I had my mother in town (mine, not hers) a couple of nights ago as she had a medical appointment and stayed overnight so I didn’t have as much driving to do in the one day. She’s also on the hunt for a new lounge room chair following her hip replacement – one with solid armrests to assist her in sitting / standing and one that is higher than her current lounge suite. My (newish) hometown is bigger than hers and I’d found a store with heaps of stock, so we took the opportunity to head in for a look while she was here.
As we were about to enter she commented that she thought the mother of one of my school classmates now worked there. And indeed she did.
She didn’t recognise / know mum at first. Once mum said her name the salesperson (schoolmate’s mum) gushed and they gossiped a little before the inevitable question…
“And what’s Debbie up to nowadays?”
(I was ‘Debbie’ to my school friends.)
Mum looked at me and I smiled that, ‘Oh-well-let’s-get-it-over-with smile.’
“Oh,” the woman-in-question said, “I didn’t recognise you without your blonde hair!”
(Have I mentioned that I’ve very overdue for a hair appointment and my regrowth is kinda scary?!)
Of course – in my mind – the rest of the sentence went unsaid.
I look nothing like I did at school. And I’m far more than double the size I was then.
It’s happened before.
Just a few years ago I went to a family friend’s gathering with my folks and ran into an old classmate. I stood nearby as she chatted to my mum, smiling politely waiting to be drawn into the conversation.
“Where’s Debbie these days?”
It’s the worst thing about returning to my roots (well, nearby). I wrote this post three years ago – having run into someone from my youth. Gah!
I realise I shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of who I am nowadays. The slow self-acceptor in me recognises that I have nothing to apologise for and no need to make excuses. But…. Old habits etc etc.
Are you self-conscious about your appearance when you see people from your youth / younger years?
Do you look the same as you did as a youngster?
PS. Mum found and bought a chair she liked! In case you were wondering.