So I've recently found out that our lovely class of 2002 will be holding a 10 year reunion.
Let me first say that while we were at the very beginning of the internet generation (MOST of us didn't have personal computers until late high school or college (if you're me) so even though we haven't been raised on facebook; we definitely know our way around it and use it on a daily basis.
With that said, I honestly sort of assumed that we'd skip the whole reunion thing. We half-assed our 5 year and didn't do it until it was technically a 6 year so I figured the same would go for 10. Add in the fact that everyone is on facebook and I didn't see a huge need for one.
I don't have a ton of facebook friends that I went to high school with, or at least graduated with. I have quite a few, but I'm not the one who has gone around manically adding everyone I have ever known in my entire life. If they add me, I'll add them. I don't do the whole facebook first wave though. Seeing as though I don't have a ton of them on my facebook, it's probably no surprise that I didn't find out when everyone else did--- but it is for me. I have quite a few people who I've kept in semi constant contact with on there and they knew about it. I guess they just didn't check to see if I was invited right? Probably. My self esteem tells me it's that I wasn't a priority. Silly self image; always making me look bad.
Anyway. I found out from the most random person on the planet and from there asked one of my "friends" about it who immediately invited me into the exclusive, private event (insert sarcasm). I was getting ready to hit my join button when I saw the message about sending a check.
If you ever want to get a broke girl's attention faster than you can say Here's some money... it's insert any word that pertains to money; primarily to paying out money. So I read through it and it has some mumbo jumbo about sending a check made out for $20 per person (so that means your lovely date that you pay to go with you so you look good also has to pay $20). WHOA NELLY. I'm broke dog, that's not cool. Okay... I understand that it costs money to hold one of these things, but here's the thing.
This is a casual event (one is left to assume so anyway.. seeing as though this is the south and we never do anything fancy.. hell, we get married in flip flops)and I know that our class account should have SOME money in it because we took donations at our drinkfest ala 6 year reunion. That's not it though.
What in the WORLD could I possibly eat that would cost me $20. I feed my family of (sometimes up to) 6 on $20.
Either way... I have a week to come up with $20 ($40 if I find me a model friend to pay to go with me) and at this very moment I don't even know where my son's medicine funding will come from.
Aside from the money issue, there's the issue of going alone as the loser I am. What do I tell them I do? I've had some really great jobs and if this had been a year ago I would have had no problem proudly boasting that I worked my way from a seasonal employee to store manager in a year. I would have told them about my staff retention rates and how much I loved playing with jewelry and telling people what to do all the time.
What do I tell them now? Oh.. I quit my job last year to home school my son who has ADHD, Asperger's OCD and borderlines on Bi-Polar...tell them that I live with my mom and brother just like I did 10 years ago and that we sometimes don't have enough money to eat with? Maybe I should tell them that I have one of those kids that you can't really take anywhere because people stare and place judgments just because he's not like everyone else. Tell them that I've lost one car and I'm about to lose another one because my ex husband hasn't paid me child support in 3 months because he's having a baby with his new wife and my son isn't his priority? Or.. wait! Maybe I should tell them that I'm 200 pounds overweight because I eat my emotions! I've got it... I'll tell them that I own my own business doing handcrafted goods, photography and design and that I'd love to give them a business card but I simply can't afford them.
Alas-- I hate that I even care what people think, but I do. I looked through the confirmed list and every person on that list (give or take one.. and I'm pretty sure she has her doctorate degree and has a snazzy life, so even if she's miserable.. she's rich) has someone that they will be taking with them. I don't. My guy doesn't do events. He doesn't do a whole lot of things.
I realize that my hostility towards an innocent little class reunion really is misguided and should be placed in front of a mirror so that it can attack back at me--but it's much harder to point a finger at yourself.
...In reflection, how I want to be seen and how I will be seen are completely different. I'd have no problem going there unemployed if I were a halfway decent person. If I could say that on a daily basis I change lives and I make a difference, or that I'm financially sound because I'm webfamous or something... but that's not the case. I'm still just a lost little girl.. It's just that this time, 10 years later, I'm a lost little girl with scars and broken down baggage.
I'm not going to fill myself up with lies either. They have facebook and even though we have a south Georgia education, most of them can read. They can see for themselves what I've been up to over the past 10 years... at least the parts that I wanted them to see.
In the past 10 years I have been picked up and thrown down. I've been married, almost divorced, in relationships, divorced, gainfully employed, not so gainfully employed, unemployed. I've lived on my own, I have lived with a man, I have lived with my mom. I've lived in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. I took my first plane ride and my first cross country road trip. I've had a baby. I've watched that baby go to school. I've seen things, heard things and said things that I can never take back or unhear. I've loved the Lord and loathed the Lord.. I've scraped my knee and I've had my heart shattered into a million pieces. I've cried myself to sleep.
I've done it all in private though. Nobody needs to know what I've been through unless they care enough to ask me. I don't keep it a secret, if I did I wouldn't be screaming it on a page that can be accessed from any home computer or cell phone. If folks cared enough about what I've been up to for the past 10 years they would have asked. They would have kept up with it. That's just it though. I know that I will go to this thing (if I go) and the same groups will rally together. They will pretend like time hasn't passed. They will judge and be judged. 10 years isn't that long when you put people together who knew each other then... but I dare you to compare stories. We've all walked a lifetime's journey.. some of us more painful than others. We've lost some amazing classmates and we've all had our share of pain, rejection and self loathing.
I don't know yet what I'll do. I would like to go, even if I'm the only person there going solo. I want to go and hold my head high and know that I can stand in the raging waters of my own making. I have made the decisions thus far in my life and if I can't grow up and own them then somewhere along the line I made a decision in jest.
I won't go hungry just to go to this thing, so if I come up with the money before next week I will turn in my check and do the thing. I'll come up with some sort of killer outfit out of my closet and I'll post an OOTN and we'll pretend like I don't have all these feelings over something so trivial. I'll eat my $20 worth of food, I'll take pictures and I'll put on a good show.
Then I'll come home and write about it.