Monday, October 19, 2009

My Inner 7th Grader Takes a Beating.

I loved my awesome green party dress. Loved, loved, LOVED it. I loved the color, the fit, the fact that I found it in a thrift shop for $15, and the way Kev's mom fixed it to look absolutely perfect on me.  My glorious shoulder freckles looked magnificent. 

I really was looking forward to knockin 'em dead at my reunion.  I wasn't a bit nervous in the car on the drive to fancypants downtown Clayton, because I knew at least one person slated to attend had gained more weight since high school than I have. There was a deliciously morbid comfort in that.

My only fear - more of a concern than a fear, really - was that given the guest list, it might be a little bit boring. And when I get bored, I get creative. And when I'm drunk and bored, my kind of creativity might frighten some people.  It might delight those who know the post-high-school Penny Karma I have since become, but I didn't drink at all until college, so my high school pals have witnessed plenty of Creative Sarah, but not Drunk Sarah. 

And I was reasonably sure that the uberconservative George Dubya High School alumni weren't ready for Creative Drunk Penny.

Out of the 85 people in my graduating class, only about 30 were signed up to attend. Of the 30, I only cared about 5 or 6. I couldn't care less what Kimmey Fiero, Stereotypical New Money Stinkin Rich Gorgeous Barbie Doll Cheerleader Snotrag is faring in her illustrious career as a Trophy Wife.  In fairness, she was never really outright viscious to me exactly, but that's only because she didn't want to squander her precious Cheerleader Spirit energy on a peasant like myself.

We ran into Kimmey Fiero in the elevator. 

She is one of only a handful of people with whom I can't even bluff my way through a fake conversation full of nothing more than small talk and pleasantries. I don't care what she's done over the last twenty years, and I know she doesn't give two shits about me either.

She did that sappy obligatory "Oh, hiiiiiiiiii!  How great to seeeeeeeee you! You look fan-taaaaaa-stic!" bullshit. I was smirking through clenched teeth, choking on the words I wanted to say, which were "fuck off, you emaciated twat," or something like that.

We joked uncomfortably about how long the elevator was taking to get to the roof. The ding of the elevator brought an audible collective sigh of relief, and she pranced off to look for her uppercrust kinfolk, who apparently had better things to do that night. Kimmey left after less than an hour because nobody cool was there.

The very instant R and I stepped out of the elevator, Julie Wigglesworth yelled from across the room, "HEY, THERE'S MY LITTLE CEASAR'S BUDDY!!!" in a pathetically overt attempt to humiliate me in front of my husband.  See my last post if you don't know what I'm talking about. 

She was hoping to out me, I'm sure.  It didn't work.  I laughed, said, "Oh, Julie, this is my husband R. You met my friend Kev a couple of weeks ago (turning to R) - Kev and I ran into her at Little Ceasar's when we were picking up dinner for the kids (turning back to Julie) - Kev and his wife are so great, in fact, they're watching our kids for us right now!"

Derailed that shit, didn't I?

As the night went on, I learned some interesting things. One of my former classmates ran into another fellow former classmate at, of all unlikely places, a strip club several years ago. The mother of a friend of mine died, which made me extremely sad to hear.  FOUR of my friends had each popped out two more kids since I'd last seen them.  I've popped out two more since the ten-year too, come to think of it.

I drank. A lot.

I offered (read: threatened) to whip my boobs out as part of a fundraiser for the Alumni Association.

People told me how hilarious my Facebook updates are, and I snickered to myself, because those people have no idea that I'm waaaay funnier without the Facebook Filter in place.

I got defriended on Facebook 24 hours after the reunion.

It was a nice night, really.  My effervescent personality sparkled brilliantly.  I was really delighted to be able to introduce my husband to people who have known me longer than he has. R, I would like to add, looked dapper and amazing, and he got to know several of my friends, which was really cool. 

And the next day (yesterday), the pics appeared.

I look hideous in the pics everyone is posting. I looked horrible in the pics at the ten-year too. I look gigantically pregnant in the pic that wound up in the Alumni Newsletter. I was mortified by how underdressed I was for the ten-year, so I was going to overcompensate this time.  I'd been stewing about it for a decade.


The invite called for "Smart Casual" attire. What the fuck does that even mean???  People wore jeans. That pissed me off, a little. I glammed it up and wound up with pictures of my backfat posted for the world to see. Look.

Oh, and notice my buddy Newman (who made sexually suggestive remarks to me every single day for six years, back in the days before I would have been as tickled by it as I would be today) making out with his adorable wife on the right side of the pic.

