Thursday, February 28, 2019

Miss Cheerleader

I used to be a cheerleader. You know, one of those bright, punky girls who bounced around happily on the sideline of the basketball court shouting joyfully and encouraging the crowds to do the same. That was me, in a nutshell.

Truly, because I was never a good cheerleader or a skilled cheerleader. No, not even in the loosest of terms.

Fifth grade is when cheerleading began in my alma mater. It was a very exciting time for the girls in my class. We didn’t have girls sports back in the day for those in fifth grade, so cheerleading was the end all, be all. And all the girls wanted to be cheerleaders, but only two were chosen. It was set up so that there were two from fifth grade and two from sixth grade, as the boys’ team was compriseed of both fifth and sixth graders. It was a popularity vote amongst the classmates. I was lucky enough to be chosen the first year - which meant that by default I would not be a cheerleader as a sixth grader. Nope: The two chosen in 5th grade were automatically disqualified for the sixth grade cheering squad. We all felt that was fair enough, even if we were a little disappointed. 

The very same principle applied again in seventh and eighth grades, so in seventh grade I became re-eligible and was again elected as cheerleader for the boys’ basketball team. By seventh grade, however, we also had a girls’ basketball team, and I actually played on that. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. 

Anyway, I was a lousy cheerleader, in reality. Oh, I could bounce around and scream really loudly for the boys and I could entice the crowd to yell loudly, although I think they were inclined to do that on their own.

My downfall then, as it still would be today, is that I have an incredibly short attention span. So learning cheers was always rather difficult for me. Or maybe I should say, remembering cheers was always difficult for me. Specifically the actions. Because of this I always had to stand in the back row when we did floor cheers, so that I could watch the other girls and follow along, albeit a fraction of a second behind. 

Basically, I looked like a newcomer in a Zumba class - the one that doesn’t know the routine. Yep, that was me.

Have you seen that I Love Lucy episode where she is trying to keep up in the exercise class, but doesn’t know the routine? Well, just imagine that episode every time there was a junior high or grade school basketball game in Wilmot and I was cheerleading. Because there I was, out on the court in front of the entire town of Wilmot, pretending to be a cheerleader.

Of course, I realize this was a bigger deal to me than to anyone else, because, believe it or not, the world does not revolve around me. I’d like to think it does, but I know better. 

The good news is that all this foolishness as a child taught me that it’s okay to be foolish. Which is maybe why I continue to enjoy life so much as a “grown-up,” eh?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Nightmare Heebie-Jeebies

The other day I was chatting on the telly with my daughter, Alexandra, and she was telling me about a dream she’d had about her job. She works as a teller at a bank and in the dream she was the only teller working that day and the line of people was never ending. It just went on and on and on. She said when she woke up she was actually quite anxious.

Which got me to thinking about the times I’ve had waitressing nightmares. The first one I had was about rolling silverware. In real life, it had been an incredibly busy week and every night at work I had rolled dozens of sets of silverware. Rolling silverware is something we typically do at the end of each shift, when we are done with all our cleanup. It’s rather relaxing and I enjoy doing it. Kind of theraputic, really. So simple that I can carry on a conversation while I am doing it. One napkin, two forks, one knife.

Anyway, after a week of rolling silverware every night at the end of the shift, I’d probably rolled several hundred napkins with two forks and a knife wrapped up nicely inside. And then I had the dream, or rather the nightmare. 

I was standing in the waitress station, looking out into the dining room as the customers were opening up their napkins and taking the silverware out. People were startled, and were asking questions, such as, “Why do I have four forks?” Or, “Why do I have three spoons, a knife and no fork?”

“Why is my napkin empty? Where is my silverware?” 

I was terribly distraught and embarrassed and did not want to admit that I had been the one that had rolled the silverware. I couldn’t ‘fess up that I’d make the huge mistake. 

When I woke from the dream I was in a panic, sweaty and anxious. 

Another time I had a dream that I was serving a table of 16 people. They each started out with a full glass of iced water, but when I first went to the table to tell them the feature and take their drink orders, I noticed that most of the glasses of water were already empty, or nearly so. So before I even told them the feature or took their drink orders I dashed off to get water to refill their glasses. When that was done, I was again going to tell them the feature and take their drink orders. Once more I noticed that the water glasses needed refilling, so again I went to get the water pitcher to refill them. Once done I proceeded to start telling them the feature and take the drink orders, only, again, you guessed it, their water glasses were in need of being refilled. This continued ad infinitum

Finally, I woke from this horrible, terrifying experience. That particular nightmare haunted me for days. It gave me the heebie-jeebies for I don’t know how long. It was dreadful. 

Since I am not much of a night-time dreamer, I don’t put much stake in my dreams, but perhaps there is something to be learned from these nightmares?