Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Appearances to the Contrary, Did You Know I'm Still 15?

I may have mentioned that my sister watches Sean and Allie on the 1.5 days a week that I work. She also watches a few other children. One of these, through a very strange coincidence, is the daughter of someone I went to high school with.

Have I also mentioned that I was quite a geek throughout school, always on the social fringes? If not, I bet it comes as no surprise. This girl (woman, now, of course) was the complete opposite -- beautiful, athletic, popular, and (whispering) not very nice. Not to me in particular but just in general. I was too faint a blip on the radar to even warrant attention.

Of course, Allie and her daughter are, like, best friends. Who'd have thought?

So yesterday, I had a lot of work to do and wound up not getting a chance to shower before leaving to pick up the kids. I looked like a complete slob -- sweatpants, sweatshirt, no makeup, frizzy, misshapen hair. And I was running late, slated to arrive at my sister's just at the time a certain other parent might be picking up her child.

Who cares, you say? Why does it matter after all this time? I'm an adult, way beyond the pettiness of high school? Well, re-read the title of this post. At the core I am some ways still that insecure.

After panicking a bit in the car ride, I came up with a plan to escape unseen. I assumed that I'd get there first. If she arrived while I was still there, I'd just dart upstairs to have an impromptu chat with my nephew Ryan (who was probably going to be at wrestling practice, but that's not information everyone need be privy to). Then I'd come back downstairs after she left. Perfect!

Now, the anticlimactic ending: I picked up the kids and left, encounter-less. (Disappointing from a compelling-narrative perspective, but a huge relief in real life.)

I am shaking my head as I type this -- how could I have come so far in life, have so many things to be proud of, and still feel like a teenager? At least I've learned one lesson: when I'm going to be late picking the kids up, I'll at least put jeans on.