27 answers

Would You Meet an Old Friend of Yours, After 20 Years ?

I know this sounds shallow, but I need to know what you think...

A male friend of mine (he's American) that I met 26 years ago (at college, lets call him 'Ivan') just emailed me and said he and his family (wife and 2 young kids) will be visiting from overseas - touring around the states, and one of their stops will be about an hour from where I live and that both of our families should get together and meet up. He mentioned this in an email today, and I agreed and gave him my phone number to contact me once he gets to town.

The problem is - I haven't seen him for over 20 years - he has not met my kids (I am divorced) - and I haven't met his wife or his kids. He is a 'big shot' with a career that lets just say is very important/prestigious. He likes to 'show off' this importance in emails during various times of the year - about how important his job is, who he gets to meet and so on. He is extremely knowledgable and intelligent and you feel like you cannot compete with this. I know lots of guys like to show off, to boost their own ego - but I find it really annoying because I almost feel it as a put down to me. I am and have been a stay at home mom and have been unable to find work, and have basically given up searching at the moment. My friend 'Ivan' has led a fascinating life all over the globe, and even though I have traveled all over the world (prior to kids) I feel that my lack of not having a career as he and his wife have, is looked down upon (something you can just feel, over the phone/emails).

Ivan's wife is a skinny (size 0) south east asian woman (he's american). I have put on 60 pounds since we last saw one another and I feel insecure about my size no doubt - a skinny person trapped in a fat body ! I have struggled to lose this weight for so long and am sick of having to wear the longest shirts I can find to cover up my stomach which appears 9 months preggo (which doesn't seem to help). Anyways, I want to meet his family since it has been over 20 years - yet I know I will feel awkward for a number of reasons (the way I look, the feeling of 'not meeting up' to his level of worldly expertise and my lack of career, and his new wife probably thinking 'ha I am skinnier than you !). I don't know what to do here - I told him in an email 'sure we can meet that would be great' its in 17 days - I don't know what you think - how would you even act after all this time ?? I don't want to feel fat, even though I do - would that be a reason not to see someone that was an old friend of yours ?

I guess feeling like your life hasn't amounted up to the same level as someone that you once knew, doesn't make you feel too good. I know people often feel this at their high school reunions, I never have gone to one - but have heard that its always still just like the 'old days in high school' where people are trying to be one up on another, 'I have the higher paying job, the better car, the better looking spouse, the bigger diamond ring,' etc.

Well any advice on how to maneuver this situation while appearing confident in my skin ?!?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Would I go? Yes, in fact I did last year. My best friend and I met up with someone who was actually an old boyfriend of mine. Even though he is well built and I put on weight, he leads this exciting life being a dance instructor, has been on TV, yadda yadda. I guess I don't really care what someone else is up to, and you shouldn't either. No matter how sucessful, rich, beautiful people are they have their problems just like everyone else.

4 moms found this helpful

Would I? Yes, and I have. In fact, a couple of summers ago my graduating class had a "bar crawl" reunion and after I RSVP'd that I'd attend I had the same exact feelings you do and for the same reasons.

But do you know what? All of the career women and men who were so successful and hadn't started their families yet and were still so sleek and slender? They said they thought I looked fabulous and confident and were jealous that I got to stay home with my daughters. I could tell that they meant it. I know I shouldn't have needed that validation, but it felt so good to hear it.

2 moms found this helpful

I can't see my self going in this situation but i'm not a people person. Can you envision a positive meeting at all??

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I find your final question interesting. The best way to appear confident in your own skin is to actually BE confident in your own skin. It is clear that you don't, so you are not going to appear that way until you embrace who you are. Right now. Not who you hope to be someday, maybe. Not who you thought you would be. Not skinnier, richer, more 'worldly'. You.

Your weight/employment status/financial situation/etc. do not make you who you are. You are still the same person he liked and befriended all those years ago. You are who you are, and obvioulsy he thinks you are pretty awesome if he wants to meet up again and have his family meet your and yours.

I think it is interesting that Jodi D. says...'if this person makes you feel this way'. I'm not so sure about that. I think you just feel less than cofident in yourself right now, and the thought of meeting up with him has brought this insecurity to the surface, not that 'he' made you feel that way.

Your post makes assumptions about him and his wife that may be unfair to them. Just because she is skinny, doesn't mean she is a nasty person that judges others based on their size, or gloats that she is skinnier than they. (Are you unfairly judging her based on her size?) Just because he has financial/career success doesn't mean that he looks down on those that don't. He may admire the fact that you chose to stay at home for your kids, and empathize with your rough time finding a job now in this lousy economy. You seem to be assuming the worst of your friend.

This is a decision you have to make, but please don't let yourself be your own worst enemy. You say you want to see him again and meet his family, so do it. Go, be you. That is more than enough!

6 moms found this helpful

Please don't let your insecurities get in the way of reuniting with a friend! I have friends who are literally millionaires many, many times over due to success with a tech start up. The husband and wife are thin and beautiful, charming, they are not American so they have these wonderful, lilting accents, travel all over the world, have a city home and country home, the wife doesn't work, they have 3 gorgeous children (the oldest is 6 and speaks 2 languages at home plus goes to a Chinese immersion school), etc. etc.

Well they were in my state for a week recently and somehow it was decided that my teeny tiny ranch house in the burbs was the most convenient one in which to hold a reunion party for 20+ people. I was counting on being able to entertain in my yard and wouldn't you know it rained all day so we were cramped in my kitchen for most of the day? Still we had a GREAT time. My insecurities (we live like poor white trash, I'm fat etc.) are in my head. No one else cares. Go and have a great time, enjoy their company and be yourself. If the guy didn't want to meet up with you, he wouldn't have bothered to mention it to you.

