I am home today with Maddie, she has a raging fever, red eyes and a raspy voice. Swine flu? Who knows, Bud is also starting to feel sick, so I am considering taking Ellie to my mom's for a few days to minimize her exposure to the germiness.
For some reason this week I remembered one of the most humiliating experiences of my life, so hey, why not share it?
When I was twelve my parents moved from a biggish city in CA for a tiny town, in a rural state. It was my dad's hometown, and his family is completely nuts. You know the people in Deliverance? they are like that. Seriously. I had an uncle in the same grade as me, and he was very, very weird. Weird like, if I posted a picture of him, you would be afraid his crazy mountain man eyes would see you through the computer screen, and he would find you and eat you. So I won't post a picture. (you're welcome)
Anyway it was tough to make friends when your family was freaky like that. Also I was awkward, and mostly a lot of the girls were bitches. At least that's how I remember it. I was very shy, and for some reason at the end of 8th grade I decided to force myself to do things that scared me. I tried out for a play, and ironically got the part of a very popular girl, ha ha, now that's acting. I also joined the dance team, for my freshman year. Most schools would have tryouts but this school was so small, they didn't have that luxury. I found out there is a reason for those tryouts people. Good reasons!
I practiced our first routine like crazy, I went to all the practices, I went to another girls house to practice. The days before the first performance I spent time practicing at home in front of my mom. (we didn't have tv, so she was happy for the distraction). Our first performance was at the first basketball game of the season. Basketball was huge in this town, everyone came to the games, even people who didn't have kids. There was no movie theater in town, what else were they going to do?
The morning of the big day I woke up sick, my mom gave me some NyQuil and told me to sleep it off. I hadn't taken much NyQuil in the past, and had no idea how it could mess a girl up. I slept for a long time that day. Then woke up in a fog in time to go to the game. Our uniforms were black leotards with white fringe! Sexay hot! We were told to get black nylons, so my dad had pick some up for me. I had never really worn panty hose before so imagine my surprise when I put them on in the dressing room an found that I was suppose to get sheer to waist! Girls were yelling at me that I couldn't wear those, luckily someone had an extra pair. We also were painting our faces half black and half white, naturally I did mine backwards.
So half-time starts and we head out in front of the crowd! The gym was packed, you could smell the boys who had just left the court, and the air was humid from the all the people. The music started and I.... couldn't remember a bit of the routine. I stood there, periodically I would try desperately to join in, but was always a full 8 counts behind everyone else. It was the longest three minutes of my life.
Back at the dressing room, the advisor yelled at me. I got dressed and went to wash my face. I sat in the bathroom crying for a long time. Then I decided I was NOT going back into the gym. My mom had come to the game to see me, so I figured I would wait outside by the car for her. Naturally, it was raining. So I sat in the pouring rain, on the ground, crying for the second half of the game. My mom had anticipated me wanting to leave, she was waiting inside by the door. Eventually, she figured that maybe she missed me go back in the gym, so she went in to watch the rest of the game. It took forever for her to find me.
She did inform the advisor that I had known the routine I just panicked. So for the rest of the year I was forced to practice each routine blindfolded a few times. I guess the theory was to make it so automatic that even if I freaked out, my body would take over. I must have learned them well, because for years if I was drunk and trying to impress a boy, I would totally start one of the dances. I am sure I looked totally cool, even without the fringe.