Tuesday, October 19, 2010

four percent

So, Saturday night was my high school reunion. It was a casual affair, held at a sports bar at a country club in my hometown. I cooked a spectacular (if I do say so myself) dinner for David and Tom at my parents' house first. We ate on the patio overlooking Sonoma Valley and toasted one another before heading to the bar to reunite with our old classmates.

Just before we went in, Tom wrapped his arms around us and quipped, "Hey guys, what if we walk in there and totally lose all of the composure and confidence we've been developing for the past decade?"

Little did he know, I had been wondering the same thing since receiving the Evite three months ago.

I'd say that ninety-six-ish percent of the time, I am a confident, articulate, self-assured woman. I speak my mind (using the good grammar instilled in me by the Santa Rosa City School system, thank you very much) and interact with others in what I like to believe is a down-to-earth yet graceful manner.

And then there's the other four percent.

During the occasional "four percent" moment I might be the nervous fifteen-year-old who summons all of her courage to pass a note asking the boy who sits next to her in algebra and on whom she has an enormous crush, to homecoming only to feel her heart sink as he scratches "No. Sorry." on the back of his notebook. Sometimes I am the sixteen-year-old student actress who completely forgets her seven measly lines in the drama class' production of Anton Chekov's The Seagull . And sometimes--very occasionally--I am the seventeen-year-old attendee of the "Pimps and Hos" themed house party who drinks an entire bottle of Manischewitz wine (stolen from her parents, of course), and strips on a backyard picnic table in front of half of the senior class, after being told by a classmate that he believes she will "probably always be a very predictable person."

It was that annoying little four percent that I was afraid of. I feared it would rear its ugly head during the reunion--that I would fluster, that my cheeks would turn red. That I would feel like an awkward teenager. But you know what? I didn't. Not even once.

I even had a good time. I enjoyed catching up with people I hadn't seen in years, hearing what they'd been up to and sharing what the past ten years have been like for me. We hugged and kissed and clinked our glasses. It wasn't some glowy, sentimental love-fest, but it was actually pretty fun.

Maybe by my twentieth reunion, it'll be down to two percent.

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