Category Archives: insecurity

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Pregnancy

I’m the first to admit that I’m a Sally Sad Pants for the majority of my pregnancies. It’s not just the physical aspect of major discomfort, but the mental damage a seemingly exponentially growing body can have on my psyche.

The pinched pubic bone nerve is legit now. With mini Gwinn, I used ice packs, support girdles, yoga- anything I could do to alleviate the pain, I tried. My doctor didn’t have much advice to give on the issue, and it’s not exactly like you can get a massage to help this. It’s back full swing, and taking a toll on my day to day. When I roll over in my sleep, or get out of bed, or out of a car, go up and down stairs- pretty much any movement where your legs move at all- I feel shooting pain. Good times, right? Really, if it was just the physical stuff that I was combating (you know, the growing belly, the bizarrely curving spine to accommodate the baby ‘bump’, swollen feet, etc), I could probably manage this second go around the block.

But, like I’ve written about long ago on this blog, I also have body dysmorphic disorder. It’s not a commonly known mental disorder because it’s one enveloped in shame. Those of us that have been diagnosed with it (and those that haven’t) don’t want to talk about it. It’s an obsessive mental disorder that focuses on a few flaws, perceived or real, in one’s appearance. For me, those flaws that I’m neurotic about are my face and my weight. Since I’m prone to acne, particularly while pregnant and postpartum, my skin looks like a topographical map. And my weight? Well, I’m not one of those fortunate goddesses who only gains 13 pounds while pregnant. I think my boobs weigh that much now.

Is it sacrilegious to buy a burka and niqab?

Any way. I try to keep my mouth shut about it. When polite inquirers ask how I’m feeling, I refrain from saying, “Fat.” But this little corner of the interwebs is my sound board, so I’m telling you. When someone tells me to cheer up or shut up or “just think about your baby!”, it’s like telling someone with depression to “just feel better”. Do you tell someone with a broken leg to just feel better? No? That’s because it’s a “real”, physical issue. Mental disorders aren’t perceived as “real” to many. But the fact is that BDD has been crippling in many instances in my life. I’m embarrassed to be seen in public, dreading to even go to my doctor’s office tomorrow. And the last thing I need is to be shamed for feeling ashamed. Except for maybe another pinched nerve. That’s probably the actual last thing I need.

 

 


Shopping Cart Thief

Once upon a time, my grocery list used to be written out by aisle, marked with symbols indicating whether the item had store coupons, manufacturer coupons, or both, estimated cost with or without coupons, and an estimated total of the grocery bill.

Now, I walk away from my grocery cart, distracted by something I’ve forgotten to write on my list, and steal someone else’s cart that may or may not have similar items my cart held.

I’m a shopping cart thief. I confess.

Sometimes I don’t notice I’ve thieved a different cart until I’ve gotten home and I’m unloading the groceries. “Honeycrisp apples?” I say out loud. “We don’t buy those. They’re expensive.” Empty more bags. “Where are the bananas?”

Crap. I’ve done it again.

When I messaged Captain Laser Pants that I cart swapped (again), he asked me if I had come home with the right baby. The good news is that mini Gwinn wasn’t with me (he was at MMO), so I hadn’t made off with the wrong child. What happened to me? Where has my brain gone? He commented that I didn’t even have our child to distract me this time.  I told husband that the bliss of grocery shopping sans- grabby toddler must have put me in a fog as I wandered through the aisles of Target, perusing the clearance clothing with a cup of Starbucks in hand. He laughed.

