Oh, did I type that outloud?
I know, for those of you who know me… who have listened to me on our radio show, read my blogs, or even those of you who are my friends now…. This is hard to believe… but, there was a time in my life when I just wanted to be invisible. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t want to get to know you and I most certainly did not want you to get to know me – Holy cow! What if you would have wanted to come over?! No way!
My family life was hard, we were never in the same place longer than a year, so I never made any friends, by the time I was in high school I was in my 14th school.
I simply hated my life.
“I don’t think anyone will remember who I was… who I am…” I said to my husband, “I wasn’t like you, David. I was invisible.”
Even though I really can’t say that I have any friends from back then… I couldn’t help but think back to those days… those kids. What a fun group. They were so nice to me. They were so nice to each other.
That was new.
I really didn’t know what to do with that. I was new to that high school. It was school number 15.
My junior year, what I was I going to do now?
I had left behind my best friend and I had just made the newspaper staff and the yearbook staff! That was huge!
Then there was ski club, my personal invitation to be on the pom squad…. Then there was drama club – and we had just built a new million dollar theater! Then there was my posh-job working for the assistant Principal…
And for what? I didn’t know these people. They most certainly didn’t know me. And here was coming in with nothing. Too late to try out for anything… too late to build my arsenal of social ammunition so that I could protect my popular reputation.
Now I didn’t have a reputation. I didn’t have anything… or anyone.
What was I thinking?!
Oh yeah, mean girls… drug busts… overabundance of money without responsibility… Then there was my family… when you have to go to school with a bag over your head and deny your family tree… even kids can handle only so much. And I was done with it all…
So, change is good, right?
So, here I was, just trying to get through the next couple of years in peace. And apparently to me, that meant become invisible.
I mean, sure I played ball with some of the girls in our Paradise Valley Girls Softball League and because I ran the snack bar at the local park, I recognized people… Oh and of course my church friends that went to school there…
But this was high school… and I
thought I knew what that meant… I was not their “high school friend” … at high school, you have high school friends…
I didn’t even have a pom-pom. Who was this new chick? (Did we use that word back then?)
They literally grew up together, from grade school through high school. They were like a well-established family. I didn’t even have that at home…. So what did I know…?
So I stood back and watched, and I wrote. I was on yearbook staff- after begging- but regardless, I was given a shot to prove myself and that got me out and about.
Plus I had my church friend(s) that were on the cheer squad and they got me out and about to a few parties and dances… Oh! If my mother only knew!
So, I thought why wouldn’t I go to our class of 83 Happy 50th Birthday party?
The answer was easy: For the same reason I didn’t go to the 20th reunion or the 30th reunion.
Because maybe they would remember who I am.
The quiet girl who stood in the shadows. The girl who would leave parties early, and heaven forbid go on a date! That was me. I was that girl.
The girl who left her high school dreams to run for the hills from a family who wrote the book on dysfunction… The girl who left her church behind searching for relationship in 4 different interpretations of abusive marriage…
The girl who made a living as a stripper…
What if they knew about that girl?
Most certainly the word got out on that girl?!
“No.” I told my husband, “We’re not going.”
But I watched.
Just as I had done in the past.
I read the social media communications, looked at their pages and remembered what I had remembered from years ago…
There were no clicks. They were one big click.
Opening the door to anyone who wanted to come in.
They were the girls that sat with me at lunch and talked to me about the football games, boys and the school dance coming up… as if I was going.
They were the boys who sat next to me and made me laugh when I was sitting alone.
And here we are, turning 50… and they wanted to celebrate their lives.
“Yes, babe,” I told my husband, “Let’s go.”
There were those who just stared at me as their minds raced back to high school and the softball fields or pool at Roadrunner Park… “I know, I know you….” They would say.
There were others who with open arms, came to me with the love I remembered from the first time I stepped foot on that high school campus…
Then, they handed me a Jello shot.