This was me in high school. I was hopelessly lame and painfully insecure, and I wore a lot of flannel. No one paid me much attention at all outside of my small circle of friends.
I was so ready to graduate high school and leave it all behind me. I went to a huge university with something like 60,000 students, and then I moved to Boston to go to law school. I changed a lot during those years. I became more confident with who I was, made some amazing friends and finally, for the first time maybe ever, I felt like I belonged somewhere.
And then an email for my ten-year high school reunion popped up in my inbox. Within minutes, there was a flurry of activity from my old high school friends. “Are you going?” “Should we go?” My answer was a resounding HELLZ TO THE NAH! but my friends wouldn’t have it. Finally they pestered me enough into going. So five years ago today I got all dolled up and headed to a hotel in east Fort Lauderdale.
This picture is from later in the night. When I first got there, I didn’t see any of my friends. I was instantly transported back to being that painfully insecure, outsider girl, standing around trying not to look too awkward in a sea of people who knew each other. I decided to get a drink because alcohol helps solve all social problems.
On my way to the bar, I saw Scott. I remembered Scott from high school. During senior year, my high school required the graduating class to go on a bonding retreat. Yeah, you read that right. We were broken down into small groups to get to know each other, and somehow Scott and I had been thrust into the same small group. Scott was pretty popular back in the day, I, as you know, was not. We talked a lot that retreat weekend, but you know how high school works–come Monday morning, the status quo was returned and cliques were back to their old ways. But not Scott. He’d always say hi in the hallways.
In that hotel ballroom, my eyes locked with Scott’s, and for a second I wasn’t sure if he remembered me, but then he smiled. I smiled back, thought YES! Someone I can talk to! and walked over to him. We didn’t leave each other’s sight all night. At the end of the night, I had chills. Scott called me the next day, and that was that.
Exactly a year a half after that night, Scott asked me to marry to him.
Last November, I gave birth to our daughter.
And apparently we haven’t taken a family picture since last Christmas. Weak. But my point is this: Have you ever gotten annoyed by YA books where the main character–a shy, dorky girl–ends up with the cute, popular guy because that is SO NOT REALISTIC? Or cheesy romantic comedies of the same vein? Yeah, me too. But not anymore. Because they can happen.