Since we're in Florida, we plan to visit some old friends in St. Petersburg. We'll go to the beach where the wife and their three kids will join us. Then we'll all go to dinner joined by the husband when he finishes toiling at the nationally-known newspaper where he works.
Earl worked with Tom in St. Louis 30 years ago. When that paper folded, they both moved to Florida. We all worked together 20 years ago at the Tampa Tribune. Then we paired up, married off and had kids. Once a year or so, we get together. When the kids were little they would play happily building sand castles and swinging high. Last time we got together, the middle child, a tomboy of a girl, was beating up on our boys. This time with their girls 17 and 14 and the boy 11, it will probably be awkward with teenage gaps in the conversation.
Two days ago, Earl made plans to see them.
As the days pass, I find myself dreading it.
It's all because I don't feel good about myself. I hate to admit it, but it's true.
Maybe it is the fact that I'm spending a lot of time in a bathing suit. Maybe it's because I've put off finding a new stylist to cut and color my hair so it's curly with strands of gray. Maybe it's because I'm eating vacation food instead of only fruits and proteins.
I'm judging myself and assuming they'll do the same, which is stupid. We've all aged.
Generally, I consider myself a fairly confident person. I don't stand in front of the closet and throw aside outfit after outfit. I don't spend hours looking in the mirror and criticizing lines around my eyes. I'm smart, accomplished and sometimes even witty.
This time, though, I feel inadequate.
So, I asked Mom to call and see if her stylist can give me a trim and color today, straightening my hair in this humidity with the hopes that it will hold through tomorrow where I'll sit on the beach refusing to get my hair wet in anticipation of meeting up with old friends.
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