I wish I didn't look so hideous in the pics, because that's what the people who weren't there are going to see and use to draw their own conclusion about how well I've aged. Of course I know that there are some folks who would be ripping on me no matter what I wore, which is why I chose to wear a dress that made me happy.  And I was happy... until yesterday's rude awakening.

I really thought I looked awesome. People told me I looked spectacular, and I believed them.  And now here I was faced with the reality - and relative permanence - of these wretched, unflattering photographs floating about the internet.  I really wanted to blow my classmates away, and instead, I made a complete ass of myself. 

Here I was having a great time, thinking I looked bloody freakin amazing, and the whole time I had no idea I looked so Huttish in my shiny green dress.  I am totally embarrassed, and there's nothing I can do about it now.

To their credit, R and Kev and Rip and my beloved loves have all reminded me of my beauty.  R told me he thought I looked stunning and he was proud to be with me, but it's almost like hearing it from your dad. You know he means it, but you also know he would never tell you that you were anything less than beautiful.  I was too deep in a self-loathing funk to listen.

I feel disgusting, enormous, amorphous, gross, and above all, incredibly foolish.  I want to throw up.  I want to take a scalding hot shower and scrub my skin with steel wool.  I want to crawl into bed with a box of Oreos and a bottle of Schnapps.

I know I'm taking it far too seriously.  I know I'm totally overreacting.  I know I'm making a big deal out of something that's really not a big deal.  I know I'll get over it.  But right now, I feel like everybody else was in on a big hilarious joke...

and that joke was me.


Trillian42 said...

Oh, sweetheart. You DON'T look hideous. You look like you are having a BLAST - and your joyful spirit SHINES. (Personally, I HATE pretty much every picture ever taken of me, so I totally understand)

And I think you look gorgeous. That green is a great color on you. I want to see the whole dress!

Anonymous said...

Um, I'm pretty sure I've told you when I thought you didn't look good (see the remark about what I thought were your new glasses... my shoes tasted good that day)

You looked Stunning in that dress. And R looked very dapper in his suit. I've already told you all the things I can think of to let you know that you don't look anywhere near as bad as you think in those pictures. I'm with Trillian - I hate just about every picture ever take on me too.

I have had the opportunity to see you in the dress, I've seen the joy it brought you. And it should.

And for the record - "watching the kids" might be a stretch. Sitting around drinking while the kids played games and watched TV would be more accurate.

String said...

You look happy in that picture, and that is my favorite color. I would have worn the dress too. Also, if you had offered to show your boobies for my fundraiser I would fork over the cash to see them.

Poops said...

I really feel your pain. Like you and Pam, I take a truly heinous picture. I go in thinking I look fiiiiiiiiine, and then I see the photographic evidence of this fat, red-faced girl acting like she has the right to be happy and having fun.

But here's the thing. You watch ANTM, right? You see the girls on that show? Bunch of underfed, vapid barely legals that if you passed them on the street you wouldn't look at twice. Without makeup, they're as plain as rice.

But for some reason, the camera fucking loves them. Quite simply, they translate to two-dimensions. There's not one person there with whom I'd want to grab a beer and a slice. I don't read their blogs. I don't want to be their FB friends.

Then when I think about how many people I know that take a shitty pictures but shine in real life, and I realize that the printed image just isn't capable of capturing all the awesomeness. You are waaaaaay too three-dimensional to be captured in a 2D medium. So am I. So is Pam. We're doomed to feeling ugly by our photographs because they just can't do us justice. We are, in a word (or three), Too Fucking Much.

I saw the pictures. The real you looked fucking fantastic that night. You rocked your dress, you had a trophy husband on your arm all night, and for every person that had a snarky comment about you the next day, I know there were at least two saying "God, I missed Sarah! I forgot how much fun she is!"

If I could, I'd take you out for Schnapps and Oreos and we could leave the cameras at home. Lying bastards.

I love you more than my luggage.

Skye said...

I think you look lovely, Sarah. For real. Definitely not a joke at all.

Tactless Wonder said...

So, I rarely comment here...but I'm delurking for this one...

There is only one picture of me that I absolutely love. It's the one where my older brother and I were forced to go to a professional photographer to pose in our HS grad. costumes (he a robe, me a white dress...very different schools...) Anywho...I hated the entire experience as there was primping and makeup and all sorts of not-Mary things going on...

And I look hot. For once in all my 35 years...and it wasn't an 80s glamour-shot, 'member those? We do not speak of any other pictures where I'm in them...just no worth my even looking...

