Wednesday, October 12, 2011

High School Reunions Are Weird

I came. I went. I conquered... my high school reunion that is. Which was just this past weekend. And let me tell you, it was STRANGE.

I had seen Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion enough times to know what to be prepared for. Not to mention, I also watched Grosse Point Blank and Peggy Sue Got Married to get me ready for this grand affair. So I knew what to expect: PROM - but 10 years later. It seems that in every reunion movie, the event takes place in a large ballroom or the high school gym. A group of bitchy girls hassle the protagonist. And a boy who was not hot in high school shows up looking completely gorgeous and sweeps you off your feet declaring his undying love for the high school version of yourself.

This did not happen.

First of all, the event was held in a fancy hotel, but not in a ballroom. Most of the action centered around the bar. And no one danced. The Mean Girls that terrorized my childhood didn't show up (except for one and we didn't even address each other). And many of the guys were alot cuter in high school than now - 10 years later.

But the part that surprised shocked me the most was the extent to which I got hit on! I'm not used to being hit on at all, let alone by the boys that ignored me back in high school. All through the night various males approached my friends asking if I were single and saying things like, "wow, Melanie got pretty". And guys bought me drinks all night, to the point that I had to ask them to stop buying me drinks!... This has never happened in my life.

I tried to make sense of it all... because I look EXACTLY THE SAME as I did in high school. Well, my hair is darker now and has layers. But other than that I look the same. So what changed? And then I realized, I didn't "get hot", what I got was self-esteem and confidence.

Before I went to college, I was timid and had low self-esteem. When a football player made a wisecrack comment I didn't know how to retort a witty comeback. I continually compared myself to other girls at my school and wished I could be like them... more athletic, more popular, more stylish, more outgoing, etc. But over the past 10 years I've gained a ton of confidence.
Rather than wishing I were like someone else, if I wanted something I'd jump through hoops in order to achieve it. For example, when I wished I was more athletic, I became a triathlete. When I wished I was more fashionable, I sketched the outfits of other women until I learned how to put an outfit together. When I wished I was more well-traveled, I bought plane tickets.

Now I walk with my head held high and there is no one I'd rather be... but me. And THAT is what those boys (men?) noticed. Confidence, not physical appearance, is what makes someone stand out in a crowd.

Friends :)