In a previous post, I mentioned that I was going to Pittsburgh for Christmas and while I was here I was meeting with some of my high school friends for a sort of anti-reunion. Well, it happened. I went. Here’s the proof:
They scheduled the event for a Friday night, which made it a little difficult to get to. I worked on Friday morning then took the rest of the day as a vacation day. I drove the 4.5 hours to Pittsburgh then had to change clothes quickly. My best friend from high school was meeting me at my mother’s house. We had plans for dinner and then we were going to the casino together to meet our classmates.
Now, I graduated from high school 29 years ago. I find that so hard to believe. Yes, I know I’m 47, but it feels like the years have just flown by. My friend Carolyn showed up a little late for dinner, but I didn’t care. I just had more time to prettify myself, and trust me, I needed it. Carolyn has not changed at all. She looks slightly older, but that’s it. She pretty much looks exactly the same. The years have definitely been kind to her.
Talking to her really felt like coming home. It was amazing. I haven’t seen her for many years, but we talked as if we have talked to each other every day since high school. We just picked right back up where we left off. I felt the way I did when I met up with some of my grade school friends a few years ago…that I had found something I had been missing for years. It was like finding the missing part of myself that I had forgotten about.
We showed up at the casino fashionably late. We walked right past our high school friends. Then we heard them calling our names. They probably recognized me right away from all of the pictures of myself that I put online. And of course Carolyn has not changed at all. And the fact that we were together, the way we always were in high school, of course they recognized us.
I had trouble recognizing people. My one friend, I was in the band with him, I just walked up to him and another guy and asked them their names. I’m friends with him on Facebook for crying out loud. He just looked at me and said, “You know me, Colleen.” What an idiot I am. As soon as he spoke and smiled, I knew. Then I recognized the other guy with him. He was in the band too.
Now, you would think that I would have thought to pull out my yearbook and look up the people who RSVP’d to this thing. No. Not that smart apparently. So, instead of making an ass of myself, I just started asking the people I knew who some of the other people were. By the time the evening was over, I was able to place everyone.
Now, none of these people knew me when I was fat. In high school, my weight ranged between 120-135 depending on the year. I think my lowest weight was about 120-121, but that did not last long. Most of the time, I weighed between 125-130. I spent a brief stint in my freshman year weighing 135.
So, for them to see me at 171, I had definitely gained weight since high school. Still, I think I look pretty good. Most of the people who were there are friends with me on Facebook and some of them read this blog. Not all of them. Now I’m sure many of them will at least read this post. (hello guys!) Some of them have seen the pictures of me at 300 pounds. Most of them have not.
After most people had left, me, my best friend, and two of the other girls had a very long talk about weight. We all laughed at how when we were young we thought we were fat. I know. We were not. Carolyn and I weighed roughly the same weight in high school. Funny thing is, we weigh about the same now. Still, we were always dieting, and we always thought we were so fat. Clearly, we were not.
It’s really a shame, because we were all beautiful, but none of us felt it. We were always so consumed with how the other girls looked, the fact that some of them were so skinny. When I look back, I realized that they were unhealthily skinny in many cases. Yet, we felt so inferior to them. Why, I do not know. Some of the girls we were so jealous of, that we thought were so perfect were no different and no prettier than we were.
What I wouldn’t give to go back and talk to my younger self and tell her not to take it all so seriously. That in the end, none of it mattered. None of it defined who I am. I defined myself. The number on the scale didn’t matter. Not to people who were truly my friends.
At some point during the evening, we appointed someone to organize an official 30th reunion, since 2014 will be 30 years since we graduated high school. We are having an official reunion over Thanksgiving weekend next year. Plans have been made, date set, location secured, Facebook page created, ticket prices established. They apparently put the right person in charge.