Which, given the kind of school you described graduating you think maybe it'll be Newman who was the intended victim of the photo/future snarking as he was making out with someone? (The fact that it's his wife will dissipate pretty quickly.) Or the oter fellows behind you? Check out the other pictures and see what is going on in the background...If they're anything like the ones that appear on my alumni paraphernalia, the foreground folks are usually the excuse for the juicy stuff going on in the background...

Don Newbury said...

I dunno but I thought you looked hot. I really get a kick out of your blog as well. Keep up the good work and stop beating yourself up fer chrissake.

knitnthings said...

Did you ever consider that they purposley posted not so flattering pictures because they're evil bitches and were so totally jealous of you & your fabulous a husband, and your pretty green party dress.

The picture really isn't as bad as you think - when I looked at that picture my first thought was - dam she's having an awesome time...

Jo said...

I love how giddily happy you look in the pics.

SiressYorkie said...

There's something you need to consider, PK, in between your mental floggings...and to be honest, I find the timing very odd! This last weekend my best friend got married (broke my heart I couldn't be there), and she called me last night in tears because like you, she thought she looked like a radiant, glowing beauty. But the candids really scared her because they did NOT reflect the way she was feeling in side. She got terrified that the weird smiles, half-closed eyes, and odd poses were how she really looked. I know her very well, and I know she's most beautiful when she's laughing or when the sun's in her eyes and they glow like gems. Mostly, she's at her greatest beauty when she's least aware of it.

You know what the bitch is about pictures? Like Poops said...they're two-dimensional, if that much. They don't show how animated you are, how vivacious, how much fun to listen to. They don't show the great jokes and stories you tell, and above all, they don't show the GLOW you had on your face that night from knowing deep inside you felt beautiful. And they don't show how people sought you out to chat or your body language or the pride you have in your accomplishments (think just having a man and kids isn't too much to be proud about?? Consider how many folks around you don't even have that much...or have menfolk in their lives with no loyalty or love...or have kids who are absolute shits).

The problem is you're not very good at deception. Like me, you're too honest. Remember, though, the mirror and the camera lense are cruel, and they don't show how you sound when you laugh or the spark in your eye.

And thin isn't always better or beautiful. And I think anyone who wears a dress that colour should not be ashamed of anything.

Carol said...

i have not seen you in person in the green dress. So I cannot pasas judgement. But I will say this: Pictures lie. Models get paid $$ to make clothes look good in pictures. You and I are not models and never will be. In my experience, any good picture of me is a complete and utter fluke. And requires taking a bajillionty of them. If you liked your dress, that's what fucking counts.

Anonymous said...

I ditto what Carol said. If I could, I'd invite you to mosey on down the road of kindness, and make you skip that ol' beaten path of harming your Precious Self (ouch!). Who was it that said "Be who you are, the rest of em are taken." ?

L Dawg said...

Ya look good from here, PK!

Lili said...

I'm not just saying this, you look GREAT. That dress is the perfect color on you and many people couldn't pull that off. I know how you feel about not liking pictures of yourself, though. I was all of 90 lbs soaking wet when I graduated from High School. I happened to have kids right at the same time that my uber-fast metabolism decided to shut down. Don't feel bad, there are MANY people who knew me in High School that don't recognize me b/c I'm no longer the skinny waif I once was. But, I know that I was nice to everyone in H.S., and I've lived a nice, happy life, so that makes me feel great even though I'm no longer model-thin. You should feel the same way. You look WONDERFUL. Period. You look happy with your dapper hubby and your pretty dress. And, you bring joy to many, many people with your snarky commentary on life. :) Anyone who thinks less of you b/c of how you looked in some stupid pictures...well, they're just good for blogfodder. xo

Audrey S. said...

That dress was fucking AWESOME, and all the better for the story of it's purchase. You rocked it, pictures or no, and it's obvious, especially in the picture that opened the post.

My FB picture is one from R's bat mitzvah where I had paid this photographer good money and he wasn't taking too many good pictures since I was too busy to "guide" him in what I wanted. Finally, I pulled him aside and told him that I needed a couple of what I call "axe murdered" pictures as in: "if I get axe murdered, what pictures will they publish in the L.A. Times?" Got maybe four good pictures of me and maybe one of my family out of the whole shebang.

Haven't been to a reunion in years (I'm past the 35-year mark, now). I only remember about ten relationships from high school and am truly friends with only one of those. I keep getting these FB messages, "Hi, remember me? I had a class with you. Will you friend me?" Uh, no, sorry, I won't. I'm only "friends" with REAL friends, ones who I actually remember from day to day.

Speaking of which, if you look at Trillian's huge list, I'm the only "Audrey" on it...I think. It would be an honor!

I want that dress. Couldn't rock it nearly as well as you did, though!