The cardinal visits me in my backyard
I know he’s my grandma, reincarnated
he sings his tune, but they are her words
calling me Stephie
wishing me Happy Birthday
we talk about recipes
and peanut butter and pickle sandwiches
and the popcorn made in an Atom Pop,
washed down with grape juice mixed with 7-Up
we speak of my son,
who she never met,
and how he’s taller than grandpa already,
at only 15
I smell her talcum powder,
and the earthy scent of the geraniums she grew on the glassed-in side porch
I remember the picnic lunches packed in the hamper
and tell her I bought one just like it at an auction
and how I like to look at all her little glass bottles of extracts in her pantry, hoping I would have the same one day
and we laugh over her frustration at my inability to learn crocheting after numerous lessons
and I tell her I miss her and wish
I had spent more time with her
when she was still here in human form
‘I love you’ I tell her
and she says the same as she flies away
but I know she’ll be back to visit me again
25 years. I graduated from high school 25 years ago. Yeah, I know I don’t look a day over 35, so that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I am 43 years old. I lived through 501’s and hair bands. . . god I really miss both of those things! I miss high school too, but only to a point. School was not easy for me. Don’t misunderstand–I’m not talking about not easy education-wise, I’m talking about not easy social-wise. I know school isn’t easy for most people social-wise, so I am certainly not the exception, but the thought of attending this upcoming 25 year reunion has got me thinking a lot about this.
A few months ago I was really excited to go, but now the closer it gets, the more I am feeling like I don’t want to go. I went to 15–it was pretty casual, just a picnic at the lake, and it was fun, but that’s probably because only one of the girls talked to me and I sat around and bullshitted with the guys. Basically just like high school–I preferred hanging out with the guys as opposed to the girls, and the girls still think I’m a bitch! lol When 20 rolled around I was lean and mean and had every outfit picked out and was ready to go! Only problem was I had had my hysterectomy about 10 days before it, and a root canal about 5 days before it, and I ended up with this really weird killer headache that sent me to the emergency room, so I didn’t even make it to the reunion but spent the weekend in the hospital instead. And even though my brother actually cooked for it, he said there were only a couple people that came up and asked him where I was. So, no one really missed me not being there, and I do believe everything happens for a reason.
Do I really want to go to 25? It’s not like anything has changed since 15. Well, my ex-best friend isn’t married to my ex-husband anymore, since now he’s divorced her too, so I guess that part has changed. But have I changed? Well, I am still single, which will still piss the girls in my class off, and I’m not as thing as I was when I missed 20. I am more successful, and probably make more money than a lot of the girls and maybe even more than some of the guys, and I own my own home.
My point is, what difference does it make? Why do I want to go back? So I can compare myself to all the other girls in my class? So I can feel fat, or lonely, or like an underachiever? So I can remind myself what a living hell high school actually was instead of this really fun pipe dream I’ve managed to create in my head when in reality I was getting drunk, having sex with guys I didn’t care about, getting pregnant and being ostracized by most everyone including parents? I think I want to go back as a big “fuck you”. You know, basically just to let them know that most of them don’t make a damn bit of difference. In the grand scheme of things what are most of those people? A fairly insignificant part of my life. I am in contact with the ones I care about, and most of the other ones I can find out what they’re doing thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook.
For now I guess the debate will rage on. I will probably hash and rehash it a million times before Memorial Day Weekend finally rolls around, but I will be sure and let you know what I decide. Enjoy the tune from the fabulous Eddie Money!