Tuesday, August 23, 2005

How's my hair?

I've decided to go to my ten-year high school reunion. Actually, I've more than decided; I've booked the plane tickets and made an appointment with my hair dresser.

Some might say, "But Rebecca, you're moving home at the end of October. Why spend all that money to visit a month early?" I know. I've kind of agonized over it myself. But, the fact of the matter remains that I'm interested in seeing the people that I grew up with. I looked at the names on the email list and just some of the names made me smile. We had a pretty dynamic class that was not terribly plagued by cliques. Molly Ringwald wouldn't have had any angst at my school. I've also had some major identity issues since high school and am currently in the stage of figuring out who I want to be now - again. Touching base with who others perceived me to be when I was young can only be a positive experience, I think, especially since some of the early feedback that I got when I occasionally ran into people when I was working at my old high school is that I was apparently a lot cooler than I thought I was. Gosh, I love our revisionist memories.

I'm only going to the part of the weekend that involves appetizers and open bar at a place in Chicago on Saturday night. I have no interest in actually going back to the campus (hello, they fired me) or meeting any of their kids at the picnic. If they're so suburban that those are the only part of the festivities that they DO attend, then I can't believe that we'll have anything in common enough to fill more than 5 minutes of conversation. I am a little nervous about encoutering all of the people who have chosen the suburban life that I have left behind. Who will I be to those people? Should I dress aggressively island-style. Should I blend in with basic black and jeans? I still have all of those suurban clothes in storage. Should I take on that armor again? I don't know who I'm about to be once I move to the city. I assume I'll blend the old suburban chic (knee-high boots, black turtleneck, etc) with my new island elements. I like the evolution of my personal style from era to era in my life. However, this reunion falls at a liminal point. I'm not freaking out about it, but it is an interesting dilemma.

I justify the trip because I'll take two suitcases full of stuff, which will be 100 pounds that I do not have to pay to ship. I'm flying Southwest, so I saved $70 from any other airline. I'm combining the journey to Seattle for the airport with a sighseeing trip that I'd been planning, so the expense of getting to Seattle and back is money I would have spent anyway. Daniel asked why I don't just come home then and the response is that I really want to go to Barterfaire in October. Jeff and I will drive the 600 miles to get there and that will be 600 miles into the trip home. Plus, Jeff can't drive home with me in September; he's still making summer money guiding kayaks.

So, I'm planning to sit in the corner of the bar, maybe with my friend Emily, who is the person I'm closest to from high school (mostly because we also went to the same college) and watch the interactions. I'm not Ms. Peppy-Run-Around-And-Re-introduce-Myself-To-Everyone. I'm told I look exactly like I looked in high school, so I'll let them come to me and the ones who are interested enough to come talk to me will be the ones that I'm delighted to talk to. If I could find someone to sit with me (like maybe Emily's husband Joe) and to make sarcastic observations to, it will be even better.

And, Kelly will have just cut me new layers and blow-dried my hair, so at least it will look great, if nothing else.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As you head to the reunion, remember the immortal words of your grandmother "Be yourself, God loves you just the way you are."

And I love you too. Love, the dad

lballinger@aol.com said...

Hey there... I'm going to miss you at the reunion. I'm only going to the G.E.Friday night portion (yes, a city girl is skipping the city portion). I understand Curlys has a patio, I'm avoiding smoky bars as I'm pregnant. I'm planning on dragging Jim to Santa Fe for dinner before if you're interested. We haven't been to G.E. since your concert. Safe travels...