Jumping right in today. No time for long rambling introductions. Ryan is currently out to dinner with friends and I thought I had all this free time to write an entry but just now he's texted me that the restaurant he's chosen is cafeteria style and thus he'll be home before I know it. So there goes all the plans I had to not spend time with Ryan tonight.
I shouldn't be surprised I suppose, the cafeteria is where he's always brought his dates. I'm not complaining though, there's something extremely romantic about a boy you like swiping his meal card for your dinner in his college cafeteria and whispering, "Put back one of those rolls, I'm not made of Wildcat Willie Bucks." Don't you think?
Plus that roll thing only happened the first time. Ryan stopped telling me what I could and could not have at the cafeteria when OJ joined us for dinner that night and asked Ryan to cover him as he had forgotten his meal card and then proceeded to grab two rolls. Clearly that wasn't allowed and so first I gave Ryan a silent look like, "Do you see what is happening here, tell him about how you don't have a lot of cat money or whatever." But when Ryan was only like, "Stop looking at me like that, that look makes me nervous," I had to take matters into my own hands. So I used said hands to slap one of the rolls out of OJ's hand and said, "Two Rolls? Really? When you're making Ryan pay? He's not made of pussies and willies you know."
So as I said, jumping right in to the meat of the post today.
When my siblings and I were small children, my mom, like many moms, signed us up for a variety of activities. We did t-ball and piano lessons and community plays, among other things. One of those other things being gymnastics. And that is the thing I am going to talk about today.
That thing, that thing that thi-i-in-ing.
God I am so musical. Must have been all the piano lessons.
But moving forward.
I was not *great* at gymnastics. My little sister however, was really really great. The gym we went to was a serious place. It was run an Eastern European couple and their two sons. They were in the business of training promising young girls for the Olympics. To fund that business, they were also in the business of teaching less promising young girls to walk the balance beam without falling off.
Guess which group I fell into. Also guess if I fell off of the balance beam a lot.
I was TERRIBLE at gymnastics. I've never had any sort of balance and I hadn't yet grown into my exceptionally long limbs. There were four main areas in the gym: Floor, Bars, Beam, and Vault and all four of them were tied for being my least talented area. Like, I know those coaches and their sons sat around the dinner table at night and talked about which girls showed a real knack for the sport and should receive a lot of attention. And then I know one of them brought up my name as a joke and the rest of them spit sauce across the table in spasms of hilarity. I used to picture them in the throes of their laughter and think, "Can't really blame them I guess."
Because I was well aware of my awfulness. I watched my sister move up the ranks from D Team to C Team to B Team and so forth whilst I twiddled my thumbs in Junior Squad, a large nine-year-old island in a sea of five-year-olds.
Once I had firmly figured out that gymnastics just was not my thing, I pretty much never stopped begging my mom to let me quit. I just wanted to sit quietly in the viewing room while my sister did full twisting layouts and read my book. Eventually she (my mom) complied but it took a couple of years. Here, in no particular order, is a short list of things I remember from those years. These things may or may not have contributed to my mom's eventual decision to let me quit.
* The coaches' sons were named Eric and Dale. Eric was nice-looking and this was right around the time The Little Mermaid came out in theaters so a lot of the gymnasts had secret little swoony crushes on him and called him Prince Eric behind his back. I thought all of this was nonsense and also I was saving myself for Almanzo Wilder and his dashing horses (Oh Manly, I still carry a candle for you even though you are dead) so I was more interested in the fact that the second brother's name was Dale. Now these classes were in the middle of the day during the week so mostly it was moms and grandmas and babysitters bringing their charges to the gym. When a dad would make it in occasionally, the instructors would make sure to let the child show off a little bit. My dad came in once. They decided it was too dangerous to let me do a round-off-flip-flop-flip-flop combination like I suggested and instead said, "What about a forward roll?" But that would not do because I could not do a forward roll. So we were at standstill. When my dad brought me home that afternoon and my mom asked, "You're home early! How did it go?" His answer was, "Well your daughter wanted to do some sort of flip and they wanted her to do some sort of roll and then she shouted, "Roll out the Rescue Rangers because I'm doing it!" and tromped over to the floor mat." "OH MY GOD they didn't let her do any flips did they!?" asked my mom. "No, they lined up the two young guys to help her out since she seemed so adamant. She got a running start and then stopped, nodded to them and said, "Chip, Dale, I think we're done here." And then we left."
* I was not allowed to walk on the regular balance beam for a very long time. Instead one of the coaches put a line of duct tape down one of the mats and I got to practice on that. Once my toe got looped in a piece of the tape that was sticking up and I kneed myself in the face. They let me use the real beam after that. And also go on the Bars for the first time after I successfully argued that I could not possibly be more dangerous to myself in the sky than on the floor. I remember the fact that there were zero obstacles inside the gym for me to smash into in the air being one of my talking points.
* When it was really hot the coaches would open the outside doors in the gym. One day a bird got in. When I walked into class that day the only thing I thought was, "Well they're definitely not going to let me do the bars today."
* After I was finally allowed on the bars in class, I decided to show off at school a little bit on the bar that was directly in front of one of the slides on the playground. I tried to do a somersault over it and then slide down the slide. Instead I knocked out my front (permanent) tooth and spent the afternoon in the dentist's office.
* I had a lot of power with the tiny people that made up the rest of my team. I was older and bigger and they listened to me. They let me lead the squad from exercise to exercise and they followed along behind me as we traipsed around the gym. I called them my ducklings. Until I figured out that we were basically the F Squad. (Technically it was the Junior Squad but there were six teams and they were A, B, C, D, E and Junior Squad. So let's call a spade a spade.) Then I called them the Little Fs. I was nine and had absolutely no agenda with this. I got in trouble once when they were dawdling when moving to a new area and I was like, "Hurry your Little F Butts Up!"
That's probably about enough for tonight….
But to end this post with a flourish, I shall now do a forward roll right here on my rug. Me posting is cause for celebration after all.
Ok I honestly just tried to do a forward roll ran into the table. I was going to come back all triumphant and be like, "And THAT is how both posts and sandwiches should go, meat in the middle, rolls on either side!" And now that doesn't make sense at all.
Try to do a somersault right now, I'll bet you can't. It's much harder than you think. You go upside down for one bit. So it's basically like a roller coaster. With no seat belts.
God I am so bad-ass. Must have been all the gymnastics lessons.
P.S. Friday is my three year anniversary of blogging so I shall be doing a massive and fantastic giveaway. Prepare yourselves Little Bs.
Also, picture of my baby, obviously.