Let me reprint this old, old post, now that my grand high school reunion is really approaching.
I have signed up to attend my high school grand reunion .. and things have never been the same again.
All because I will have a fit if no one recognized me when I entered 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 the NBI to find it.
I am letting my hair grow. I have months to get back my adolescent hair style — waist length, twisted into pigtails. I’d like to dare frisky Nelson Pangan to pull them again — the way he used to before Homeroom. And surely, I can whack him one — 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 me 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 sew a maroon skirt and a gold blouse to fit my present XX size, but sorry, sobrang sorry — though I am willing to die for my alma mater — well, almost — I’d die first before I wore that sorry color combination again.
I now look at my reflection every which way, 24/7. Now, if mirrors could complain! I see tell-tale lines and ridges even if I didn’t turn the dresser lights on. Shall I call them laugh lines? But they don’t go away when I am through laughing.
My mirror says I am no longer the “tiny wisp of a campus leader” Rolly Lampa wrote about in the graduation annual. Nor the apple-cheeked girl Romi Mananquil sketched once for a Torres Torch story.
Oh, well! 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 mangoes ripening and adobo simmering, who loves to read a good story and to write one. My favorite people are still those who are bubbly and witty and funny — like my Ninas barkada Tessie, Pining, Cora, Lolit, Jing and Sol — as I can never be.
I still don’t know a lot of things and 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 shy and clueless and sometimes clueless about being clueless. The only difference is that I have learned the art of not showing it.
I am still lampa. The one who the other team left for last at touchball games because she was slow and bungling and easy to hit. The one who always got to be “it” in tumbang preso and patintero games. The quintessential Binibining Atsay. Only that has evolved today as the “Quintessential Pulot Mom” from the badminton and pingpong games I still try to play in a huffy-puffy way.
I am still the girl who can never find the X in the simplest of equations. Over whom Miss Tienzo — for all her awards as outstanding Math teacher — shed tears of frustration. But also the girl who loved to paraphrase Shelley and Byron and Dickinson and was the darling of Mrs. Timario, Mrs. Alejandro, Mrs. de la Cruz, and other English teachers.
I am still hungry for affection, praise, approval, still pikon over slights — real or imagined. Still trying to be the best mom, wife, sister, friend, worker, neighbor I can be. Still working on relationships that have gone awry.
And yes, I am the person about to attend her high school reunion with a mixture of breathlessness and dread.
(My dear buddies: This is why I am on a semi-sabbatical from blogging -- working on "JUBILATION 2009: the best is yet to come" -- meant to be a yearbook like no other. Will see you all soon.- anna)