Tuesday night marked my third rehearsal with my new swing group, and it was… um… what’s the word? Oh, right: crap-fucking-tastic. I’ve been finding the group unbelievably frustrating since I first joined, and Tuesday night was more of the same. In every group with whom I’ve ever danced, I’ve wanted nothing more than to move faster in rehearsals – i.e. I want to learn more choreography in less time. This is because I tend to pick up choreography rather quickly; other people will end up performing it better than I do, but I usually learn it first.
In rehearsals for this group, I consistently want to shout, “SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!” The concept of actually supporting us as we learn seems to be foreign to these people, and I find myself swept along by the current, occasionally slamming into rocks and rapids along the way. And by about 20 minutes into a three-hour rehearsal, I am ready to burst into tears because I feel like a Bad Dancer.
There is almost nothing I will claim to be good at. Under normal circumstances, I would say two: writing and dancing. And even then, I would likely make sure to quickly add that I’m good, but nowhere near great, and that there are many, many people better. But other than those two, the best you’ll get is “okay” or “not bad,” because I don’t really feel “good” at anything.
(And yes, before you ask, my therapist and I are already working on my shittacular self-esteem.)
Given that, you can understand how awful it is when I feel something has proven me bad at one of my two strengths; feeling like a bad dancer pretty much puts me halfway to worthless as far as I’m concerned. (Anyone feel like criticizing my writing? The comments are open, and my poor self-esteem welcomes the verbal abuse!) To feel it for the third week in a row, of course, is really just compounding an already horrendously painful issue.
Practically speaking, this means I spent the last hour or so of rehearsal biting back tears, and when I walked out the front door, I immediately burst out crying. What can I say? I despise feeling incompetent when it seems like I should be able to show competence.
For the rest of that night, I continued to feel pretty crappy and weepy, wanting to basically tell the entire world to F--- off. The comment I left on Aly’s post was a clear enough indication of my mood that she sent me an email to ask if I was okay. I wanted to vent about it here in a post, but I did my daily blog walking instead and then collapsed into bed – as I mentioned in a brief post on my way to unconsciousness. As I lay there, drifting off to sleep, I consoled myself with the knowledge that I had spared you all, my dear friends and readers, the vicious verbal pounding I would have given myself for being such a failure at life, and dance in particular. And I thought to myself, just before falling asleep, “My life used to be funnier than this…”
The next morning, I woke up feeling a bit better, and as I got ready for work, I replayed the previous evening’s events, and realized that perhaps my life is still funny – I just don’t tend to notice it at the time. So I took another look at the night, with a fresh morning’s perspective…
Okay, so rehearsal still sucked – a good night’s sleep didn’t change that. I cried all the way home, angrily pounding the buttons on my radio in the hopes of finding something depressing enough to fit my mood. I settled on Salt N’ Pepa’s classic jam, “Shoop,” because really, when is that not a good idea? When I got home, I opened the door and stumbled in exhaustion into the living room. Still crying, I dropped my bags by the couch and dropped to the ground, laying my head on one of my black loafers (kicked off and forgotten the previous afternoon). Nora (aka Big Fat Fatty) came over to see me, meowing in my face to let me know that she did not appreciate being ignored by her faux mommy. But her close proximity must have alerted her to my rehearsal-produced surplus of sweat and grime, and she decided – what else? – to groom me.
Yes, folks, the Fattest Cat on the Planet decided *I* needed some beauty assistance. So she groomed me. She groomed me. With her tongue.
However, I was depressed, and beat-down tired, and I was going to shower anyway, so I let her continue her beauty regimen. She focused mostly on the left side of my head, since the right side was almost entirely shoved into the heel of my loafer. Every so often she had to pause to choke a bit, as my hair is about three times as long as hers, but generally she attacked my hair with a tenacity I don’t believe she’s ever shown in a non-eating activity.
Eventually, when my face was sticky with cat saliva and rough from the sandpapery tongue-washing, my hair smelled appropriately of sweat, kitty litter, and tuna, and my face was imprinted with the oh-so-attractive stitching pattern of my loafers, I got up to take my shower. Fatty followed me, not wanting her project to go too far. When I got to the bathroom, I glanced in the mirror and jumped back in fear. Was that ME?! The entire left side of my hair was sticking straight up, a la Cameron Diaz in that one stupid movie that everyone else finds hilarious and I just don’t get. And the little race track across my right cheek? I looked like a plastic surgery “Don’t,” or maybe a Frankensteinian “Do.” I looked down accusingly at Nora, who stared up at me with wide eyes, her head tilted to the side as if to say, “What? What did I do?”
Imagine this stare-down: me, with my funked-out hair and stitched-up face, raising one eyebrow at Big Fat Fatty, who is feigning complete innocence as her ass spreads out around her in a massive black puddle of lard.
Who says my life isn’t funny?
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