During the purgatory known as “pregnancy,” I heard a report on the radio about a pregnant woman’s brain actually shrinking. I don’t remember if the research said anything about a woman’s brain returning to normal size postpartum (I was pregnant, I don’t remember what was said, my brain was small), but it made me question one’s ability to parent on all cylinders. There are some moms that are hopelessly put together. I see them every Friday morning when I drop off mini Gwinn at MMO. Matching sweater set, perfectly pressed khaki shorts, pearls, lady- like sandals, hair and makeup finished and applied beautifully- all before 9 AM. Their daughters, because they always have daughters, are wearing white linen ruffled dresses with pink hair bows and not a spec of dirt on them. Then I walk in wearing clothes only suited for the gym, glasses on and hair up in a messy bun, tucked under a hat. Mini Gwinn probably has a smear of raspberry on his cheek, a milk spot on his shirt, and he’s shaking his head “no” at me as I tell him to hold my hand. Then he shoves my hand off his and runs, his own little fingers grabbing his recently poorly chopped hair. Maybe their brains were super sized to begin with, maybe they’re just really better at organization and appearance than I am, but I can’t help but feeling second rate when I see these moms with their perfect children.  Don’t get me wrong- mini Gwinn is spirited, and active, but he’s in no way behaviorally challenged. He’s mostly a delight (mostly). Yesterday, as he was kicking and crying in the car from exhaustion, I was trying to soothe him just three blocks from our house. Instead of stopping my car for a full three seconds at a stop sign in a residential area, I only stopped for one or two. I was immediately pulled over by a policeman who could plainly see I was having a bad day. MG had calmed down in the backseat momentarily, but his cheeks were tear stained and red. I was let off with a warning (he told me I didn’t stop long enough, which made me laugh), and as we pulled away into our neighborhood, mini Gwinn lost it and started sobbing again. I’m willing to bet these sweater set- pearl wearing moms in their Infiniti SUVs have never been pulled over in a residential area for not stopping long enough at a stop sign because they were so distracted by their child’s crying in the back seat.

But I guess we all have our own paths, and we are given what we can handle. As a light at the end of the day, my little guy showed me where his nose, ears, eyes and tummy are. He said “I just want to go over there” as we took our afternoon walk. He let me hold his hand. And, even though I may absentmindedly steal other people’s carts at Target, and I wear gym clothes while others are in Ralph Lauren sweater sets, and I get pulled over for driving under the influence of tears, I don’t believe any of these things make me a bad mom. We have a lot of laughter, a lot of love, and when we look back on this time in our lives, it won’t be these little things we remember, it will be the giggles and the tickles and the love.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.

check out his awesomely bad haircut.


The Problem with Elitism

“The master demon Screwtape identifies elitist humanity’s tendency toward “an ingrained habit of belittling anything that concerns the great mass of their fellow men.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters: Also Includes “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”

A few weeks ago we were dished out a little dose of elitism that came into conversation because Captain Laser Pants and I don’t have a “proper” dining room table. The height of the mockery (in public, mind you) was something to the effect of, “Dear GOD! You eat meals on a FOLDING TABLE?!” And my husband, being the pillar of reasoning and humility that he is, just smiled and said, “Yeah.” He could have said, “Dear GOD! You care about mocking people?!” or “You don’t have a college degree?!” or something equally rude and humiliating, but he didn’t. My husband isn’t in the business of making people feel badly about themselves or mocking them. In fact, he has an incredible gift (that I strongly believe is from God, because this is supernatural) that allows him to LISTEN to people during a debate or simple conversation.

Simply put, my husband isn’t an elitist.

If I had been with him, I would have held my tongue, all the while hurling cutting insults in my mind. As the years go on and we’re together, he has made me mature in this way substantially. While it’s temporarily fun to have the last word (especially if it’s several syllables long and deeply witty), it’s humane to be kind, let others have the last say.

You know what? We eat some meals on a folding table. We eat most meals in a hurry or on the couch. But the worth of our lives together is not made up of the contents of our rental home. The quality of our persons is not compiled of the designer labels we don’t wear or the way we could cleverly cut a person in public (but don’t).

The problem with elitism? The idea of degrading someone because he holds a different standard/ different way of life/ less knowledge/ more knowledge than the elitist is childish, petty, and comes off as insecure. The insecurity stems from the fact that most people aren’t qualified to be elitists in the first place. The problem with elitism is that no one is perfect. And if I scratch the surface of the elitist facade just a bit, I’m going to find something public- mocking- worthy.

But I won’t.

I wouldn’t want to disappoint my husband.


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Ceremonial Meltdown

This morning started pretty much like any morning.

Mini- Gwinn pooped through his pajamas and woke us up at 6:30 AM (he rarely wakes up this early these days). This was followed by a sheet change on the crib mattress, a wipe down of the baby, and a lot of laundry. We were up early, so I made bacon- egg muffins (wrap a piece of bacon around the inside of a muffin tin, fill with eggs. I added cheese, sliced green peppers, and a slice of tomato at the bottom of each cup. They were yummy). After a few cups of coffee and a nap for the kiddo, we went to the gym early. Laundry, cleaning, shower, etc. Nothing out of the norm.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out a way to buy a new Dyson vacuum cleaner without begging for one from Captain Laser Pants. We saw a smaller model at Costco for $299 and we pretty much absolutely need a new vacuum. This came to mind as I was standing in his bathroom, stealing Q- tips. I looked in his closet and saw, in the very back of it, a giant, white dress bag.

