DEAR HARRIETTE: My school reunion is coming up. It's a big year for us, and I am nervous to go back. I used to go to reunions when I first graduated, but I haven't gone for about 15 years. I also used to be cute. I was tall and thin and had a great figure. I was one of the so-called "popular" girls, and I know I thought I was "all that." Fast forward to now, and I am divorced twice, seriously overweight and fairly broke. I lost my job about six months ago and haven't had steady work since. Talk about eating humble pie! I am definitely not on top of my game. People might not even recognize me if I went back. I feel like I shouldn't go since I'm not in the best place. But then I wonder if that's crazy. Maybe they would welcome me as I am. Chances are some of them are having their fair share of problems, too. I don't have time to lose weight or rewrite my story. Should I go anyway? -- Afraid of Reunion, Shreveport, La.
DEAR AFRAID OF REUNION: I can guarantee you that you are not the only one who is feeling skittish about attending your class reunion. While there will likely be some who are "sitting on top of the world," there will be plenty of others who are simply living their lives and doing the best they can -- facing ups and downs like everybody else. Whether good or bad, most Americans gain weight over time, so you will probably see quite a few people who are overweight.
My point is that you should go. Do your best to be in the moment. Do not judge yourself or others as you greet one another. Say your name as you see people, not so much because they may not recognize you, but because they may not remember your name. Be humble and kind. Choose to enjoy yourself. You may find that not being the most popular girl will allow you to notice people who could be great connections moving forward.