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You Were Already Good Enough

Romy White and Michele Weinberger were best friends in high school. They didn’t belong to a particular clique, they were their own clique and everyday is a party to the girls. While in high school Romy was a chubby girl and Michele had to wear a back brace because she had scoliosis. The bane of Romy’s existence was the “A” group. These were the most popular girls in school. The group was lead by a very pretty girl who is a bitchy little diva named Christy Masters. She takes great delight in harassing the two girls. Christy views them as weirdos with horrible fashion sense. What gives Christy even greater delight is the fact that Romy has a crush on her boyfriend Billy Christianson. Her mean pranks culminate in Romy’s greatest humiliation on prom night. Romy and Michele are both dressed as Madonna which sets Christy off calling them “The Madonna Twins”. Romy figuring it is prom and the last time she will get a chance asks Billy if he would like to dance with her once in the course of the evening. He says “Sure, why not.” This excites Romy. Billy goes and tells Christy that Romy asked him to dance. This tickles Christy and she sets her final mean plan into action. She confronts Romy and tells her that Billy broke up with her because he’s always had a thing for Romy and she has ruined her life.  Christy turns and stalks off. Romy is stunned and now can’t wait for her dance with Billy, sadly for Romy all she will do is wait. Christy and Billy ride off on his motorcycle although Romy is unaware. The prom comes to an end and Romy heartbroken realizes she has been tricked again.

Michele and Romy in their Madonna inspired prom dresses.

Michele and Romy in their Madonna inspired prom dresses.

10 years later. Romy White and Michele Weinberger are best friends and roommates. Everyday is a party to the women. They are living in California in a small apartment on the beach. Romy works as a cashier in the service department of a Jaguar dealership. Michele is unemployed. The ladies life consist of clubs, designing and creating new outfits, lying around in bed watching movies and telling each other how cute they are. They are shallow and narcissistic. One day while Romy is at work she encounters a former classmate named Heather Mooney. In high school Heather was a most unpleasant girl. She was very smart and very mean, especially to a fellow student named Toby Walters who she constantly tells to “f*** off.” Heather tries to smoke cigarettes between classes and there is never enough time. As an adult she invented a cigarette with quick burning paper and she has made a fortune. She is still unpleasant. She asks Romy if she is going to their 10 year high school reunion. Romy didn’t even know about it but thinks it sounds like fun. She tells Heather she’ll see her there. Heather tells her in a very foul manner that she will not be there.

Lisa Kudrow as Michele Weinberger, Janeane Garofalo as Heather Mooney and Mira Sorvino as Romy White in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion"

Lisa Kudrow as Michele Weinberger, Janeane Garofalo as Heather Mooney and Mira Sorvino as Romy White in “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”

Romy and Michele pull out their old yearbook and begin reminiscing about their high school days. They realize they didn’t belong to any of the groups and were loners but were always having a great time together. They even took their senior picture together. That also brings up the subject of Christy and Billy and Romy is still not over it. The girls get the application for the reunion and start to fill it out. As they go through the questions about everything that has happened to them since high school Romy in her insecurity becomes disenchanted feeling like they haven’t accomplished a thing. She says they can’t go to the reunion without having more to their credit. The girls devise a loony plan where Michele will find a job at a high end fashion boutique and Romy will go out and snag them a couple of interesting boyfriends. The plan is a complete disaster. Romy comes up with a new plan where they will claim to be independent business women. Who is going to know? Romy borrows a co-workers Jag to drive to the event in so it looks like they have done well for themselves. They head out for Tucson, Arizona. Along the way they ladies stop to change into their business attire. It is a diner and Romy asks the waitress if they have a business woman’s special for lunch. The waitress has no clue what she means. She explains that some restaurants have a special like that and being business women on a business trip they would be entitled to it. The waitress tells them they don’t have that and asks what business they are in. Romy and Michele stand there with blank faces. They didn’t decide what they did as business women. Romy tells Michele that they should claim that they invented an obscure product that everyone knows but couldn’t tell you who invented it. She settles on Post-Its. She says what they will tell people is one day they were working and were out of paper clips and she thought there should be a piece of paper that would stick on its own. Then they will say Michele had a relative with a lot of money who put Romy’s plan into action. Michele gets angry because she says it sounds like Romy did everything. Romy says that they will say that they will say Michele was the designer and said they should be yellow. This leads to a huge fight and the friends stop speaking.

