Open Letter to That Girl From High School

Dear Old Friend,

So your mother and step-father have moved into the neighborhood that I grew up in and where my parents still live. Our mothers are friends. My mother and your mother ran into each other this week, and as it turns out, you and I are both going to be in town for the holidays. They thought - how terrific would it be if we could get together?

I don’t know how I feel about that, exactly. The last time we saw each other, you were just about to graduate. That guy “B” and I went to see you perform as a wench at the Renaissance Faire. You remember B, don’t you? So, yeah – he was the guy that I had a crush on and I mentioned it to you, and you said you’d try to get him to notice me. Imagine my surprise a few weeks later to learn he’d asked you to Prom. And you'd accepted. I ended up asking our friend “R”, who thought of me as more than a friend and it was really awkward, especially when the four of us ended up at Gorin’s Ice Cream together after the dance. How adorable you looked with the jacket of his tuxedo slung casually over your shoulders. How moronic I felt fending off the advances of R who, in retrospect, was way, way cuter than B. Maybe I should have been more open-minded. Eh, that was nearly twenty years ago. Wonder what happened to both of them?

In the years that have passed since then, both a lot has happened and little has changed.

I’m still funny, I still sing Alto II reasonably well. While not a professional writer, as I may have hoped I’d be, I can still crank out some gems if I’m so inspired. Still liberal, still crazy, and I still speak my mind. I haven’t been in a play in nearly 10 years, but I could act my way out of a paper bag if I had to. Life is good.

As for the differences? Well, I’m a grown-ass woman now. I have a good job (not a cashier at Harry’s anymore, though I loved it there), I got married – a wonderful man – thankfully, nothing like either of the guys we ended up with at Prom. We live in Nashville – definitely not the “cool” factor of your new town, but I have terrific friends, a beautiful home, a loving dog – all the trimmings. Life is good.

Oh, here’s something kind of interesting. I got fat. Well, to be accurate, I got fat, then got thinner, and then somehow managed to get fat once again. As it happens, getting fatter is much easier than getting thinner, and in many ways, more pleasurable. Sure, there’s the whole societal prejudice, the difficulty of finding cute clothes, and of course, the stretch marks - but forget all that – you get to eat!

So you may wonder what exactly I mean by fat. Well, it’s not like I auditioned for the role of Precious, nor am I the kind of woman you’d look at coming down the aisle of an airplane and think “I hope she isn’t sitting next to me”. Jerry Springer isn’t going to have to interview me via satellite from my home hospital bed. I’ve never broken a piece of furniture by sitting on it. I do have to buy my clothes in the “Women’s” department, but they’re in sizes you can get off the rack, and not in a whispered hush by catalog only. I can see my toes, touch them, and they’re not so bloated that I have to cut the toes out of my houseslippers. I don’t own a muumuu, caftan or housedress. Or have my own zip code.

I’m what some might call plump or chubby. I have a bit of a gut, a round butt and big boobs. I shop at Lane Bryant sometimes and a place called Avenue – but I can still hit the racks at Dillards, Macy’s and even Target with success. I sometimes wear a shaper to keep things in check, but that’s true even for thinner people.

I’m probably more self-conscious about it than you would be surprised by it, but anyway, it is what it is. Next year, start of the year, I’ll work on getting some of it off. More Zumba, less chocolate.

So, yeah. Aside from my body issues, and the fact that you went to Prom with my crush, we’re cool – right? That time you got the part that I really wanted in that play and I ended up playing an old lady again…I am so over that. Oh, and the time we had to split a solo in Chansons…”The Man Who Got Away” – huh, seems like just yesterday. Oh well, water under the bridge, you know!

What the heck – if you feel like it, give me a call.

Love ya, mean it –

Crazy McChunkybutt