The past 365 days have held plenty of surprises, changes and shifts in our group of friends:  a baby (ours), four engagements, and a wedding. There are more of these events to come- with four engagements, we get to attend three more weddings. CLP was fitted for his tuxedo a couple weeks ago for a wedding in November. Before I met CLP, before I ever thought I would actually get married, I really enjoyed weddings. Bring a present, wear a pretty dress, get free food, dance with friends, and celebrate the couple. It’s an awesomely fun party. When CLP and I went to our first wedding together, my view on the event changed. I didn’t have the “bride bug”, per se, but I stopped liking weddings and started to love them. When you’re with the one you truly love, you love love (wow, that’s a lot of “love” going on there.). So, when I was planning our wedding, I was truly excited to celebrate our relationship with everyone. And wear a gorgeous dress.

So, 18ish months later, I’m standing in my husband’s bathroom, Q-tipping my ears, staring at my wedding dress bag, which is hiding in the back of his closet so I don’t have to look at it. The exquisite dress that I never wore hung with sadness. So I called up the bridal consignment store down the road to see if they’d take it off my hands. The potential sale meant a new vacuum, some bills paid, aka, it was a practical swap.

Weddings are hard for me now. I’m torn by my feelings of happiness for the couple and my feelings of sadness for not having a wedding of my own. When this attitude hits me I usually remind myself that I have what everyone (mostly everyone) wants: the happy marriage, beautiful baby, loving home and cooking skilllllllzzzzzzzzzz (that’s right. I said it.). I didn’t need the reminder of the never worn dress every time I wanted to swab my ears. So I took it to the store.

Of course, when I unzipped the dress bag, everyone in the store gasped. This dress is gorgeous, seriously. Here’s a link to it, courtesy of Allure Bridals. My shoulders are broader than my hips, and the shape of the dress isn’t flattering on everyone, but when it’s the right body, holy moly. I don’t think I look good in much, but I guarantee you, this dress is stunning on me. I half- jokingly asked the shop owner if I could visit it before it sold. She, and some of the shoppers in the store, assured me it wouldn’t be there long.

On the drive home it hit me. A year ago today would have been our wedding.

I fought back tears as I pulled into our driveway. Then I sent a text to CLP to remind him of the date. Then I told him I had taken the dress to the consignment store.

When we finally hashed it out, he surprised us both by being upset about the dress no longer being in our home. He said words that finally made the tears spill, “I wanted to see you, beautiful as you are, in the dress you loved so much … I never got to see you wear it.” After mini Gwinn got a good laugh at my crying (he crawled in my lap to giggle at me), I called the store and asked if I could come get my dress. She chuckled and said, “I knew you would have second thoughts. Absolutely, come get it. It’s yours!” She was kind and understood. Even if I never got to wear it, that gorgeous gown was my wedding dress.

Am I crazy for harboring disappointment in never having a wedding? Maybe. But I don’t claim to be sane. Every deserving lady should get to have one day where she wears an incredibly beautiful and expensive dress, gets to eat yummy cake made just for her, and has the opportunity to tell everyone she knows how much she loves her man. I’m still torn about the wedding I never had. It’s a bittersweet feeling- I have all the best things about a wedding in my marriage.

But I really wanted to wear a pretty dress and eat cake.


Would You Marry Yourself?

About a week before Captain Laser Pants popped the question, I was talking to an old acquaintance of mine. After a years- long relationship, his ex had left him because it wasn’t moving forward. He compared all other women to her. At the time of this conversation, he told me he was “casually” dating between three and five women simultaneously and wondered why none of them took him seriously enough to have a real relationship with him. I guffawed and asked him if the situation had been reversed, how he would react. He sighed dramatically and commented on my wisdom (of course) before asking me about my relationship. I told him it was awesome, which was totally true, and he asked me how I was so happy. I told him, “To find the one, you have to be the one. I may not be ‘the one’ yet, but I’m sure working on it.” He told me that I was going to make CLP a very happy man. That was the last time I’ve spoken with him.

Maybe I was too harsh with him, but, let’s be honest- no one wants to settle down with a serial dater. Did he want to date the female version of himself? No way.