So...find your most flattering outfit or buy a new one that you feel good in. Get a haircut and pedicure, put on some nice jewelry, wear makeup etc. Whatever you need to do to feel better about your appearance.

And know that people who are uber successful know that not everyone else is. Their success - and sharing information about it - isn't about you or your lack of success. It's kind of egocentric to take someone else's fortune and turn it around to think that they somehow care about your perceived lack of fortune. My husband thinks like you do too, mentally turning someone else's gain into a loss for himself even though it's not at all related - life is a not a zero sum game. His successes are different from yours and don't negate yours, and I doubt someone who is busy globetrotting and living life is keeping track of the status (or lack thereof) of old friends. That's probably just in your head - please don't worry about it or let it get in the way of a good time!

5 moms found this helpful

I had to laugh at your question, because I too had the same kind of situation. I was good friends with this guy from high school. He is a musician, and often times is quite a little eccentric, but was always nice to me. Well, 15 years later, he contacted me that his band would be coming to my area, and would I like to see him. We both are now married, with kids, and I thought it would be great to see him again. At first, I too was insecure about it. I was very skinny in high school, and have certainly packed on the pounds since then, along with a "baby" belly. But, I rose above my insecurities, because he did contact me, and thought enough of me after all these years to invite me to a show. I brought along my sister in laws as they both love going to shows, and we all had a great time. I have seen him and his band twice since then, and we hope to get together with our families in the near future.

Their is always an underlining of situations when a person is very vocal about their "riches", and everything seems perfect for them. I don't believe for a minute that it is the actual truth. People like that are not happy, and very insecure. He contacted you, and probably remembers you as a good person. I don't think it makes a bit of difference on how you look. Be yourself, set an example, and be proud of yourself and your life.

5 moms found this helpful

Yes!! Of course I would!!!

This isn't going to come out right - I'm sorry - you are getting in your own way - does that sense?

You are letting things that should not bother you, bother you...WHO CARES what you look like?! HE WANTS TO SEE YOU!!! You've been keeping in touch via e-mail...it was a choice you made....stop beating yourself up...look at what you have and what you've accomplished...

Go out and find an outfit that compliments your body now. And go with a GREAT attitude!! You are meeting new people!!! Who fun is that?

When I went to my 25 year reunion it was NOTHING like what you are describing - none of my classmates were bragging about their life - they were ENJOYING IT!!! With age, comes maturity...

To be honest - you sound depressed....stuck in a rut and really down on yourself...instead of beating yourself up over things you don't have - think of all the blessings you DO HAVE!!! If he starts bragging about what he does, who he's met, etc....just smile and say "that's great!" Don't hold his successes against him....can he tone it down? Probably - but he probably doesn't know how....so instead of trying to change him - just get on the roller coaster - raise your hands and go YIPPEE!!!!!!

5 moms found this helpful

I am always ok w/meeting up w/obnoxious people and their familes, esp the skinny executive wives, b/c chances are my kid is more well behaved than their kid.

And you and I both know there is nothing more embarrassing than being good looking, skinny, dressed nice, having a good hair day, oozing beautiful jewelry, smelling expensive, showing off all the letters after your name and telling tales about your many travels overseas, but your kid is the worst behaved kid at the table.

So you can try that angle. It might work for you!

4 moms found this helpful

Would I go? Yes, in fact I did last year. My best friend and I met up with someone who was actually an old boyfriend of mine. Even though he is well built and I put on weight, he leads this exciting life being a dance instructor, has been on TV, yadda yadda. I guess I don't really care what someone else is up to, and you shouldn't either. No matter how sucessful, rich, beautiful people are they have their problems just like everyone else.

4 moms found this helpful

Hi, stop worrying. This person sounds very insecure about himself. Anyone who boasts about their life being exciting and "having a lot of money" doesn't sound like they're happy.
For him to ask to meet with you and your family sounds interesting. Sounds like he liked you because you were an adventurous person, were pleasant, and overall a good person to be with. If you see that the meeting doesn't have a good start, excuse yourself with the kids and leave early. On the other hand, if you're all getting on well, use it to your advantage. Maybe he could recommend you for a job opening somewhere. A position or something. Keep your relations open. You never know when a good opportunity may come knocking at your door. If I may, just don't start feeling sorry for yourself, or be sore about your ex hubby or your situation at the moment. Things change. Keep a positive attitude about life, your family and friends.
I hope things go well, and let us know how things turned out.
good luck girl...

3 moms found this helpful

i am smiling at one response saying HE is insecure because he has to brag all the time, and another saying YOU are insecure because your life isn't what you wish it was at this point and you are self conscious. look, it is what it is. you have committed at this point, so my advice to you is present your best self, and prepare to nod and smile a lot because he sounds like the kind of person who will be spending the whole evening talking about HIMSELF, and just grin and bear it. but i am like you - i don't do hs reunions for the same reasons. i have no need to feel less than worthy and lacking. i felt that way plenty in hs. sure, in a perfect world we would all be self assured and confidant in our own lives, never having made a mistake we regret or bad choices, or gained that extra weight. but many of us did...and no, i don't think we necessarily are supposed to be proud of those things..."being comfortable with who you are" is one thing...but this guy in a couple hours isn't going to see the real YOU, he's going to see the outward trappings. i can totally understand your apprehension. it would depend on how good a friend he is. it sounds like more of an acquaintance...to me it sounds like meeting him is kind of along the lines of adding all your hs classmates to facebook, just because of "back in the day". i deleted lots off mine when i realized, we weren't really friends...just people who knew each other once. and i didn't really like the people some of them had become. hang in there, if you can't get out of it just grin and bear it, and i'm sure you'll do fine. are you really going to let this get you down when this guy probably will never see you again?

3 moms found this helpful

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