The ladies in their business attire ready to fool the masses.

The ladies in their business attire ready to fool the masses.

Romy has two hopes for the evening. One, that Billy will see her and fall madly in love. Two, that she will finally get some approval and acceptance from Christy.  Being they are still angry the ladies go around the room individually talking to their former classmates.  Romy spots the “A” group although they are now short one friend (Lisa Luder) who grew apart from them as she climbed the corporate ladder as a fashion editor for “Vogue” magazine. Romy approaches the ladies in the group. Christy is surprised seeing that Romy doesn’t look quite like she remembers. Christy doesn’t hesitate to point out she married Billy after high school and he was now in real estate development. Romy is crushed on the inside. She convinces the women that she invented Post-Its and they buy the story. It is going perfectly until much to Romy’s horror Heather Mooney arrives. Michele is excited because Heather saw Romy working as a cashier. She goes over to watch the fireworks. Heather approaches the group of women and talks to Romy saying showing up was a waste of a tank of gas. She looks at Christy and her friends and tells them they can go back to ignoring her like they did in high school. They ask Heather what she does and she explains Lady Fair Cigarettes and the fast burning paper. The girls claim they have a whole class of inventors. Romy invented Post-Its. Heather Mooney argues with her, tells everyone who invented them and blows Romy’s lie. Michele who was enjoying this cannot see her best friend so sad and embarrassed and comes to her defense. Christy being Christy is bitchy to them both being so delighted at finding out that Romy lied.

Christie Masters-Christianson (center) and the "A" group at the reunion.

Christy Masters-Christianson (center) and the “A” group at the reunion.

Romy wants to leave but Michele tells her it is no big deal. 4 people heard the lie. Christy takes the stage to talk about their classmates accomplishments over the last 10 years. After she mentions a few she states “And Romy and Michele claim they invented Post-Its” and the room breaks out in laughter. Romy who is mortified runs to the powder room. Romy complains that they are still nothings. Michele follows right on her heels. She tells Romy that she thought their lives were a blast and she didn’t think they weren’t good enough until Romy said they weren’t and they need to just go out there as themselves and have some fun. The girls change into their regular style dresses and come back in where Romy is about to confront Christy and put her in her placel.

The ladies come back into the reunion as what they should have been all along...themselves.

The ladies come back into the reunion as what they should have been all along…themselves.

Romy blasts Christy and the room is paying close attention. Romy admits that she did makes up a lie because she wanted Christy to treat them like people and she really doesn’t care what Christy thinks because she is a bad person. Christy retorts with they are as deluded about their lives as they are about their hideous dresses. Ex “A” group member Lisa comes to their defense saying that the outfits are great and perhaps Christy should let her friends think for themselves for once. The mighty topples and Romy and Michele are the hit of the reunion. When they are leaving at the end of the night Billy hits on Romy. She is upset because he is married to Christy and hitting on her and she is not that kind of girl. Billy admits that he does dry-wall for his father-in-law (as opposed to real estate development as Christy claims) and he doesn’t even know if Christy’s current pregnancy is even his baby. Romy tells him to get a room and wait, she’ll be up shortly. She is going to pay him back for prom night and let him know what it feels like to wait. She is also looking through new eyes seeing Christy was lying as well and is not a happy housewife and mother like she claimed. Heather apologizes for blowing the lie and Romy tells her it is better this way. Romy, Heather and Michele become wonderful friends in the end.

What can we learn from Romy White?

Best friends to the end,

Best friends to the end.

High school is an experience. It was different for all of us. We had our best friends, our clubs, our cliques and our activities. We may have been one of the popular kids, a cheerleader or football player, homecoming queen, science nerd, band geek, social club butterfly or outsider. We may have been heavier or skinnier. We may have had the best fashions or hand-me-downs.  We might have been “in” or so far on the outside that a GPS couldn’t give you directions.

High school is the time that we are reaching adulthood and getting comfortable in our own skin. We are developing likes and dislikes. We are becoming leaders or followers. Our desires are coming into play. Do we want to be part of the popular clique or are we happy being in the math club? High school has it’s own set of politics and they can be incredibly cruel at times, especially if you are on the outside.

