Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leigh Knight's high school reunion

What is it about the mere mention of a high school reunion that brings back every ounce of teenage angst?

I learned of my, choke, 20-year reunion, oh, six months ago. Immediately, I thought I have to finish my book, have perfect kids, run a marathon, and get killer abs – in short, become either Sarah Palin or Kelly Ripa - before I can face those people I haven’t seen in 20 years and will probably never see again (except in the pretend world of facebook)!

Where is the logic behind that?

I don’t know, but the sense of urgency is there. I guess it stems, in part, from the fact that at my last reunion – the ten year - I was told that I was “not all that.” Actually, I was told, “Leigh Knight, you are not all that!” as my ex-classmate turned on her heels, leaving me with my mouth hanging open.

An awkward silence followed.

I looked incredulously at those around me – my husband who didn’t know a soul yet ended up in every photo, the cute boy from history class whose name I still didn’t know, and a couple of nerdy guys who made more money than I could ever dream of.

“Did she just say that I wasn’t ALL THAT?” my voice rising.

“Yeah, I think she just did,” said the cute boy.

“Oh. My. God!” I said, reverting back to high school.

Later, I went home, told my children, and we had a good laugh about it.

My daughter even gave me a birthday card once that I treasure that read, “Mom, you ARE all that!”

But, here we are, ten years later, and I still wonder about that girl. Had she waited ten years to tell me that, and WHY? I barely remembered her. In fact, I don’t think I ever talked to her. Did I used to act like I was “all that”? And what the heck does that mean anyway?

So, now I’m a week out from my high school reunion. I’m 5,000 words into my book, I plan to start running Monday, my children are, well, children, and I’m not even going to talk about my abs or lack thereof. So, am I all that? Despite my shortcomings, I think, yes, I am. And that is exactly what I’m going to tell my classmate if she says anything. It took me ten years to come up with that come-back, but the good part is now I’ve grown up enough to truly believe it.

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