Ten years ago:
Clinton was president. Sepetember 11th was just the day after September 10th. We survived the Y2K panic. National unemployment was 4%. American Beauty won Best Picture at the Oscars. I lived in Virginia. I was 17. And I graduated from high school. Dad was there too, along with the rest of my family.
And now I’m headed back. Though it’s Virginia, not Dodge. Headed back to 95 degree heat, Republicans, the James River, southern accents and white linen pants. Yes, indeed, it’s my 10 year reunion y’all. A time for folks to compare designer purses, talk about your 2.5 kids and try to look as skinny as possible. Personally, I’m hoping for just the last one. Though with the heat, I may just sweat off a few extra pounds before the reuion starts.
This 10 year thing has made me feel oddly introspective recently. I wondered, what would my life look like in the snapshot form that often is used to describe one’s life at events such as these. Here’s what I came up with:
“Oh yes, I’m recently married. My husband and I live in a rich, suburban neighborhood. I’m a teacher and he works in the software industry. Look at my shiny new SUV and my huge diamond ring. Isn’t my life awesome? “
Oh yuck. Oh gag. OH horrible sterotype we never wanted to be! But as I started to panic about becoming a founding member of the Real Housewives of Seattle club, and needing to find defences to all of these things whether for myself or for others, I took a moment to think about the depth, the real life, and the love that shape all of those statements above.
“Oh yes, I’m recently married, and he works in the software industry” – To my best friend, the man of my dreams, the one who I wouldn’t care if he worked at Wendy’s and lived in a van down by the river, I wouldn’t have anyone else.
“My husband and I live in rich, suburban neighborhood” – We live in a house which we affectionatly call the Dr. Seuss house because it’s so weird, funky, and quirky. It used to have purple shutters ok? Our neighborhood is also wildly diverse (as is most of Seattle); in fact we can walk to 6 different ethnic restaurants.
“I’m a teacher” – At a bilingual school. Where I get to practice French every day.
“Look at my huge diamond ring” – That was my husband’s great-grandmothers. The diamond is set in a band that that same husband designed himself. Did I mention he rocks?
“And my shiny new SUV” – OK, so it is pretty sweet. But it also has 4 wheel drive to take us to the mountains where we pretty much spend all of our free time.
“Isn’t my life awesome?” – YOU BET YOUR ASS IT IS.