A quick look in the mirror

A week or so ago, I was hustling the children into a restaurant.  The Husband was holding open the door, which allowed another family to go in front of us.  I recognized the husband as a boy I went to high school with and I recognized the man’s father who was a teacher at my high school.  Then my eyes went straight to the pregnant woman who was walking in the restaurant, holding a hand of a toddler.  A.S.  We had four years of honors English together, and more importantly we had four years of drama together.

And I panicked and looked away, busying myself with the boys.

I don’t know why it would shock me to run into any one from my past here.  It is my hometown after all.  While it’s a million strong, I live in the same part of town I did when I was a teenager.  Hell, I’m even looking at houses in the same neighborhood as my high school.  On top of that, in my huge circle of high school friends, only three of us got the hell out of the state for college.

In California, if it was a college buddy or an old co-worker, I wouldn’t hesitate to shake hands and say, “Holy crap!  What are you doing here?!  What have you been up to?”

But then I looked at the man who was holding the door, the man who fathered my children, the man I was divorcing.  Obviously I would have to introduce him.  What do I say?  “This is my husband.  But not for long.”  “This is my husband.  We’re technically married at this point and will be for a while.”  “This is the father of my child.”  “This is-”  When did life become so f-ing complicated?

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite bloggers questioning who they are.  Either it’s because of a monumental birthday, an old picture, a turn of a phrase from a child, or a divorce, but it seems everyone is searching for the people they are or were or will be.

I began to wonder in that moment if I was that girl from high school, the one A.S. knew.  The girl who bought her best friend a dozen blue nail polishes because her best friend confided in her that it wearing blue nail polish made the girl feel strong and confident.  The girl who stopped talking in the outfield just long enough to catch the pop-up and throw to get the out at home with one hop, surprising the P.E. coach.  The girl who told off her swim coach and left the team before her last chance at finals.  The girl who took over the shop because no one else would.  The girl who laughed when she saw the letters B I T C H keyed into her Bronco.  The girl who stormed into the boys’ dressing room to get the prop she needed, ignoring the boys in the process.  The girl who wasn’t afraid to be loud, different, smart, and difficult.

F it.  When did life become so complicated?

I handed Tornado A over and walked into the restaurant.  One moment please.

“Hey, A!  How’s it going?”

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4 Responses to “A quick look in the mirror”

  1. d, the undomestic housewife Says:

    I’m definitely the type to pretend to be busy and hope people don’t notice me – especially people I have any sort of awkwardness with. I don’t do small talk very well in general – never mind when I’m all awkward.
    I’m so impressed that you didn’t hide out after all!

  2. jc Says:

    Good for you. I wouldn’t be caught dead in my hometown. My father being the town drunk kinda ruins that wayback trip for me. But my real home has always been where I am moving to this summer. Where I have non-related family. Where I feel comfortable. Where I have wanted to live my whole life. Instead of moving around for jobs, I am finally getting an effin clue in my thick skull to move where I WANT TO BE, then I’ll figure out the job crap later.

    Back in 1998, I wrote a “What I Want” list and saved it with my birth certificate. It says where I want to live, I want a dog, I want to be working on blah blah, and I want to be outside every weekend. I need to staple the list to my damn forehead so I see it everytime I go to the bathroom. I drink tea. I’m in the throne room alot.

  3. faemom Says:

    I need to write one of those “What I Want” lists. I’m a big on writing important things on the mirror in the bathroom.

  4. Elastamom Says:

    It’s so hard to see your past in your future, don’t you think? I’m proud of you. You’re going to be just fine.


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