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Every Life is a Story
    A place to share my own family stories

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My First Play

I was always a drama queen, but my first chance to be on stage came when I was in third grade. The call came over the PA system saying that there would be a school play, and that they were holding auditions for students third through sixth grades.

I was intrigued! It sounded like a lot of fun, so I talked to my mother and we agreed that I could stay late at school and attend the audition. I walked into the school library that afternoon with a mixture of excitement and fear- a fear which quickly escalated because everyone was bigger than I was. I was the only third grader who came to the audition. Some of the sixth grade boys that were there were twice my height!

I listened to the speech made by the teacher as I sat by myself at one of the tables. I watched a few other students read a part, and sing a song. My turn came, and I read a part and sang a little piece of a song. That was it. It was over. Audition done.

To my surprise, however, when the cast list was posted, I had actually gotten a part- and it was a big one! I played Lily the Fairy who escorted some bored kids on their search for "Happiness Land". On our way, we found "Music Land", and "Candy Land" and a bunch of other lands before realizing that all of these different lands made the kids happy- sing the finale, the end.

Rehearsals were fun, and I loved playing a fairy- I WAS a third grade girl after all. They gave me a cream colored tutu lined with sequins, and I had a little crown, and a wand! They gave me these green wooden wings that were strapped to my back. One wing wouldn't work properly and kept swinging back and forth while the other one stayed straight. It made me look lopsided.

Was I a brilliant actress? Um, no. But I remember people laughed (I hadn't MEANT to be funny- maybe it was that darn wing), and they clapped and cheered at the end. I felt like the most important Oscar-winning actress ever. It led me to do many plays in my school career- an opportunity I am forever grateful for.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's a Birthday Present?

Before I found my wonderful husband, I had the opportunity to date a few...interesting people. I'm really glad that I did because it means that I can tell funny stories about them now.

I wasn't allowed to date until I was sixteen years old. As a mother of a fourteen year old, I can see that my parents were very wise, and I intend to keep with that tradition, except that I think I might change the rule to something even more reasonable. Like thirty. Either way, while I didn't date, I DID go to dances, and that's where I met Brad. He was seventeen, I was fourteen, and it was very flattering getting the attention of a much older man. He got my phone number and called me. A lot. Sometimes every day. He called me his "vitamin J". He asked me out, and I turned him down. He still called. He still asked me out. I wasn't happy about it, but I didn't really know what to do about it either.

The final straw came on my fifteenth birthday. He called and invited himself over because he said he had a present for me. Presents are good. You can't go wrong with presents. I agreed that he could come. He came in with a HUGE box. I was envisioning wonderful things like giant stuffed Teddy Bears as I opened my present. Inside there were multiple gifts- some candy, a record single of "Our Song", some science fiction books he found used. But the BIG gift, the thing he was clearly excited to give me, was two kitchen towels and ... a roasting pan- one of those black speckled ones with two handles and a lid. He even wrote me a story explaining why the roasting pan would be so significant- a reason I can't remember now. I looked at the roasting pan and politely thanked him. It was a perfectly nice roasting pan, but not something that I could appreciate as a fifteen year old.

Brad kept calling, and I finally got the courage to tell him that I wasn't going to date him, and I wanted him to stop calling me. Even THEN, it took moving away and and getting a boyfriend to finally get him out of my life completely. I kept the roasting pan. I used it a couple of times in college, then donated it after I got other pans for my wedding. It goes on record as the strangest gift I ever received.

He WASN'T the strangest boy I ever dated.

"To be a person
is to have a story to tell."

- Isak Dinesen  

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