Monday, April 24, 2006

It all started with the lamb costume....

I was four. It was the best year of my life. Everything I'll ever want to be in life, I was that year. Self-possessed, happy, on top of the world. And then came my first exposure to adult idiocy, a lamb suit, the death of unfettered self-confidence, and lifelong self-doubt and procrastination.

But I'm giving away all the good stuff too early...

I've let the blogging go lately. This is the story of my life, especially with any creative and/or remotely diary-like activity. I am one of those people that still owns all of the diaries I ever started. Most of them have entries on the first few pages, and are otherwise completely blank. Part of me is all 'I want to live my life, not write about it,' but that's the blowing-smoke-up-my-own-butt part. Really, it's an issue of stick-to-itness--or lack thereof.

So as with all of my shortcomings and not-so-favourite traits, I blame a random event in childhood. In this case, ballet class, 1976. My younger sister had just been born. My kingdom had been invaded by a cute blonde ball with big blueberry eyes. I was no longer the most adorable thing going. The downhill slide came quickly. After finding my plastic scissors in my sister's crib, along with my sister and most of her now-detached hair, I believe my mother thought that maybe I needed to get involved in some extracurricular activities. So she signed me up for ballet.

I l-o-v-e-d the idea of ballet. I would be a princess. I would have so much fun. I would make friends and laugh and act crazy. And all of this would have happened, had it not been for the ballet teacher, Madame Sadistique. Looking back from the wisdom of 30-somethingness, I realize that, well, that woman hated me. I was never the shrinking violet type. I put myself out there, man. I went right up to the first free girl and said, hey let's be friends, you look like a good shit. Madame Sadistique despised this trait.

Now don't get me wrong, I didn't let my social calendar interfere in my art. I threw myself into ballet. I wanted to impress Mme. Sadistique. But the harder I tried, the more she hated me. When we'd do our stretches, she'd push me down into the splits until I wanted to cry. When I told her it hurt and I didn't like this part of the class, she suggested that maybe I just not come to the class anymore. She was awful.

But when the day of our big recital came, I didn't give a crap about the old witch. I had a costume! I was going to be one of Mary's Little Lambs! Screw her! The adorableness of the lamb costume was not to be denied. Big red bow at the neck with a little bell hanging from it. Lamb ears made from cotton balls.

To make a long short story a little shorter, we were a hit. Except for those few times when I forgot which direction to turn in. But hell, I was four, goddam it. When we came backstage, we were so excited. And then Sadistique scowled at me, and asked me why I'd turned the wrong way. I don't remember my response, but I'm sure I had a good comeback. I never went back to her ballet class again.

In fact, every class I attended after that ended well before the final recital. Gymnastics. Then sports in high school, school plays. And now my blog. Oh, and the two screenplays, novel, and three short stories I've been working on for the last 5 years.

How I want to be one of those people that follows through. I do it in the other areas of my life, the non-creative areas. I'm very disciplined about deadlines for work, and vacuuming the floor and stuff. But I also do a lot of creative things--music, painting, flamenco (well, used to do that), shopping (I'm very creative about my shopping)--and it's really hard for me to follow those through to the end. I still blame Sadistique. The real woman from so long ago is just a blip on the radar-screen of my life; but, as we humans tend to do, I've internalized the creative ambush she represents.

What's the solution? I'm here now, aren't I? And after this, I'm going to go back to that novel and give it another read. So to hell with you, Madame Sadistique! You won't stop this little lamb...

6 Comments:

Blogger jackp said...

ok....finish your goddamn album too!!!

this is mr. sadistic talking... i'm all about turning the wrong way...beating your head against the wall...break thru the wall....then go back thru the wall to the right place...

never....ever....give up little lamb!!!

6:57 PM  
Blogger superchop said...

yo lamb, its too bad Miss S&M had to inflict that on you, we usually wait....or actually dont remember crap like that until we are older. Christ, I think I hear it everyday, and while you try to figure out if their critism is valid or they are just jealous of your ability and are trying to knock ya back a peg, you miss out on enjoying the moment. Well lamb I think most of the time people are trying to knock ya back a peg, so screw those negative, insecure bastards, I bet most of them would never get on stage and perform...especially as a lamb with a bow.

Go Sens GO

10:45 PM  
Blogger whyioughtta said...

Damn straight, Choppy. Hey, we have a theme going: lamb and chop!

Speaking of which, I'm hungry.

GO SENS!!!!!!!!!!!

12:49 PM  
Blogger yomomma said...

Wow! I never knew lambing could be so dram... er...traumatic. Speaking of lamb, did you enjoy the lamb we had for Easter dinner? baaaaaaaaaa....

9:47 PM  
Blogger mary said...

"Oh there you are! How did you manage to get away from me? You know you're not supposed to be here at school! Don't let the janitor catch you!"

2:00 PM  
Blogger whyioughtta said...

Mary! Is this THE Mary, with the little lamb of her own?

7:19 AM  

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