So, I’ve had my high school graduation on my mind lately. It’s probably because it’s May and I keep having recollections of where the moon was on pivotal nights of my life. This time of year, the moon is hanging in the same place, so I keep having flashbacks.
I can’t think of one thing I liked about grad. My shoes were too expensive and uncomfortable. My dress was the wrong colour. My hair didn’t work out. No one except my date, my mother and my grandmother came to congratulate me. I didn’t go to any parties. I stayed up too late that night because I felt some ironic pressure to do so and was sick the next morning. About two weeks after the ceremony a boy came up to me in and asked me why I didn’t go to his party. I told him, “I wasn’t invited.” He said, “Everyone was invited.” I just smiled weakly and moved on. I really didn’t think ‘everyone’ could possibly include me.
So what was so wrong with me that I was so completely alienated from these people I’d grown up with? I was beautiful. I had clear skin, 95% straight teeth, I was teenager-girl skinny, got excellent grades, volunteered in the community, held down a job (sometimes more than one), went to church, and about a zillion other things that should have made me grade A material.
It wasn’t that anyone was particularly bad to me or that I had anything serious to complain about. It was just that I had this vision in my head. I used to imagine if one of the guys I liked told his mother that he wanted to date me (it’s a town where everyone knows everyone) and her reaction. I could seriously see whoever’s mom flipping out, telling her son that I was no good. Her baby could do better. It wasn’t just the boys either. I knew girls had the same conversations with their mothers. It’s because everyone always wants more and better … and pretty and smart girls don’t fool anyone’s mother. They’ve got to have a lot more.