Romy and her best friend Michele were on the outside but looked at everyday as a party. They were happy with just each other for company and they were developing what will eventually be the ability to design really fun clothing. Their life is not perfect. The popular kids take great pleasure in mistreating and teasing the girls. How were you in high school? Were you popular? Smart? Considered weird? Were you kind to others? Did you pick on or bully the misfits? These are all questions that only you can answer and it is something I encourage you to look back on. How are you now versus how you were in high school?

I can’t speak for anyone else so I will speak for myself. I hated high school. H-A-T-E-D.  I was so far on the outside I didn’t even have a best friend to share it with. I talked to people of course but I didn’t really consider any of them friends. I felt alone. I was incredibly unhappy and out of place. I found my happiness outside of school at “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Those people were my friends. In high school my bi-polar began showing itself for the first time and it would be years before it was actually diagnosed. I also discovered I had a liking for being very free with my body sexually. I would confuse the feelings sex gave me with love which is an emotion, not a feeling. It took years before I made that distinction. To put it gently the guys were only interested in what “I” would do for “them”. That was an awful lesson to learn and I constantly felt betrayed. My fashion sense was my own and it made people stare. I had an addiction to horror movies. Everyone, especially the popular kids thought I was weird. I am now 47 and realize once you graduate high school the politics are left behind and what you did during these 4 years really doesn’t matter. Real life is about to set in and the carefree days are behind you but you need to keep in mind the life lessons you learned during that time.

Like Romy if you have a best friend hang on to them. Real and true friends are far and few between. I don’t recommend that you support them however. They need to have an income too. If life after high school can still be a party at times, enjoy. That day comes when the invite comes for the class reunion. Were you excited or did you think to yourself that you had to lose 15 pounds before it arrived? Did you think you couldn’t wait to see your old classmates or did you think I was the geek, what can I do to dazzle them with my life now?

Romy feels inadequate. All the hurt Christy put on her is still there and she feels that she has to do something to be better than the “nothing” she felt she used to be. Instead of admitting she is a cashier she comes up with an elaborate scheme to go in and appear like her life is on the top of the world. Who cares if you are a cashier? It is an honest days of work. You may not have made it on Broadway and you may not be CEO. So what? Do you like your life? Then the hell with everything else. What other people think does not matter. rr17

I never went to my own class reunion because I hated my high school years and am not going to go there to share stories and memories that I don’t care about. I have escorted a couple of people to their reunions however and discovered something I found amusing. Everyone goes to the reunion and separates into the exact same cliques they were in 10 years ago, although very few of them look like they did 10 years ago. You will see the Prom Queen with her friends holding court. Only thing is the Prom Queen has aged a bit and in some cases gotten plump after a couple of kids. You will see the Football hero..with a beer gut. Just saying. Lots of people go on crash diets before the reunion so they can look good lest someone find out what they really look like at home. One difference is at a reunion everyone will talk to you unlike when you were in high school and they might have ignored you. Back to our lesson.

Romy has lost weight since high school, she said getting mono was the best diet ever. She was always pretty and is now an attractive woman. She looks svelte in her business attire and she goes to the “A” group who is standing back in their clique minus the one member who grew apart from them. Romy tells Christy her lie and Christy is actually impressed. Heather arrives a moment later and blows it. Christy looks at Romy and laughs at her for making the story up. Romy is crushed. A few minutes later Christy tells the entire reunion about the lie and Romy is horrified.

You shouldn’t have to lie about who you are to impress someone. Does it really matter what the “Christy” in your life thinks? Is it going to affect your job? Family? Day to day life? Then the hell with her. The truth is a better option.

Romy is dejected and Michele tells her it is time to be herself. She confronts Christy as herself and blasts her telling what she has thought of her for years and she is finally free. At some point we have to confront the demons from our past. It could be a person, situation or decision we’ve made. The best way to do it is to hit it head on. Then you can put it behind you forever.

Billy hits on Romy and she discovers that Christy lied as well. Her life is not perfection. Don’t be fooled. Not one of us has a perfect life. We all have problems to deal with, even the pretty shiny people.

Biggest lesson: Just be you. Don’t feel like you have to change to please someone else or find acceptance. If they don’t like you for who you are that is their problem. You are good enough just the way you are. Learn it, love it, live it. Until next time Embrace Your Inner Bad Girl because Being Yourself and Comfortable in Your Own Skin is All That Matters. No one else’s approval is needed nor desired. rr11

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