much makeup (yes, Mom, you were right!), worked at a clothing store at the mall, was a bit less, well, refined. But I loved my friend fiercely, we laughed a lot, nursed each other through our crushes and love affairs, passed notes in between classes, did all the fun things you do in high school. Once she even bought two little soft dolls, cut their hair in a style similar to each of us and sewed their hands together. I know it sounds cheesy now, but it wasn't to me, and I still have them in a box in the basement.
Over time I lost track of Michelle, life and distance got in the way. I found her on Facebook after I joined to get in touch with our upcoming reunion plans and am looking so forward to seeing her again. I know there are people in our lives that come and go, and those who remain our friends no matter what, even if we disappear from each other's lives for awhile. My Mom told me that you don't need to change friends if you understand that friends can change. And I consider that a good thing. Facebook can be a total time suck, a waste of space and time as people yammer on about sitting in airports or what they just ate. But it also has been a great way to reconnect with old friends, and it was a great tool for planning this next reunion.
I decided to dig up my yearbook and a few photos from high school and reunions past this week and wow, do I have a long and consistent history of bad hair. I know I am not alone, and the photos were totally hilarious. At my first reunion, they made everyone who wasn't married yet, stand up in front of everyone else at the sit down dinner. Now, who thought THAT was a good idea? I had brought a boyfriend that trip, and yes, I was one of those standing, humiliated. Cut to the next reunion, where I had my husband with me (not the old boyfriend, thankfully) but no children. We were in the midst of infertility treatments and so I had gained a lot of weight from all of the drugs you must use, plus a hairdresser had talked me into chopping off my hair to my chin, not a good look for someone already feeling not so beautiful. The good news was that it was on that trip out to Montana where my husband I and decided to adopt a child from Korea, and nine months later, we brought our beautiful daughter, Gracie, home from Seoul.
Now my daughter is almost ten, my son, Oliver is seven, and my husband and I have 15 plus years of wedded bliss behind us. I am looking forward to being in Montana again, showing my children the house where I grew up, seeing relatives and old friends who still hold a place in my heart. A walk down memory lane will be so much more fun knowing the journey made me the happy woman I am today. Bad perm not included. See you in Big Sky Country.