Oh boy! Did you luck out! I ranted on and on about fake cheese, before I forced my finger to hit delete. Little voice protested, but I prevailed.
Thank you for being there. I pictured you listening to my witty prose. Fortunately for you, I erased the massive mess that oozed out of my brain. If I’d typed on a typewriter for an hour, and used whiteout to correct all my spelling errors, I’d be phoning you, and reciting the entire post. Like I said, you totally (born and raised in California) lucked out! Seriously! Wipe the sweat off of your forehead and shout Amen!
I have to be fair and offer out that not all my posts are going to be Bambi-Little-April-Shower-happy. The song I would jump up and down on my bed to, when I was five. I’m listening to the song as I type.
Okay, it’s hard to type to this beat!
Boy, talk about a repetitive song.
Memories flowing back.
Scary music? Haunted house, theme-park ride music?
Okay, bad analogy: Little April Shower is not as chipper as I remember.
I didn’t sleep well, and blame the tossing and turning on the fake cheese. I went to a bar yesterday—that’s where the fake cheese came in. (This was written on Thursday, so it was actually the day before yesterday. Not that it matters, but I’ve got that whole honesty thing going on.)
I had some quesadillas that probably wouldn’t have qualified as food.
A bar? Are you crazy? Perhaps. (I’m serious. No smiling!)
A group of classmates at the university, that studious-me attends, were headed out for a celebration. (I just deleted an entire paragraph about my theories of why people drink. Another Amen.) This was my first invite to a bar in eons. My little voice (inside my head) was excited, and she said: “OH, this could be a fun experiment! We could blog about it!”
She was all sweet and convincing, and giving me all these facts, like I need to be brave and bond with my peer group. We had a little argument, little voice and I, as I stood in the elevator, stuck and not going anywhere with four of my classmates. After a good four minutes, I said, “Hey. Did anyone press the number one?” We all had a good laugh, and little voice used that as further nectar for her warped plan.
When I arrived at the noisy, crowded sports bar, the only place left to perch was in the far corner; which would have been tolerable, maybe even preferred, except I had to sit by two gentlemen from class. And my least favorite social thing to do in the whole entire of all the universe, both discovered and undiscovered, is to engage in small chat with men, particularly men I hardly know. In retrospect this situation easily merited me ordering a glass of wine.
But, nooooo! little voice was adamant that I had to be the real me, and not compromise my normal behavior in order to attempt to fit in. (She’s on some trip with that lately. It’s rather annoying. Years of functioning without recourse through role-playing and pretend, and now she has to go and be all real.) Thusly, against my really-wanting-booze judgment, I ordered a Shirley Temple. And then, to torture little voice, I ate two, very-bad-for-me cherries. While little voice was going on about the red dye health hazards of cherries, I ignored her and pictured myself cuddled up at home watching the series Breaking Bad.
But soon, I was interrupted with the same old tapes playing in my head, (or cd’s or Blu-Ray discs): What to say? How to say it? When to say it? How to sit? Where to look? When to smile? Blah, blah, blah.
I did receive a table-full of laughs when I mistook the miniature trivia, game-playing contraption (one of seven the waitress plopped on our table) for an ATM machine. I kept asking, while holding my little blue machine up high, “How does the machine know what I ordered for dinner? What buttons do I press? How does it know me?” Before looking for the slot to put my debit card in.
It’s nice to know that the whole over-my-head quality I had in high school, hasn’t changed. (Sorry…I know I do this a lot. But what does over my head mean, literally? Is it facts flying over me? Am I ducking? If I stood up taller or jumped, would I reach the adequate information?)
I ordered a Shirley Temple, instead of my standard water (usually bottled or sparkling, but bars usually don’t have that. I think it’s a conspiracy to make me order alcohol). I ordered a S. Temple, because in first grade, I lived right around the block from Shirley Temple Black. I used to walk up to her wrought iron gate, daydreaming about getting her autograph for my spy notebook, and try to figure out why she changed her name. I ordered the soda, for the sole purpose of saying: Shirley Temple. But no one knew that. Just like no one knew I can’t stand soda.
The bar visit wasn’t as terrible as it could have been. I managed the small talk, okay. Overall, I’m pretty darn proud of me, and even thankful to little voice, (just don’t tell her), because I faced a huge fear without a best friend, or even a friend, by my side.
As I was sharing with you, just now, I was reminded of my love of Shirley Temple’s: On the Good Ship Lollipop. I can still feel my feet pressing into the golden fibers of our shag carpet. And visualize my dog, Justice, a black mutt, dancing around with me. The way dogs dance.
I was obsessed with the Pledge of Allegiance back then, and would recite the entire pledge, just to get to the line: And Justice for All! That’s when Justice would come running to me. It was a game I played several times a day. It wasn’t until years and years later, when I was in my early twenties, that I realized And Justice for All was the last line of the pledge. For some reason I thought the line came earlier. I made my friends and relatives say the entire pledge, too. That’s how things worked at my house. We pledged to my dog. That’s saying something; now isn’t it?
While dancing with Justice, I had a difficult time picturing Shirley Temple’s Lollipop Ship, and trouble understanding how a ship was good.
I think, if I’d had an inner-Blu-Ray-disc playing back then, I would have seen the ship as a cross between the Love Boat and the S.S. Minnow (Gilligan’s Island.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2XfQo1YguY (copy and paste for Gilligan’s Island)
Every chance I had, I would watch Gilligan’s Island. The show was great exercise for my brain. I thought: Why did they pack all those things on a tiny ship for a three-hour trip? How did all those clothes and furniture fit on the tiny ship? Why wasn’t my favorite Mary Ann in the opening scene? And why didn’t Gilligan get to be the leader of the gang? I mean, he was a mighty sailor man and fearless. And the entire island was named after him!
I guess since I’ve provided this whole telling about my childhood music and television show fixation, I might as well include the lyrics/song I would scribe in pencil on my desk, every single day as a freshman in Massachusetts. Everyday I wrote, then erased. I desperately missed California. At home, I would play the song over and over on my record player and later in my head. Even with my dyspraxia and dyslexia, I memorized the song to perfection. Little voice sang the lyrics all the time. Oh, listening to the words now brings me back. Makes me want to cry for that little girl in a strange state (as in Massachusetts).
In the end, my short trip to the sports bar paid off, after all. I was able to share some of my favorites and take a trip down memory lane. Thanks for taking the trip with me, and for packing lightly.