Tonight the girls who were in grade 8 (first year of high school in South Africa) when I was in Matric (last year of HS) have their Matric Farewell – our equivalent of Prom.
We nicknamed them little tadpoles, symbolic of the years of growth ahead of them. And now they’re getting ready to fly. In a few months my little sister will have her Matric Farewell.
The theme was Titanic and we rolled our eyes. We wanted elegance, not cliche. But we were surprised – never before or since have I had such an elegant night.
I’m not a dressy-uppy person. But I saw my dress at an expo and knew: that was it. I made an appointment for my hair the day before the big night, leaving everything to the last minute as usual. I wouldn’t have had my nails done if Mom hadn’t made an appointment for me.
The date was my boyfriend at the time. Of course he made me feel beautiful. Our relationship was good then. It didn’t last, but that’s okay. I’m happy.
It was a beautiful night. All my friends looked stunning. None of the disasters I anticipated occurred. We went out afterwards.
Do you know that on that night in 2008 I had not even considered submitting an application to study medicine?
So much has happened since then. I’m a little wistful tonight, I suppose. I know my little tadpoles are going to be gorgeous.