I have procrastinated relaying my tale of attendance at my recent high school class reunion. If you are a woman, you know why. It is the moment you come face to face with all the insecurities you have been carrying around since seventh grade when you realized that an in crowd existed, and you weren’t part of it. Other humiliations accumulated over the years, which further illustrated just how inadequate you were in so many areas- – socially, academically and romantically. It is a wonder you had any friends at all.
Memories of the trauma you experienced in high school can only be lessened by powerful medication or in my case, an emergency makeover. I hadn’t intended to take such a dramatic step until my sister, Janet, informed me that if I wanted to look “hot,” which surely, I did, I would have to ditch the conservative ensemble I had selected. I like my wardrobe. My clothes are “classic.” Janet said classic was another word for boring. That did it. I donned my sensible shopping shoes, the ones with the cushy rubber soles, lightened my purse of all unnecessary objects, packed a snack and set off for the mall.
When I drug 12 cocktail dresses into the dressing room at Macy’s, the clerk frowned at me. I told her I was going to my class reunion and she nodded in complete understanding. It is a language only women understand. Out of the 12, two had possibilities. One was definitely hot. I am pretty sure I saw Angelina Jolie wearing the very same dress, in a smaller size, of course.
In the shoe department, where I am no longer welcome, I tried on 10, possibly 11 pairs of evening shoes. They all either hurt my feet or I wobbled when I walked. I decided a hip fracture would not add to my hotness. The sales clerk, who could think of no excuse to dump me, brought out a pair of kitten heels that I had earlier declared out of my price range. I bit the bullet and flashed him a credit card.
I really did not intend to get an actually “makeup” makeover, but when I walked past the Estee Lauder counter, the vivacious Jessica took one look at me and said, “Honey, sit down right here, I can help.” I dropped my bags and plopped down on her stool. I whispered, “I am going to my class reunion tomorrow night.” Her mouth dropped open, “You have come to the right place.”
On came the foundation, highlighter, blush, eye shadows – colors I would have never selected, but Jessica was confident in her selections. By then, we had drawn a small audience of women shoppers. As soon as I heard others asking to be next, I knew Jessica had a gift. When I finally got to see her work, I must admit the word “hot” did cross my mind. Whether I actually looked “hot” didn’t matter because I felt “hot.”
The reunion? It was fine. I discovered that time is a great equalizer. None of us comes through life unscathed. And, while some peaked in high school, there are those of us who were just late bloomers. Besides, when you’re hot, none of the rest seems to matter.