It’s a good litmus test, if you’re honest. Would you marry yourself? I sure as heck wouldn’t marry me. Want some reasons why? Here you go!

-I am really forgetful about important stuff (like paying bills or renewing my driver’s license) but have an acute memory for the utterly mundane (“there are four snaps on mini Gwinn’s romper!”)
-I am moody. There, I said it.
-Sometimes my very rational brain goes nuts and shuts down. Much like a robot’s hard drive.
-I’m not really affectionate, but I like to get a hug once in a while.
-I am super critical

I’m working on the critical attitude- being forgiving and emotionally generous will be paramount as my baby grows older. My moodiness is usually as a result of something incredibly petty, like forgetting trash day. Managing my emotions isn’t my partner’s responsibility, it’s my own. There are areas of “me” that I’m working on still (like my thighs). It’s pretty obvious that if I married myself, all the bills would be forgotten, but all clothes would be organized by color and style in each closet. Dinner may be made, but if me and myself are losing the house due to foreclosure, it doesn’t really matter. I need a partner, not a clone.

This is kind of a two- point blog. Not only do we need spouses who complement us, we need to first be the kind of “work in progress” person that “the one” will want to complete. I’m not saying you have to be perfect before you’re going to find your other half. But doing things like hip- checking your own selfishness, for instance, can make or break a good day in a marriage. Sometimes it amazes me with the blatant selfishness I see displayed in marriage, and honestly, it makes me pity the other spouse. It’s always a two way street (believe me I know), but if we laid down the weapons in a relationship and tried empathizing with the other, I can’t help but wonder how much more peacefully resolution can be found as a team, and not two opposing sides.

I asked CLP if he would marry himself, and he responded with, “I’m more likely to marry a Choco Taco”. He wouldn’t marry himself because he and I are two halves to a whole. Would I marry myself? No. But are there traits in my personality that make my marriage great? Absolutely. He and I both have plenty to work on as individuals, but because we empathize with one another and connect on a daily basis, we are so much better together than we are separate.

This is all over the place, really just a stream of consciousness blog. Maybe something more coherent will come up in the future!


Accut-ain’t What I Thought It Would Be

Chances are, if you know what Accutane is, you either a) are a medical professional or b) you know someone who has painfully cystic, problematic skin. For the record, Accutane is no longer on the market. It has replacements, like isotretinoin, or Claravis, if you want to be able to pronounce it. Hi, I’m in AA- Accutane Anonymous (is there such a thing?) and I started taking Claravis two weeks ago. Let me just say, Accutane ain’t what I thought it would be. After a lifetime of combating skin I didn’t love, everything got much, much worse after the birth of mini Gwinn. I’ve done everything in the book in an attempt to heal it, with no results (yes, even Proactiv. I’m so tired of being asked that.). The last resort- the big dance- was isotretinoin. Five months of misery lead to a lifetime of healthy looking, smooth as a baby’s behind skin. I can handle five months, right? I mean, I was pregnant for like six years, and I lived through that. So I started talking to other people that have taken the big plunge in skincare. All the guys I talked with said they didn’t think the six months of misery (the treatment is five to six months) was necessarily worth it. All the ladies- you guessed it- absolutely felt that enduring the hardships of the medication were worth the end result. The guys urged me to reconsider, the gals told me it would be an entirely freeing decision to give myself a life with pain- free, pretty skin. What everyone agreed on, as well as all the forums/ interwebs stuff I read, was that I’d need a supply of the following:

-copious amounts of chapstick
-eye drops
-saline spray for my shnoz
-lotion
-vaseline
-water. lots of water.

So, no big deal. Right? I have five or six tubes of chapstick laying around the house to begin with, and I was already a crazy moisturizing lady. Piece of cake.

A few days into the treatment, I noticed that my lips felt dry if I hadn’t used chapstick within an hour. A few days later, I noticed that my eyes felt dry. Now? If my lips aren’t coated, they hurt. I actually have to stop in the store at least twice to apply gobs of goop to my mouth and pour eye drops in my eyes. Last night I experienced my first medication- induced nose bleed (as I was washing my face, which was convenient for clean up).

