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Mpls, MN, United States

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today I stepped outside and realized that I could smell the air and that my skin didn't hurt. It was really quite lovely. I discovered later that then, at 2:30, it had been 14 degrees. Yesterday's high was 6° and Sunday's was -4°, if that puts things into any perspective.

I stayed inside almost all weekend, though a friend did brave the weather Saturday night to come over for dinner (pumpkin curry soup (the ingredients were already in my pantry...) and cornbread), and then we headed out to see The Golden Compass, which was most disappointing. Sadly, several of my favorite stars and a fortune's worth of digital effects couldn't save this film from its screenplay and directing.

I didn't leave at all Sunday, and even though I had my heat cranked up all day, I still captured this window ice on my tallest north-facing window:

In other news, I booked a ticket to Seattle for my upcoming 10 year high school reunion, and, as both the event itself and my own inclinations could easily predict, I have been doing some soul (and face) searching. This is what I looked like on the day I graduated from high school:

The more I look at this photo, the more strange it seems that it's me. The picture on my debit card was taken shortly after this one, and my friends here laugh whenever I pull it out to pay--I have so much hair, and am so cute!

And I used to think that I didn't look that much different than I did in high school. Witness, in fact, this photo from this blog's own archives, taken in the first semester of my time at BG, just over three years ago:
The resemblance to my high school self is striking, no?

Unfortunately, I don't think it's just the hair that's different now (I first cut it short in Paris in 2000, and it has been many lengths since then--the longest of which you see above). Many things have changed my face and body since I graduated, from the three marathons I've run to last summer's bike accident, which slightly altered the contours of my chin. But I'm afraid the biggest one is grad school. I feel like the past three years have not been kind to me, hollowing out my cheeks, giving me wrinkles, and making me a bit haggard.

I took this picture when I got my hair cut in November:

Tell me the truth, Internets. Do I look unduly aged by the past decade? Will my former classmates have to hide their shock and dismay?

I know I'll be able to pass as the same person if I keep smiling (which still seems, thankfully, to come fairly easily). That may be my only hope.

P.S. For further comparison, and so you don't think I'm making this up, here's a picture I snapped this afternoon when I got back from school, feeling particularly haggard:

Ahhh, you see what I mean about smiling, don't you?


Hardboiled said...

I know how you feel about the 10 year reunion thing. Mine is in October and I don't know how to feel about it! When are you coming out to Seattle? If you have time, I'd love to catch up!

Ellen said...

You are getting older, don't be so quick to blame grad school.

David said...

As far as the temperature goes... wow that is cold. It's been above fifty here in NE Oregon every day for the past week. I haven't had to defrost my windshield in several weeks. I love it.

I went to my ten year reunion last May and had a fantastic time. It's amazing how much people change and stay the same at the same time. Don't worry, you look great. The change is just ten years of maturity.

So what high school did you go to?

Also I totally agree, The Golden Compass was a HUGE disappointment.

Yes Is A World said...

Um, you look older than 18, but certainly not "haggard" - your ex-classmates will be so happy to see your smile.

My 5 year was pretty uneventful, since I had pretty much kept in contact with a bunch of people through college.

10 year should be more eventful, I would think.

I Hope So said...

ellen is funny. you DO NOT look haggard. i think the shorter hair makes you appear more "mature" but definitely not old... you will make people gasp in a very good way :) and if a good majority of your classmates married and had children young (which is probably the case if you went to an sda school) then you will make everyone angry at how NOT haggard you look... hehe.

i still can't believe you live in such horrifically cold weather.

The Churches said...

Well, you still look like Ceri- and always will! And, yes, the smile is trademark!
If you want to blame anything for aging, I'd blame the horrid weather you've had for a few years. I think we all know where you'd rather be and that's bound to make anyone blue... AND bound to reverse itself when you find yourself in more congenial climates!

Lately I've noticed that I have several wrinkles that are here to stay and that my pores are getting big enough to park buses in!- Not happy! Oh! and did I mention the grey hairs coming in on the left side of my head? When did I cease to be "in my prime?!" I'm not even 30!

Ern said...

I love window ice, I find it fascinating and beautiful.

As for haggard, NO WAY. You look a few years older than when you graduated high school, of course. You also look a little slimmer (probably the marathons?). Your short hair is funky and modern, I love it.

Grad school is hard on everyone. If the smile still comes easily, you're doing well.

Curly Sue said...

I had the same reaction to The Golden Compass.

You don't look haggard. You look exactly like you should look in your late twenties: more mature, more experienced, more confident. I think that worrying about looking older is what makes us look older. We have to embrace the years that have made us who we are.

I skipped my 10 year reunion, and I'll be skipping my 15, which is coming up. I agree with I Hope So...I bet all of your former classmates have a million kids and wish they had the glamorous (?!) grad school lifestyle. But I didn't go to mine, so I can't say for sure.

utenzi said...

That's amazing. You look exactly the same in the HS picture and the one taken 3 years ago. Have fun at your reunion!