Posted by: heatherinparadise | October 13, 2008

20 Years Already?!

One of the reasons I went back to Chicagoland recently was to attend my 20 year High School Reunion. In 1988, I graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School, home of the Fighting Zee-Bees.

Looking back on my HS days with the benefit of hindsight, I see a confused young girl with little in the way of self-esteem who wanted desperately to fit in, to wear “that hat of belonging.” I was a cheerleader even though I felt like I had little in common with the other girls and even if I secretly gravitated toward the poetry and theater crews. I admired the “punk kids” who had the courage to wear whatever they wanted and have cool hairstyles (hey there, Jerry, you listening? Did you know I admired you?). I longed to be different, too, to show myself as a distinct personality…but not too different because that would have been what they call “social suicide” in the movie Mean Girls. I wish I knew then what I know now about individuality and sense of self, but unfortunately that lesson would take years for me to learn.

And so my memories of High School are not great, but not terrible, either. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. The person I was then is just the person I WAS then. I don’t know that girl anymore, but I do have compassion for her (unlike some of my friends, who love to throw my cheerleading/jockiness in my face in a seeming attempt to humiliate me for something that I will NEVER be ashamed of).

I attended my 10 year HS reunion, too, but I made the mistake of drinking a little too much beforehand (in a misguided attempt to endure what I thought would be painful) and didn’t really enjoy it. I was determined to have a good time at this one, especially since I was coming from so far away to attend.

I harrassed my three best friends from HS for months in advance, threatening them under pain of death to be my dates. You’ve already “met” Amy and Scott in previous blogs. Jerry is an artist, check out his work.

Since it’s nearly impossible for me to find clothes here that fit me, I ordered this gorgeous dress online at



Closeup of bodice

I was nervous, since the dress was a size 10. I’d been working out and losing weight, but size 10? The measurements were right, but could I actually be a size 10 again? Holy crap. I was having it shipped to my mom’s house and wouldn’t get a chance to try it on until 3 days before the reunion. What if it didn’t fit? And what if the shoes I ordered online to go with it didn’t fit? Or didn’t look right with the dress?

Whatever would I do?


  1. Wow, that dress is GORGEOUS! Do we get to see a picture of YOU in it?

  2. Very cute dress. Thanx for giving me one more website to shop like I really needed another one.

    Congrats on the size 10. See all of my castoffs would be too big for you anyway so no use in bringing you any I spose. I’m jealous.

  3. I’ve gained a bunch of weight back, sadly, so I doubt the dress would fit anymore. But anyway, I don’t think it was a REAL size 10 anyway. They do things to trick us, I’m on to them.

  4. I agree, the dress is lovely, and I’m sure that it looked great on you!

  5. We just had our 25 year class reunion. Biggy B actually went up to people he didn’t ever talk to in high school and said, “I know I didn’t get a chance to get to know you in high school, but would like to know more about you.”
    The dress is great!! Did you wear it???

  6. I can’t wait for part two! And there better be pics!

  7. I never would have went without you. Never.
    Thank you for that. It was great fun. I reenacted your ten year I guess;) I still have fun with you, no matter what or where we are. Unfortunately I share that feeling with ALL your friends. Miss you.

  8. You were and are gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve ever given you shit about the cheerleading, but if I did, forgive me.

    Love you, too.

  9. The dress is gorgeous, and yes we need a picture with you in it!

    But…ahem…am I the only one here aware that you owe us more halloween pictures?

    You promised, you know!

  10. We were all that girl – and those boys. High School can be a cruel and unforgiving place. Luckily for most of us, we grow up and move on. Unluckily for some, they don’t. You should admire your growth as a person and the awareness that maturity brings – being able to see that “that girl” was just a part of you but does not define who you are now. Few of us remain in that small place of staying exactly the same. Kudos to you! And…that dress is amazing!

  11. heather-the dress is so stunning-missed the reunion woud have loved to reconnect with youi had not heard about it until jose cabaltera emailed me today-hope that you are well-you look great! catherine anton sandberg

  12. Heather…love the dress I am sure you knocked everyone out!! Just like Cath, I had not heard a word about the reunion either…kept waiting but guess I was on the MIA list! Would have loved to have seen you and everyone else…amazing how life perspectives change in 10 years. Anyway…knew you from way back when and always thought of you as a wonderful free fun loving are way too critical of your past self..but guess we all are! Good to hear you are well. lynda pontillo

  13. Heather, that dress is gorgeous!! I bet you looked bea-u-tee-ful!!!!

  14. Holy Cow! Catherine and Lynda! Long time no see, ladies! I can’t believe you didn’t know about the reunion, that stinks! Are you guys on facebook or myspace? That is how I keep in touch with a lot of HS pals. I wish you would have been there, too. I’ll email soon, hope you’re on facebook!

    Second installment coming up, needed a day or so to recuperate from some dental work. Soon, y’all.

  15. Ok, I know I’m way behind on all the recent news but please put me out of my misery:



    P.S. GORGEOUS dress btw! I’m sure you looked absolutely stunning that night!! PICS ANYTIME SOON???

  16. Very sad she was not blessed with a real life glimpse…..

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