Now that I'm back in my old hometown I feel it is important to warn the residents of a few things about myself.
1) I sing in the car. With feeling. I used to stop whenever I pulled up to a stoplight because I didn't want the people in the car next to me to see me belting out a show tune and think I'm weird. Then I thought, "Wait, I am weird," so now I keep right on singing. And I don't mumble the words or make any attempt to appear as if I'm not singing either. I rear back, open up, and let it fly sister. I sing it loud and I sing it proud and I don't care who knows it. Oh, and I've been known to tweeze my eyebrows in the car too, but I don't get to sit in the car rider line these days. Deal with it.
2) I talk to my dog. In complete sentences. When we walk through the neighborhood we're carrying on a conversation, you're just not advanced enough to hear her side of it. But, believe me, she's talking back to me. It usually goes something like this:
Me: No, Lilly Belle, we are most definitely NOT going to jump in the lake.
Lily: But, mother, the water looks so very cool and refreshing. I would very much like to go for a dip. (while pulling my arm out of the socket to get to the water)
Me: No ma'am. (jerking the leash and trying not to go for a swim myself) We. (jerk) Are. (jerk) Not. (tug) Going. (pull) For. (jerk) A. (jerk) Swim.
Okay, I haven't fallen in yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.
3) I've been away from Hendersonville for twenty years, so I keep running into people from high school that I don't remember. If I do remember you, it's probably because you fall into one of three categories:
a) I only remember your name because you were popular and everyone knew you but I never really liked you.
b) I actually did like you in high school and I probably would've hung out with you if I hadn't had a job and a boyfriend and a 4.0 GPA to maintain.
c) I actually did hang out with you in high school and just lost contact with you when I went away to college and worked three jobs, had a 3.93 GPA to maintain (stupid B in math), joined a sorority, got involved in the drama department, met a man, and married him.
4) I have a terrible memory for names. If we went to high school together and I don't remember you, I'm not going to pretend that I do. I'll simply say, "I'm sorry but I'm a moron. Who are you?" Because I hate when someone pretends to remember me and we're standing there talking and I'm thinking, "This person has no clue who I am. Why doesn't he/she simply admit that he/she doesn't know me from Michael Jackson's cat?" I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I didn't go out and party much in high school. I worked. I studied. I visited my boyfriend. I read a lot. I wasn't a snob, but I didn't hang out with a lot of people. Deal with it.
5) I love garage sales and Goodwill. If you come to my house and say, "Oh, I used to have a (insert random household item here) just like that," then the chances are good that the item is the very same one you used to own. I'm cheap and proud of it. Deal with it.
6) If you knew me in high school, then the odds are pretty good that you knew my high school boyfriend too. I have not had contact with him in many, many years. I have no idea where he lives now or what he's doing with his life. He was my past. My husband and kids are my present, my future, and the center of my universe. Just so you know.
7) I teach at the same elementary school I attended. Yes, it's strange. Even stranger, I had the kids of former classmates in my room this year. Rest assured that I'm a great teacher, but the fact that I knew you twenty years ago will not affect my relationship with your child, unless you were a butthead to me back then. Just kidding. Your kids still have to do their homework. Deal with it.
8) My parents, grandparents, and brother's family all live in town too. My mother doesn't drive the "Hippy Van" anymore (may it rest in peace), but she still has spies all over town.
9) When I left Hendersonville in 1987 I weighed just under one hundred pounds. I won't mention what I weigh now, but let's just say it's considerably more than that. I'm just telling you so you won't be surprised when you see me at the grocery store you won't do a double take and I won't have to see the "Wow, she's really let herself go," expression on your face.
10) I do not put on makeup and get dressed up to go to WalMart. If I run into you there, I will not be looking my best. I do clean up fairly well when I put some effort into it, but you will not see that best effort at Wally World. Deal with it.
Okay, so to sum up...I'm back. I don't embarrass easily, so don't waste your energy laughing at me.