Men in White Tights

It feels as though it were just yesterday.

Our sixth grade class, along with the rest of the middle school were dismissed during the December school day, bundled up and onto a big yellow school bus to head over to another, bigger private school. We were being introduced to a bit of culture, a showing of The Nutcracker Ballet by a troupe who hailed from Europe, I think. Not all the details of that day are as lodged in my brain as others are, much to my lifelong chagrin.

I sat next to Wanda Martin. She was a grade above me (I felt so cool sitting next to her) and we shared not only the same last name, but also the fact that we were one of three girls in our respective families, with zero brothers to speak of. We were pure hearts, at the cusp of our teenage years, and at least in my world, the most I had ever seen of "what lies beneath" on a man was a from a Ken doll..and accidental sighting of my father dashing from the bathroom to the bedroom in his BVD's before a Christmas dinner. (In case you're wondering, I am deeply grateful for the gift my innocence was). At twelve years old, I was both innocent and curious, a perfect blend of qualities for what lie before me as I sat perched on the pew, unsuspecting, in the Lancaster Mennonite High School auditorium.

The curtains parted, anticipation high, as the beautiful ballerinas began to pirouette and parade across the stage. But no one warned us of the impending male onstage presence. Our visions of sugar plum fairies and swans took a sudden dive, as men in second-skin white tights started dancing across the set, their bits and pieces on center stage. I can't speak for Wanda, but I clearly remember the temperature of the room spiking and my face flushing as I simply could NOT tear my eyes away from the barrage of "Christmas packages" I had never asked for, flying across my field of vision. All the anatomy queries in the back of my head were being in answered in literal leaps and bounds in front of my eyes. I would still pay for a screen shot of my face in those first moments.

It was not long after, I learned of another commonality Wanda and I shared. In embarrassing/awkward situations, my automatic response is to laugh. Uncontrollably. This is exactly what happened to both of us shell-shocked girls at the very same moment. You may be familiar with the unfortunate sensation of laughing on a pew: it's impossible to hide or contain one's laughter as it reverberates through the entire section of seating. We received multiple glances from other students who were mature enough to handle this sampling of culture with class and ease. The teacher behind us put a hand on my shoulder as a caution, but I couldn't stop, no matter how hard I tried. I bit the sides of my mouth to the point of bleeding to get the spasms under control, to no avail. This is the second most impressionable memory of that day...the laughter that overtook my body at the sight of scenes untold (Year later, I tried very hard to keep from repeating this reaction on my honeymoon night as I learned this is not a favorable response to such "things").


This morning my two sixth graders headed out to school, where shortly after their arrival they will bundle up and be herded onto a bus which will take them to the very same auditorium to watch the very same performance. My daughter has several brothers, which reduces her chances repeating my history, but still, I worry for her, hoping they've replaced the pews with single chairs in case she shares my genetic disposition.

How is it that I have a daughter who is walking into a memory that doesn't feel so far away?

It feels as though it were just yesterday.

Thus concludes the end of this inspirational blog post. You're welcome.


Wanda Mellette said…
I’m crying laughing! Jerad thinks you should do stand up!!!

I vividly remember this moment in history as well. I remember laughing so hard while snorting, “I no longer need to take an anatomy class” and “Now I know why they call it the ‘Nutcracker!’”

I haven’t matured much either!

Love you and thanks so much for the crying giggles!!!
Once again I'm reminded of why you're my blog BFF.
Anonymous said…
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Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Excellent job.
I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how
you presented it. Too cool!

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