For those that aren’t in the know, cystic acne is incredibly painful, especially with an eight month old smacking your face. Topical treatments don’t work (they just make the top layer of skin dry, eww), oral medications don’t always work, and sometimes only time can treat the issue. While you’re waiting, you’re stuck with a topographical map for a face. When you’re 15 years old, it’s acceptable to have a few pimples. When you’re in your late 20s, however, people wonder what you’ve done to yourself to have such heinous skin. Statements like “It must be something in your diet” and “Do you wash your face regularly?” are usually said by morons with flawless skin. Of course I wash my face, and I eat better than you, lardbutt (not you, gentle reader).

This major shift in my life is also coupled with the news that I’m returning to the work force (cue the river of tears). The stress of looking for child care, the feeling that I’m abandoning my bright (yes, he’s bright, I said it. He says several words! He’s Einstein! Ok, he may be average. But he’s pretty.) little boy (who’s never been without me for more than two or three hours!!), and the fear that he won’t get the attention he deserves have me stressing out completely. Will my house ever be clean again? When will I have time to make all his baby food? Will they use sign language when they sing to him? Will they sing to him? How often is he going to be sick? Even as I’m writing this out, anxiety is taking over my mental faculties.

Oh my goodness, ya’ll. This is a lot of new going on right now.

I’m going to go squeeze my little punchkin.


Sippers and Shooters

I am somewhat obsessed with personality sorters and tests. Captain Laser Pants finds it exhausting when I talk about fictional characters and their four letter personality label; I find it fascinating to be able to “type” a person and work out (in my head) how to interact with them. In case you are as nerdy/ weird as I am, I am an INTJ (introverted – intuitive – thinking – judging) and have been since I was 16 or 17, and my DISC profile has a ridiculously high DC with a crazy low IS.

What does this have to do with the price of eggs?

When it comes to people, I am often intrigued by the inner workings of their minds- how they think, why they think and do what they think and do, and the best ways for me to approach interaction with them (yes, that sounds very scientific, but it’s true). If the world answered my suggestion box, everyone would have a name tag with their Keirsey Temperament type written on it. So it should come as no surprise, then, that I enjoy dissecting and analyzing relationships. Some people are sippers and some are shooters.

Huh?

For people that drink, you probably picked up the reference by the title. People that like wine, for instance, usually sip, taking in the bouquet of flavors and enjoying the aroma as they slowly drink. Those that enjoy shots, however, take in the whole of the drink in one fell swoop. Approaches to relationships can be categorized (loosely!) in these two ways- those that are “sippers” and those that are “shooters”. Sippers take their time with relationships, moving slowly in hopes to extend it to a long term relationship. Shooters enjoy the immediacy of moving quickly, and then move on to the next relationship quickly. I’m not saying that wine drinkers prefer long term relationships and shooter girls are short term types, it’s just a comparison in the style. Moving on…

I was listening to a Bon Iver song a while ago called “Blood Bank”. The lyrics have a lot to say, but a particular verse reminded me of the way a new relationship feels – you know, the electricity between you and that someone, the excitement of getting to know a new person and sharing those endorphins and adrenaline and all those other fun chemicals you feel when you’re falling in love. As I was driving and listening to the song, a wave of – I guess it was sadness? – washed over me as I realized I would never experience those feelings again. Those chemicals are so addicting, that even though I have a remarkable relationship with my husband, I was bummed that I would never experience that “high” again.

My logical side (and frankly, my heart) squashed my dumb, immature feelings almost immediately after they made themselves known. How stupid! Captain Laser Pants is the person I pursued for months. He is the man I learned to know and understand over a long period of time as friends constantly on the cusp of falling in love. I won the prize! I ran in the race, the huntress overtook the chase – I have the relationship with the man I never dared to dream existed.  Those feelings of infatuation are nothing compared to the deep river of love I have for my husband.

It is funny to me that the thought of “wah, I’ll never fall in love again” even crossed my mind. I’m not an adrenaline junkie, I was never the type to jump in and out of relationships, and (as an INTJ) I tend to prefer the tried and true method to the new idea. But, odd fact: I preferred a shot of something to a glass of wine when I would have a drink. Maybe that instinct to be an epicurean and move on quickly is in there somewhere. To be honest, I tried it with Captain Laser Pants – danced around the idea of the relationship, but was too scared to invest. Clearly, my fears were quelled and any thought I had of being hurt was overpowered by the immense love I’ve had for him for so long.

Are you a sipper or a shooter? Am I a weirdo for not liking wine? What’s your Keirsey Temperament? DISC profile?


