My life in few characters

The high school reunion is coming.

It’s in less than a month, and the entries for the biography booklet are due by today.  So last night, in order to meet the deadline (and beat it, just), I psyched myself up to do something I truly love: fill out personal information forms.

Only this particular form started like this:

Spouse’s name:

I had nothing to put in those blanks, so I left them blank.  I went on, filling out the rest of the form (Education, Occupation, Favorite Movie/Music/Restaurant in high school), and then I clicked the “view results” button.  And there, at the top of my page, right below my name and photo, was this:

Spouse’s name:

Instead of tastefully removing the questions I’d chosen not to answer, the stupid online form had left them there.  They might as well have put:

Old Maid

in the same insulting bold print.  Those are exaggerations, yes, but that’s how it felt – all that attention called to my lack of husband and babies.  (I’m going over to Beth’s tonight, and she will undoubtedly use this as another reason not to go to the reunion.)

When I got to the second part, the part that asks for a “Summary of accomplishments, dreams, travels since High School” in no more than 575 characters, I started trying to make myself sound accomplished:

After college, where I spent four years in a wonderful program doing the things I love most: reading and writing, I lived in Europe for two years.  I am now fluent in French, and…

Then I deleted it.  What a load of bull.  College was great, but it’s almost as far away as high school now.  My French was pretty damn good even before I went to Europe, and I was mugged a block from my apartment in Lyon.  Then I spent a year in Wales, sitting on the couch in a townhouse that my then-fiancé’s parents owned, bored out of my mind.  It wasn’t glamorous and extravagant; it was just…  Life.

And the rest of my life, since then, has been just life as well.  Under the banner of those blank Spouse and Children fields, how could I lie and say it’s all been so wonderful?  Do I want these people to be jealous of me, or do I want them to understand me, really know what I’ve done and where I’ve been and where I might be going?

I tried again:

After college, I lived in Europe for two years, studying in France, then waiting tables in a tiny village in Wales. I married young, and divorced quickly. I lived in Seattle for a while. I lost a pregnancy. I’m back in San Diego now, and recently published my first magazine article.

Life isn’t always perfect, but it’s always exciting. I write about it daily at

And then I hit the “submit” button.

I wonder if anyone else was as honest in their bio.  (I also wonder if anyone else even filled the damn thing out, and I’m starting to wonder if anyone else is going to the reunion at all.)  It feels pretty ballsy to have written that, to have ‘fessed up to the reality of my life instead of trying to bedazzle it for my former classmates.  Ballsy, and really, really good.

Anyway, if I want them to be jealous of me, I can just show off my legs.

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9 Responses to My life in few characters

  1. Erin says:

    Rad. I just hope when mine rolls around I won’t have to put the whole “moved back in with my parents cause my landlord was growing pot.”. Fingers crossed. You should still go to laugh at the bald and fat ones, sincer you’re neither.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I thought about going, but I couldn’t think of a good reason (that isn’t already covered by Facebook).

  3. Ava says:

    So I’ve been bombarded by enough positive encouragement that I’ve decided (at this point) that I will go to said reunion. But I refuse to buy tickets until day of because that’s how up in the air my life is right now. Oh, and I’m dragging Chip with me.

    • Marie says:

      YAY! I’m dragging Doug with me because we weren’t sure I would have a friend. Now I have a friend AND I get to meet Chip (and he & Doug can keep each other company).

  4. Emily says:

    Hey. I like your bio! And more good news … your blog is not (yet) blocked in China. Also – stop calling me a barren old maid. If you are then I am too.

    • Marie says:

      No way dude, you’re 5 months younger than me. Speaking of which, I need to know when/if we’re doing something for your birthday so Doug & I can get the night off 🙂

  5. Austin Wright says:

    My 10 year Reunion was weird.

    There was a big divide between those who went to college and those who never attended…and both were trying to prove other things to the other side.

    All in all, everyone except me got drunk (I was the only only who didn’t get the 21-and-up wristband) and I was able to get the number of an old female friend who I hadn’t seen in like 12 years.

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