My 20 Year High School Reunion is coming up in a couple of months. I can’t wait for people to be like, “OhMiGawd Erin! You haven’t changed a bit!” And I will secretly laugh since I know it is because I still get zits. Fortunately, my mom saved my scoliosis back brace for her Halloween decorations to make zombies or some shit. I slip that bad boy on and trust me you-a name tag will not be necessary.
High school serves as the most archaic of label makers. It solidifies any and all lingering belief systems about ourselves before we venture out into the world. You are a nerd, a pretty, a gay, a jock, a dumb, a slut, a fat, a smart, a no one, a Christian, a loser, a rich, a virgin, a nice, an ugly, a freak, on and on. Honestly, I can’t decide if high school dropouts are freaking brilliant or total dumbasses.
When it was time for my 10 Year Reunion, I was still raw and vulnerable and desperately clinging to who I thought the world wanted me to be. Extrinsic approval was still my drug of choice and what if there were not any dealers there? What if my true identity was somehow revealed and they would discover who I really was. They would know I had fooled them and I wasn’t actually worthy of being “a homecoming queen” or “a popular.”
Ten years ago, curiosity and desperation finally gave way. I began the process of untangling the gigantic knot of “Erin.” Rest assured, I am still deeply engrossed in my project of unbecoming, as my progress is slow and steady. Characters and events graciously appear to assist me when I am stuck. My husband, my children, my parents, my sister, my friends, and even my perceived “enemies” have provided unwavering guidance. And each time something gives and another fear is unraveled, I feel a triumphant release and a heightened need to keep uncovering my truest self.
Now, Mikey Poo, on the other hand, has informed me he will not be in attendance at my reunion. Apparently, he has no desire to make small talk with dudes I made out with twenty years ago. I told him he had nothing to worry about since most of those guys were upperclassmen anyway and wouldn’t even be there. But whatever, I get it.
I definitely wouldn’t want to go to one of his dental school reunions. [Enter dentist holding a glass of chardonnay and a haughty look of superiority] “So what do you do?” “Oh me? (Spitting nasty hors d’oeuvre into napkin and handing it to server as he walks by) I um, write about life. Like you know ‘mom stuff’…pooping, placenta eaters, my mom’s super unhealthy relationship with her cats, taking antidepressants, having my vagina rejuvenated for Mike’s birthday…you should check it out…like my blog, not my vagina.” Awkward silence. [End Scene] Yeah, I am totally taking my sister instead.
Conveniently and contrary to me, my sister isn’t afraid of anything. She made fear her bitch a long time ago. She frequently says inspiring things to me like, “Why the fuck is your writing so censored as of late? Are the mean people on the Internet hurting your feelings again?” “Yes, as a matter of fact, they are.” “Do you need a hug and a glass of warm milk since a couple of angst riddled assholes matter more than the thousands of people who ‘like’ your stuff? Give me a break. People are going to hate you, especially you, because you have a couple great features and a brain, no matter what you do. You might as well be authentic. Now pull your shit together and lets see who owes us money today.”
Okay well, I have to go shopping now. I can’t let everyone see that I wear yoga pants covered in dog hair and a dirty ponytail every day of my life. Like I still have soooooome pride. Love to you all. XO