My One Article of Clothing

It is not brand new information when I tell people that I am not fashionable. Mostly, when I “dress up” or try to look “nice”, the outfit involves jeans, some sort of flat sandal, and a t-shirt. Since pregnancy, I’ve mostly given up on what I wear. At home, my mom uniform is usually a pair of running shorts and a sports bra (the t-shirt or tank top is discarded by 10 AM due to puke, milk, carrots, and snot). When in public for nonsocial reasons (shopping, gym, etc), I’m wearing what I wear at home, only with the gunk covered tee. When I once swore I’d never leave home without makeup (the horror!), it’s now more routine for me to go without than take the time to slap some on my face. You’ve seen other moms like this- she wears a fashion trend that embodies “defeat”. It’s like a proverbial game of paper – rock – scissors switched to baby – fashion – baby. For the record, “baby” wins every time.

Not all moms are this way. I see and know many mothers who look phenomenal every time I see them in public. Their clothes are clean (which is a super power in itself), modern, and dare I say it? They look beautiful, nay, radiant.

I lack this radiation ability, and not because don’t want it. Some women are born to be mothers- they were also most likely the women that “glowed” when they were pregnant. Some of us were thrown into this new career path and aren’t totally qualified for the part. I don’t really have the energy to look good, especially when my looks are such a nonissue. I’m the equivalent of the new intern who’s just really happy to make it to work in the big, fancy company, even if I have wet hair and deodorant streaks on my blouse.

Seriously, I’d like to look presentable in public with my adorable baby in tow. I’d like to look like one of those moms that stepped out of an advertisement for something I didn’t know I needed. At some point, I’d like to look somewhat fashionable. In an attempt to do this, I splurged and bought a $15 jersey maxi skirt at Old Navy last month.

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This has become my one article of clothing. If I have to leave the house and it would be socially awkward for me to look the way I normally do ( i.e. must wear makeup to avoid terrifying small children, deodorant, must brush teeth, must brush hair, etc), I have worn this skirt nine times out of ten. I bought it in a light heather grey color to guarantee that I could wear it with almost anything, and so far, it has worked out splendidly. It’s probably the best $15 I’ve spent since, well, I can’t remember the last time I spent a magical $15.

So, for the other moms whose fashion statement says “defeated by my child’s needs,” I took some pictures to prove the effortlessness of this very trendy look that’s age appropriate for everyone except for really, really old people. It’s also flattering (really!) The skirt I bought has a wide waistband and a generous length to accommodate long and short figures alike.

For those with accessories, go crazy (as crazy as you can without your baby pulling earrings from your earlobes or choking you with necklaces). The minimalistic piece of the skirt lends itself to patterns, multiple textures, and plenty of accessories. I don’t wear jewelry anymore, largely because mini Gwinn will find a way to hurt me with it, hence my plain outfits.

Until my little dude is self sufficient and outgrows his “mommy must suffer!” mentality, this will probably be the extent of my attempts at looking nice, unless my trendsettery knows no bounds and puke stains become haute couture.

If you’re one of those “my fashion has been defeated” moms and you’re blessed enough to have helping hands in your city, I encourage you to change out of your gunky puke shirt and husband’s shorts (wash them, too) and try a small change, like a maxi skirt, and go feel pretty. Then tell me about it, so I can live vicariously through you, as I’ve never been away from my child for more than three hours and have no idea what it’s like to feel pretty anymore. In fact, if you have a sitter, go on a date with your guy and feel pretty while you’re at it, cause that’s what I miss most, and you deserve some enjoyment (and I really need to live vicariously through you on this one, too).


High School, Shmigh Shmool

So, in a conversation with a high school friend with whom I’ve recently reconnected (her blog is here), she brought up that our ten year reunion is next summer.

I, in no way, wanted to think about this fact. Shall I list the reasons for you? Well, tough nuggets. I’m doing it anyway.

Reason Number One: I do not like to think that I have been out of high school for ten years. It makes me feel old.

Reason Number Two: There is no single thing I have detested more than high school. I have never in my life loathed something for as long and as vehemently as I have loathed high school.

Reason Number Three: Did you see number two (hehehe, “number two”)?! Do I even need a reason number three?

