April 24, 2007

The Tofurkey Trot*

Here’s the thing: when I went shopping for protein-stacked groceries, I had a massive headache. It was the day of the Walk, and I didn’t want to hide my awesome pink punk hair under a hat. Unfortunately, although I withstood the chill admirably, that wind would not let up for a minute (all right: the one minute where I attempted to take a picture of it, hee hee, ha, good one, Zephyr O’My Discontent). Excessive wind to the melon has always given me headaches, I have always known this, and yet I continually disregard it like my father with his acid reflux / love for ballpark sausage. I was stupid. Stylin’, but stupid.

So I take two Excedrin (add a fresh bottle to the list) and we hit the store. Shopping while in pain is like shopping while drunk. Anything will go in the cart; things like prices and nutritional content don’t really matter. The list is the goal, yes, but you’ll take a Family Circus route to get there, easily distracted by Sno-Balls and licorice ropes and leftover Easter candy because shiny! If you’re lucky, the people you’re with understand that you’re acting this way because you’re blind in one eye [Hi Sooz! Owe you seven!] and will gently encourage both speed and good decisions. Thanks, Sooz, for not responding to my out-of-bodyness by leaving me parked in the Barbie aisle, swaying in sensory overload, until you’d finished shopping.

I think it was in the fog of this headache, eager to put some protein-ful variety into the cart before I passed out, that I grabbed the SmartProducts. It’s not that they’re not good; they taste similar to the meats they emulate. The problem is, I… don’t like ground meat. And I don’t really care for sliced deli meat, other than turkey bologna, and that only smashed with Doritos on picnic sandwiches. I like chicken as a chicken breast; I like fish as a piece of breaded fish. I never really cared for meats as ingredients, but that wasn’t taken into consideration when the pain turned me into a binging stoner. I can eat this stuff, yeah, but it’s not something I would set out to eat. The SmartGround still has possibilities, though, as it was all right on a pizza; I haven’t pan-fried it with peppers or put it in spaghetti sauce yet. It’ll be a key feature in the enchiladas tonight; here’s hoping that they won’t taste like cat food, or ass, or cat ass.

Also tonight…

Shuf-fle step
Shuf-fle step
Shuf-fle shuf-fle shuf-fle step
Tip step step step
Shuf-fle leap tip step Clap!

My first tap routine.
It loses something written out, but on the other hand, it’s much neater on the page.

I admit I was a little wary of the tap class; probably not as nervous as the Sooz, but for the same remarkable reason: we are both from the family of People Who Do Not Do Things. This does not only include taking classes, but flying in airplanes, seeking careers, and a life generally beyond family-rearing and watching primetime. I don’t mean that to sound supercilious; it’s just generally true. I think building a family is as good a profession as the next one, and the people I come from don’t really recognize a ‘next one,’ and there we are.

So why take a tap class now?

Because I didn’t when I was young. I wanted to; all of my friends had tap, or jazz, or violin (maybe I’ll get into that next year; my musical inclinations are somewhat… declined) or some other after-school discipline. I had a paper route. I hate to keep hitting the ‘poor large family’ button, because it seems like I do that a lot, and am constantly fighting with the two fairies on my shoulders in the vein of ‘we didn’t have a lot growing up’ / ‘but we were fed and clothed and didn’t die and isn’t that enough you ingrate?’ In this instance, I can understand; six children means not a lot of extras, and paid classes that won’t yield a return, outside of social grace, are pretty indulgent. Well, welcome to my indulgent years.

Coincidentally, I also have a mad crush on Gene Kelly, and have been known to while away my sick hours in bed with soup, musicals, and Fred & Ginger. I’d also like to be able to dance in public without looking like a moose suspended in an elaborate system of pulleys. When all that plus a Benjamin will get you two months of nerve-wracking, toe-stubbing hell—how could I resist? Sooz agreed with hardly any arm-twisting, and I was happy to have a practice partner.

The class, for all our trepidation, has thus far been painless. The instructor is not the small, winsome blond we had feared, but a fifty-ish mother hen who encourages loud mistakes. There are ten or so of us in the adult class, of all age ranges, and we seem to miraculously be at the same level (not rags-to-riches school band bad, not diamonds-in-the-rough national competition champs good). We’ve got a beat, and we’re gonna learn to dance to it.

And we’re going to make a lot of noise before we make any music. Shuf-fle clonk!

* If there’s a more awesome title for a post about tap dancing and fake meats, then I don’t want to know what it is.

1 comment:

crdrue said...

"...dance in public without looking like a moose suspended in an elaborate system of pulleys."

Never have my dancing skills been so well described!