The happy hour conversation was unexceptional with a few exceptions; soothing in its familiarity. We spent 30 minutes playing catchup and gossiping like little hens. This person married their neighbor. That person was snippy when they walked by at daycare. Then someone lit the match. “You guys, I’m having a serious breakdown. I look old.”
That was it. A giant finger had dropped into the room and tapped the first domino in an intricate arrangement of insecurities. The now-ignited wildfire burned for 20 minutes at least. From crow’s feet to the empty baby apartments surrounded by saggy skin to shortcomings at work to extra weight, we beat the shit out of ourselves, passing the boxing gloves around the circle like a fast-burning “cigarette”.
Remember that scene in Mean Girls, where they stand in front of the mirror and critique their reflections down to the nail beds?