I watched that Robert Pattinson movie last night…Remember Me. You know, the one where he doesn’t sparkle and he’s not a vampire. He is, however, the color of mayonaise, so I’m beginning to think that he doesn’t require a whole lot of makeup to make him look undead and pasty-like, which I can appreciate, since I belong to the same family of pale. But anyway, he plays this incredibly awkward and damaged college student, only he is really only auditing the classes, so I don’t know that you could actually call him a student. And then he meets the equally damaging, but actual student played by an also pale Emilie de Ravin who will always just be CLAIRE to me, but before she got all scary and jungle-y. Anyway, dude, the chemistry between these two actors? Ridiculously hot. I mean, the movie was kind of shitty and I already knew about the BIG! GIANT! SPOILER! at the end so I really just spent most of the movie waiting for that to happen and, well, waiting for them toÂ get it on some more.
All of this is to say that there was a scene in the movie that made me do the ugly cry.
Luckily for me, no one had any interest in actually watching the movie with me, so it was a solo project and no one was around to see the streaked mascara and the runny nose. The awkward bookish and artsy sister of sir Pattinson gets constantly bullied at her all-girls school by the other girls. She shows up at a birthday party and walks in. The other girls are all doing each other’s hair and giving makeovers. They look over to see poor Caroline just standing there, and then go back to what they are doing, as if the girl isn’t there at all. Invisible.
That moment. Oh my god. It just about destroyed me. DEAD. Right there. This poor girl. Just standing there. As a child, tween, teen, I feared moments like this. End even sometimes as an adult, I still fear them. Some days I still pull into the parking lot at school and wonder if the group of moms in their lululemon pants and hoodies and their matching coach bags and their identically coiffed hair is going to look right through me and go back to their yammering about the Starbucks date they had that day. Invisible.
And it’s not that I am not comfortable in my own skin.Â I am. But it took years of self-therapy and growing up to realize that I am awesome. I may not drive an Escalade and I may not spend my days lunching and getting my nails done, but my life? It’s ridiculously great. I have amazing friends, I have amazing kids, I have an amazing spouse…even though this month he’s lookin’ a little bit too Movember’ed up and a lot like a Dora’s Papi/Luigi/Magnum PI hybrid. But there is nothing like a once-over look from a woman in a KLASSY Ed Hardy outfit to make you remember what being a pre-teen was all about.Â Do I have a booger hanging out? Can they tell that my hoodie is from Target? Are they judging my bang braid? Have they figured out that I haven’t showered today? Do they see that my boots have been Sharpied? The feelings are so silly, of course, because at the end of the day, I really don’t care. I am who I am. I and LIKE who I am. But, still, for one quick moment, I am 13 again, desperate for the popular people to like me.
My three children, while each so completely different from one another, are already in far better places than I was at their ages. I watch Isabella when I drop her at birthday parties and she gets a Norm-from-Cheers reaction (“ISABELLA!!!”) and I watch Josh come out of school at the end of the day, still talking beyblades with his friends and I watch Emily run towards a gaggle of girls when I drop her off at school in the mornings. They are surrounded by people they know, people they like, people who like them back. But I wonder what they are feeling. Do they worry about this? Does Emily choose her clothing every day based on what she wants to wear, or what something thinks she ought to wear? Does Josh ever feelÂ less than because he’s not on the school hockey team? Or are they just simply happy? Is it crazy to think that they could just be happy?
Or are they just too young still…and those moments, those fears, those anxieties just haven’t arrived yet?