Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reunion Jitters

I have signed up to attend my highschool reunion this year. And since then things have not been the same.

All because I will run amok if no one recognized me when I enter the reunion hall.

I have begun to work out and diet. Although there's no way I can get back my lampayatot look way back when, I should at least get rid of my spreading middle spread. I need to recover my waistline -- even if I had to hire D.I. Trece or Hawaii 5-0 to find it.

I am letting my hair grow. I have months to get back my adolescent hairstyle -- waist length, twisted into pigtails. I'd like to dare frisky Nelson Pangan to pull them again -- the way he used to just before Homeroom. And surely, I can whack him one now -- now that he shouldn't be able to run as fast. I have a tiny problem though: My hair has gone from "betcha-by-golly-wow" thick to"son-of-a-gun" thin. And shall I wear my bangs again? Someone, please tell if there's a law against a golden girl trying to look like Tessie Agana when she was Roberta.

I have toyed with the idea of wearing my old Torres High uniform. Not that I could squeeze into any of them by any contraction of the imagination. But well -- a modista should be able to rush a gold blouse and a maroon skirt to fit my present XX size. But sorry, sobrang sorry -- though I am willing to die for my alma mater (well, almost), I will die first before I wore that sorry color combination again.

I now look at my reflection everywhichway, 24/7. Now, if mirrors could complain! I see tell-tale lines and ridges even if I didnt turn the dresser lights on. Shall I call them laugh lines? But they don't go away when I have stopped laughing.

My mirror says I have grown old. No longer the "tiny wisp of a campus leader" Rolando Lampa wrote about in the graduation annual. (Actually, I had this ex-deal with him -- I also wrote nice things about Roly in my "Crystal Ball" piece.) Nor the "cutest girl in section one" Jasmin Bermudez said I was in her gossip colum in the Torch. (No, I didn't bribe Jasmin. She just had a giant crush on my cousin in the other section.)

Oh, well. I just might run amok. Who will recognize me now? I have gone to pot.

Or have I?

I probe deep into myself, the essential me that mirrors do not reflect.

I am still the same person who loves sunsets, sunflowers, the smell of kape barako brewing, mangoes ripening, adobo simmering, who loves to read a good story and to write one. My favorite people are still those who are warm and kind and funny as I can never be.

I still don't know a lot of things and I have disappointed my kids by saying "I don't know" so many times. I still can't swim, dance, sing, ride a bike, or drive a car to save my life. I am still searching for the meaning of life and only know it isn't just a big house or a sleek car, or an impressive title or trophies or plaques.

I am still lampa. The one who the other team left for last at touchball games because she's slow and bungling and easy to hit. The one who always got to be "it" at patintero and tumbangpreso games. The quientessential Binibining Atsoy.

I am still the girl who can never find the X in the simplest of equations. Over whom Miss Tanco, with all her awards as outstanding Math teacher, shed tears of frustration. But also the girl who loved to paraphrase Shelley and Byron and Browning and was the darling of Mrs. Timario, Mrs. Alejandro and most English teachers.

I am still hungry for affection, praise, approval. Still pikon over slights -- real and imagined. I am still trying to be the best mom, wife, friend, worker, neighbor I can be. Still trying to work on my relationships that have gone awry.

And yes, I am the person about to attend her highschool reunion with a mixture of excitement and dread..


sexy mom said...

don't worry - you're in the same boat as many. a few years ago when we had the 25th year reunion with my high school classmates (ooops! am giving away age!), we found out that almost everyone had that goal. even for the very fat (they were hopeless by the way and resigned to their fate) the reunion was an incentive to shed off a few pounds of flesh. and remember, there is always that magic kamison to hold those fats into one place. keep your chin high and just enjoy the moment, though of course, feeling less fat is a plus factor.

Bernz said...

There is no need to bring back the old looks, just feel the force of each other... Well, Im looking forward to read your next blog about the reunion. Enjoy the event and may the force be with you. ^_^

btw, post a pictures of the event if you don't mind.

annamanila said...

Sexy Mom and Bernz: thanks for the sensible advice. Sige na nga, I will perish the thought of running for homecoming queen. :) You must have been in yours, s'mom! And yes, Bernz, I will blog about it here whether my classmates recognize me or not. Pictures? Hmmm ... let's see.

Toe said...

Oh, I'm lampa too! :)

And I dread reunions of any sort. But you'll have fun... you're such a fun person. And if only because of that, you'll be terrific in you're reunion. :)

BTW, I'm in the process of finishing my latest post (I don't know how I could finish it... Internet is horrendously slow)... and I'm tagging you there with a meme. :) So be sure to check it... I'll finish it before the day ends. :)

kate said...

exciting! :) not really a fan of reunions myself (people change faster these days) but i sure look forward to reading all about it in a future post :)

homecoming queen? why NOT? :)

annamanila said...

Toe! Was tempted to ask what's meme. But afraid of being tagged 'ignoramus' or worse receiving a 'duh' reply. So i did two things: (1) wait for your piece to come out, and when it failed to completely instruct me(as you were so stylishly indirect)searched for 'meme' in the web. So getz ko na, finally. All the way to the office thinking of the meme topic (so absorbed i forgot to buy my favorite calasiao puto-kutsinta). Will try to do it edgewise today here in the office (meaning lunchtime or when the boss isn't looking) or tonight (what the heck -- TGIF). I wonder if your generation knows what TGIF means. Aaah, you just don't know how heady it feels having a new barkada of 20, 30 something -- unthought of in my offline world.

noemi said...

Fortunately I look a lot better now than I was in high school . That's why I look forward to reunions.

annamanila said...

Kate! Thanks but it might be a long wait. It will be in November. It was nice of you to drop by! Will visit you asap.

Noemi! Yes, I think so too. Your pics at 'touched by an angel' are fabulous.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about my high school reunion was realizing that I wasn't a very important person 40 years ago. The best part was meeting up with people who were good friends 40 years ago and who could become good friends again.

annamanila said...

Mary! HS friends never die nor fade away nor grow old in our memory.

kathy said...

I read this piece right after your latest post - A Friend of My Youth.

I was surprised to find out that you graduated from Torres High School! Isa lang naman yung Torres High sa Manila, di ba? The one in Gagalangin? It's unmistakable because of the way you described your uniform - bright yellow (or gold, as you said) and maroon. :) My mom was also a Torresian, you know!

Reunions...hayy, I've yet to attend one myself. But I do dread the possibility, maybe because I would see everyone looking so old - and realize that hey, I'm just as old as they are. :P

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