Friday, September 6, 2013
Still Crazy After All These Years
I showed this senior year photo to my stylist at the salon. "See, I used to be blonde! You have to make me look just like this for my twenty year high school reunion! Minus the permed hair and teased bangs, of course or I'll be like that woman on Seinfeld with the outdated hair Elaine made fun of." She laughed and promised she'd do her best.
And HERE, ladies and gentleman is the woman who was voted "Who has changed LEAST in appearance" I was both proud and flattered to take home the prize, a handful of fun sized candy bars. I'd like to thank the academy, my hairstylist, clean living and Elizabeth Arden.
Looking at that old photo of me, I see a young, wholesome, eighteen year old girl looking into the future and pondering the wonders in store for her. I've never told anyone this but I remember exactly what (or whom actually!) I was thinking about just as the photographer captured the softened expression on my face. I was imagining the boy I liked had suddenly appeared behind the camera, and all those months of waiting for him to flash me his most flirtatious smile had finally come to pass. He's married with kids now and he never even took me out on a date. I won't reveal his name but for those I grew up with in a small town in rural southern Utah, here's a hint: His little sister was also at my twenty year high school reunion.
Life has since taught me that being desirable is good but it also depends on the kind of attention you're seeking. That smirk on my face, twenty years later, and those empty spaces on either side of me at the table show my courage in making my appearance at a reunion attended by people that value marriage and children as the capstone of your life's goals. I think all the divorced and single classmates were too ashamed to show up. I don't blame them, getting married, staying married and raising a happy family are the bread and water of the Mormon religion I was raised on and still believe in. Still, it would've been nice if I'd at least had some kind of career to hide behind, "Yes, I'm an elementary school principal now," or "I was just made head nurse in pediatrics at Primary Children's" or my all time favorite, "Oh, I just finished writing the screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey. My agent promised me at least twelve percent of the royalties." Ok, that might be a little too crazy.
I was proud to be able to say I'd be graduating with a second bachelor's degree next year and maybe doing something with my writing will bring fame and fortune, you never know, hence that smirk on my face. It could happen. The piece I shared with my adolescent literature class the other day was met with thunderous applause. The assignment was to rewrite a scene from To Kill A Mockingbird, one of my all time favorite books. I chose Boo Radley's perspective which blew everyone away. As I returned to my seat, the teacher remarked my future book should be titled, How to Kill A Vampire. It really made my day. Just imagine. Me, the next Stephenie Meyer!
I'd like to thank all the little people who took a chance on me and my delusions of grandeur...