But a lot has changed.
We don't have those eyes bright with wonder anymore. They are dull and too experienced and we know the hard times are yet to come. We know that hitting sixty and seventy years old will be as challenging as anything we have ever experienced in our lives. It takes a bit if the spark from us, knowing that if there was something adventurous we haven't done yet, we probably never will.
We don't have those young bodies. Thin, tan, agile and soft. And though there were a few that kept their " figures", realistically we can't hide the wrinkles and spots and leather fingers...the painful joints, the graying hair, the added bulge of too many cheeseburgers and too little jogging.
I felt like a imposter.
I had my hair done at the stylist that morning, spent $125 on an outfit to wear, dug out my old jewelry and wore shoes that haven't seen my feet in two years. I sucked my gut in with a cheap "shaper", dusted myself with perfume, and even sported more makeup than I've ever chanced before.
I smiled and smiled and shook hands and hugged and pretended that high school was the most exciting and amazing time of my life.
But it wasn't.
I should have been truthful.
I should have been me.
I should have showed up that night in my favorite faded jeans and a loose hoodie. With a sports bra and no shaper and my hair " home-fixed" like I do every day of my life. I would have nixed the jewelry, cologne and uncomfortable shoes. I would only have on my wedding ring, smell like I just showered, and have on flip flops. A little mascara, a bit of Oil of Olay, and an honesty that could not be masked...
High school was just something I wanted to "get through". Four years of my life that I spent worrying and wondering and dreaming of who I would be afterward. To say it was "fun" would be stretching it. To say it was tolerable would be more like the truth.
Don't get me wrong, I treasure each and every person that I met during those years. There were those I envied and admired, trusted and respected...those I wanted to be like, look like, act like. And each person touched my life and made me who I am today. Thank you.
But I am not who you saw at the reunion. I'm fatter and older and more unkind than you realize. I'm content to wear my pajamas pants forever, never carry a designer purse, and not ever care to know how it feels to parasail -or be promoted -or drive a red sports car.
I love my life.
I love when I don't have to smile and talk all day. When I can sit quietly and dream. Paint. Write. Let my chin hairs and eyebrows go unchecked. Eat another slice of pie. Go braless and shoeless ...and clueless about all the things going on in this world.
I wouldn't change it if I could.
But I don't begrudge any of you who are still hoping to find that bit of high school excitement, that newness, that feeling of belonging, of learning, of advancing forward.
And please believe me, even though I honestly enjoyed the visit, I could not wait to get home and throw off my disguise.
It's funny how you can find yourself in a group of friends you haven't seen in forty years...how suddenly you can have this epiphany...
So, thats the real truth.
Now, I think I'll have another slice of pie...