Friday, November 17, 2006

Secure Your Own Mask First















When I was three years old, I served as a flower girl for a couple who were my parents' friends. My dad had serious reservations -- She's only three! What if she messes up? My mother thought it would be fine, though, a very big role reversal for my parents -- my dad never worried, my mother worried about everything. I did great at the rehearsal, but when it came time to walk down the aisle, I didn't scatter one petal in front of me. I swung the basket with my grubby little hand in it, but that was all until I made it to the altar where I dumped all the rose petals out, much like someone emptying the garbage. Then I sat down in the petals. Everyone tried to get me to stand up, but I wouldn't. I would later repeat this trick in my pre-school Christmas pageant. My teacher, mortified that things weren't going as planned, kept whispering furiously to me, but I sat there while everyone laughed and talked about how cute I was, refusing to do what everyone else did. Being mostly a very good girl (not much less was tolerated at home), I came to know the joys and pleasures of being bad.

I suppose this was a portent of things to come -- I almost never stand as I teach, instead prefering to sit on the desk like a gnarled vine. According to my high school typing teacher, I had the worst posture of any student she'd ever taught (and we're talking forty years into her career). By that time, I had clothes that looked one way at school, a completely different way when I got out. I learned to be one thing and then another. One of my favorite Christmas cards has three snowmen on it, one with a head that has fallen off. The thought bubble over the decapitated head reads -- "Just smile . . . like you meant for that to happen . . ." There's something sad and true about this that sums things up for me, much more so than the usual holiday cheer that insists this year will be merry and/or bright.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I sleep on one beach/ wake up on another." Raymond Carver

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Friday!

6 comments:

The Cineaste said...

Thanks for mentioning "Waiting for Guffman"the other day, Michelle. I just viewed it and liked it just as much as "The Da Vinci Code." Two totally differnet flicks, but I like each in its own way after seeing them one right after the other. Thanks, again. P.S. I like the Dan Brown book better than his Da Vinci movie.

Gnarls Barkme said...

"Like a gnarled vine" is much better than my "like a wet sock in the form of a question mark" posture, Michelle. You make me crazy. Kiss Kiss Bon Bon. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite. Have a nice weekend!

Anonymous said...

Aww that is so cute! you sat down in the petals! haha. Sounds like you were all about the rebellion as a child.

paul said...

O Mighty Isis Cajun Q thats the right area code Roses Lady Electric Tiger Girl R2 C2 Shazammmmmmm!

Tim said...

Usually if you can get the kids all the way down the aisle without screaming or sitting in the pew with their parents you're doing good.
That would have been so cute to see you sitting in a pile of rose petals.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Gee, gnarled vine huh? With my lower back problems (didn't know I had kidney stones at the time), I wonder how I sat? Probably slouched and tired.