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I hated high school. It was torturous. I was fat (yes, FAT), I was (am) weird, and I had a limited pool of friends (whom I loved). The people I liked in high school with whom I wanted to stay in touch – you guessed it reader, we still talk. The teachers I liked are friends with me on Facebook. I don’t feel as though I’d be missing much of anything if I went to the ten year reunion.

This conversation started my wheels a’ turning (surprise!). Did you ever see Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? It is a very funny 90s movie about two women, each 28, who go back to their home town to attend their high school reunion and proceed to lie about the lives they’ve lived for the past ten years. They run into the popular girls, who (almost) all still live in the same town, married men from the same town, and are all still friends. The two protagonists embarrass themselves initially, but then end up rocking out and looking awesome by the end of the movie. They showed up to prove they weren’t still losers, and they end up running their own fashion store by the time the credits are rolling.

Fabulous fashion, humor and a major flashback to 1997. I wasn’t in high school for this movie, for the record.

Neato, right?

In high school I had a few boyfriends (some long term, some short). They were all cute/ talented/ smart- but each of them had one thing in common- quirkiness. When I wasn’t dating someone, the guy I had a crush on was a jock (say what?!). A square jawed, meat head jock. When I heard him talk, it was more like a basset hound “woofing” in a major Southern drawl rather than it was a person formulating words. Totally not my “type” (it’s laughable now, actually). And, since I wasn’t top tier or petite, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even know my name. We only had one class together (it wasn’t like this guy was in the honors classes), but for some reason, I clung to the crush until I was a senior (and I was above high school completely by then).

I don’t want to feel like I have something to prove to the people that made me feel like crap in high school. Yes, everyone had someone that did this to them in high school. If you didn’t, then, congratulations, either you didn’t attend high school, or you were at the top of the food chain. Yay for you. Realistically, I was somewhere towards the lower- middle of the ladder in high school. I skipped my senior prom to go to the comic book store to play cards (and I don’t mean Texas Hold ‘Em). I wore Lisa Loeb style glasses and listened to 90s indie music (a hipster before I knew what a hipster was, apparently). I was certainly not Miss High School- not prom queen, not homecoming queen, not a cheerleader, not a valedictorian- most of the time I didn’t even show up. “Bethany who? Oh, that quiet/ weird choir chick?”

If my attendance in high school was so iffy, why would I attend my reunion?

Ok, a small (and I mean infinitesimal) part of me wants to go. Just so I can wear a really revealing outfit (look at my abs, hookers! Daaaaang!), show up in my fancy car (oh, yeah, that’s right, we’re watching Avatar in the backseat! Daaaang!), introduce everyone to my husband (he’s so hot and clever and he’s not from here! Shablam!), show off some pictures of my kid (daaaaang he’s cute!), talk briefly about the fun career I had before becoming a stay at home mom (say what? Killer job but you left it all to raise a human? Daaaang!), and then drive away (awww snap, she doesn’t live in hickville anymore? Daaaaang!).

Yes, I realize that entire paragraph is significantly more petty than almost anything I’ve ever said in my entire life (and I imagine people still saying “daaaaang”). But the people that ridicule you in high school (to some extent) leave imprints on your view of yourself and the world, at least until you’re adult enough to form your own ideas. I will never forget the day that two boys in my English class called me fat. Even though now one’s a drunk and one’s unemployed (I kind of win on all fronts here), there is still some part of me that wants to rub in their face that as an adult, I am WAY ahead of them. I may have been a loser in high school, but that’s not what really matters, ninjas. I’m awesome now.

My mature side takes over (and I’m sure your mature side has been judging me this entire blog) and reminds my petty little brain of the point I just made- I’m awesome now. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I’ve traveled, lived in other parts of the country, had a great job, met my amazing husband, and now live a beautiful, blessed life. It’s quite absurd to compare my life with anyone else’s. If anything, I should hope they have the same level of happiness and fulfillment that I have. I don’t live in high school land anymore (I just have nightmares about it, thankyouverymuch).

So, next summer when ticket sales to the grody, moldy Tennessee River Boat 2012 Reunion blah blah blah go on sale, I will most definitely not be purchasing a pair. Instead, I’ll put on some tunes from senior year (my tunes, not the top 40. Hello Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins!) and dance in the living room with my two favorite dudes. We’ll eat a delicious homemade meal, laugh at the funny things our dogs do, and celebrate the life we’ve created for ourselves.

High school, shmigh shmool.  Adulthood (not O’Doyle) rules.