Unsteady Uproot – “Eighth grade dance” (Monday, September 16th)

Last week I was invited to my first party since moving here and – I kid you not it – according to the thoughts that were racing through my head it was as if I were in eighth grade again and preparing for a very important event that would subsequently determine my social standing for the rest of the year.

I met a girl at church and I knew I instantly liked her when she offhandedly commented something about being a mess. I laughed and said, “Me too, girl” and she was like “My hair is super greasy and I’m just pretending like it’s not a thing. But it really is a thing.” Hilarious. She was right, though. Her hair was slicked into a grease bun and she didn’t even care. She said it with such an easygoing confidence that I could tell was just doin’ her thang. I connected with her over hair grease. Weird, right? Any other person and I might have been silently judging with thoughts like “maybe you should shower more often…” but with her I could already tell there was more to the story and that this girl and her husband were pretty cool. [It should be noted right now that her husband has one of the most incredible beard + man-bun combos I have ever seen, which automatically ranks them both higher in my mind]

But I digress. It was dark by the time church let out that night and the hurricane was dropping buckets of water on us so I was standing outside under an overhang waiting for my ride when she popped up beside me and asked if I would like to come to her husband’s birthday party.

OF COURSE I WOULD!

Since arriving in this state it’s like my insecurity about my physical appearance has skyrocketed, though. Not to mention that my skin has suddenly become freakishly dry, sallow, and all around unattractive so that’s not helping my mental state at all. Suddenly, I am spending the whole day before this event considering what to wear to this shindig and what people will be there to see me. Should I dress up or wear jeans? Should I flatiron my hair or leave it natural? How many people will be there? 5 or 50? What kind of friends do they have?

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MEET THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND YOU ARE JUST GOING TO HANG OUT WITH A BUNCH OF 20-SOMETHINGS – GO GET DRESSED OR YOU’LL BE LATE! I internally scream at myself.

I decide on black harem pants, a flowy shirt, and espadrille type sandals. “Good” I think to myself “nice, but comfy just in case I have to sit on the floor or something.”

I apply makeup. I never apply makeup. “Why are you wearing makeup??” i ask myself. “Because I feel ugly!” I shot back.

I ended up pulling my hair into a high messy bun and then pulled down some strips for a little face framing. “Don’t want it to seem like I’m trying too hard.” I thought.

I arrive at the address I have been given and ring the doorbell. I hear nothing but a dog barking for a while and then a head pops into the window at the top of the door. It’s my new friend’s husband. He opens the door a crack and wedges his way out while trying to keep a giant dog inside. He fails and the dog bursts out. There is this awkward moment where I am trying to ignore the dog’s frantic hellos while the husband scrambles after the dog in his socks finally managing to shove the giant black beast into the house. During all this I can vaguely see into the dark house and I realize that my new friend is huddled on their couch shrouded in a blanket.

Oh boy…

As it turns out. My friend got sick before the party and everyone else had been texted this information. Being the new girl in town I had accidentally been forgotten. Awkward… So there I was with her husband as he painfully apologized for the mixup and he let me know that the party had been moved to Sunday night instead. All that stress over my appearance for nothing!

Sunday was yesterday and I can confirm that I DID actually go to the rescheduled party. And I just went in whatever I had worn to church that day – made things easier. A black floral dress with a deep v-neck. I turned on my most conversational manner I could muster up. In general, I got some conversation. Some people it was like pulling teeth, though. Usually people like to talk about themselves, but not these people. At least not to me. But I persisted. The party was fun, but honestly people kept to usual friend groups and I ended up petting the beast that had tried to kill me with love not too many days ago. Turns out he’s a lover not a fighter.

The best part of the entire evening was when everyone left and my new friend and I got the ice cream back out and we sat around eating Tillamook and chatting about all things health related. It turns out I’ve found someone who actually GETS what it is like to be so young and yet still struggle with so many health issues. She’s like an angel because she knows what it’s like to be me. 27 on the outside and 85 on the inside. We talked for hours and picked on all the random junk foods lying around from the party and I knew that finding a friend like this so soon after moving here… That’s one super special blessing.

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