Let me entertain you

Going to the movies as a kid was something that I dreamt of doing.  My parents weren’t movie goers.  Why go to the movies when we had a fine black and white television set that worked just fine?  I tried to explain the excitement of seeing a picture on the big screen.  They informed me that they had gone to the movies once.  It was too long to sit through on uncomfortable seats.  It was a double feature.  It was The Ten Commandments.  Honest, I can’t make this stuff up.

The first movie I got to see was “Grease”.  I was nine years old.  The music was good, but I didn’t really understand the whole boy/girl drama.  The theatre was packed so the only seats left were the very front row.  My neck hurt afterward and the sight of seeing such big heads on-screen made it difficult for me to walk among the normal headed people after the movie.  Did I complain to my parents about it?  Heck no.  That would mean no more movie going.

Over the years I had gone to the movies regularly.  When I started attending University I met new friends.  They talked about driving into downtown Toronto to see live shows.  They loved the show.  They would make a whole evening of it.  They would get all dressed up.  They would start with dinner at a restaurant and then the show afterward.  The theatre, where real live people were on a stage performing.  I had always wondered what it would be like to go to one of the shows.  I do recall the price was really high and my meager student budget didn’t have room for this luxury.  So, I lived vicariously through my friends as they told me about the shows they saw.

One day my sister-in-law called and asked if we wanted to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I looked at Wiseguy with those pleading “just this one time” eyes.  (Note:  Wiseguy and I have never even been to a movie theatre together.  He is very tall and is long leggedy and you just can’t curl up those legs to sit comfortably in the narrow aisles.)   Those older theatres don’t have much leg room either, but those pleading eyes of mine did the trick.  Either that or I just looked soooo pathetic that he didn’t want to have to deal with me skulking around if he said no.  So, off to the theatre!

We dressed up.  We went out for dinner.  We went to the theatre!  I was bursting with excitement.  I was like a kid going to the amusement park for the first time.  I kept whipping my head around to drink in my surroundings.  The outside of the building was brick.  The inside was dark cherry wood with red velvety seats.  Large red curtains bracketed the stage.  There were balconies, just like in the movies…you know, like Pretty Woman when she goes to the opera.  Yes, I was over excited and overwhelmed and beyond happy to be there.  Then, the little ding ding, to tell everyone to have a seat as the show was about the begin.  I held my breath with anticipation.

The singing was so intense that I had goosebumps.  The costumes were vibrant.  The dancers were remarkable.  Even better, Donny Osmond, my childhood crush, was Joseph.  Awesome!  It was Beautiful!  It was Amazing!  Now I totally understood why my friends loved going to the theatre.  Such a different experience from the movie theatre.

Last year I got a pamphlet from our local performing arts centre.  They had an early bird special for a 5 show package.  I wanted to go.  I had to go.  I decided that it was time for me to treat myself.  Interestingly enough, the price for the tickets was quite reasonable.  About $53.00 a show.  Not bad, considering that movie theatre tickets with popcorn and drink comes out to almost $30.00.  Wiseguy didn’t want to sit in a squishy seating place, but he told me to go for it and enjoy.  Even better, he would drive me to and from each show.  Win win for me!  So I got to see Cats and Riverdance and My Fair Lady and Mama Mia.  One more show to go:  Young Frankenstein.  I am hooked on musicals!  I loved every show.  I even got first balcony seating to fulfill that dream as well.

My bucket list has quite a mish-mash of dreams and wishes.  Some days I add to the list.  Some days, I am very happy to be able to scratch some things off my list.

List Item:  go to fancy old theatre and enjoy the live show

Dance like no one’s watching

I watch little Kennie dancing to music and can’t help but laugh.  It’s too cute!  It’s funny!  No matter how much WE laugh she keeps right on creating her own dance moves.  There is arm swinging and some jumping and quickie deep knee bends.  Then there is the stick out your butt move and the rhythmic clapping.   Not to mention the swaying and the laying down and getting back up.  Yup, we laugh.  Really good belly laughs.  Does this make her stop doing what she’s doing or make her run away?  Heavens no!  She is there to dance and have a great time.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?

When did everyone else’s opinion become the most important to us?  When did we forget that we have to love ourselves first.  We are who we are and by loving ourselves we can only shine brighter in anything we do.

I am constantly saying that I can’t draw.  I look at the pictures and sketches that The Artist draws and I am amazed.  I would LOVE to be able to quickly jot down lines and make a beautiful finished product.  I recall my early early sketches.  Drawing family was always the best.  You remember, the stick people wearing pants and skirts.  The curly hair.  There was always a big round sun and birds…well, more like Ms flying around, but we knew they were birds.  And we could draw a million pictures a day and they were ALL the best.  Not one was bad.  All the people in the picture were smiling too.  Yes, everyone was happy and my picture showed it.  When did my drawings go from “Way to Go!” to “Oh No“?

Same thing with telling jokes or making music or singing loudly or boogie woogie dancing.  When we were little we could do anything and everything.  We were invincible!  School started and suddenly it seemed that we were “very good” at some things but at other things we “needed improvement”.  I am not saying the school system is bad or that parents mean to belittle their children.  It was all done to make sure that we would be protected.  Here is the concept:  they will show you your shortcomings so that you won’t embarass yourself and no one will laugh at you and this way you won’t have your feelings hurt.  It’s ok that they, the ones who love you, tell you that you aren’t good enough because they love you.  Makes sense right? 

It never really made sense to me.  What does it matter who actually says it as it will hurt your feelings no matter who says it.  That is, it will hurt you if you are constantly relying on others’ opinions of yourself.  What if we told children and friends and family only about all the good stuff.  Give them that daily boost.  Make them see how wonderful they are.   Think how much nicer our world would be if we consciously decided everyday that we were the best and we could do anything.  You would be happy all day!  

This year I decided that it was time to prove to myself (not anyone else) that I could do the things that I had been moulded into believing that I could not.  It started quite innocently when The Baker came over (thankfully) to help me bake goodies for my niece’s bridal shower.  It is tradition for family (and friends) to bring sweet treats and I was tempted to go to the local coffee shop and pre-order a whack of donut holes that I could stick with toothpicks on a foam pillar.  Yup, if nothing else, I would get bonus points for creativity.  The Baker jumped in and volunteered her time and baking expertise to make me look like a star.  We baked chocolate cupcakes.  We created yummy frostings (one cream cheese and one peanut butter).  We continued with fruit tarts.  Yes, I was nervous.  Yes, I kept saying “no no..you’re the baker, I’ll just help”.  Nope, she would have none of it.  We baked, we frosted, we made simple syrup for the tarts.  Some attempts didn’t work out and others turned out fantastic.  Whose goodies looked great the next day at the shower?  Yup, mine sure did! 

What I realized most was that, yes, it was nice for everyone to oooohhh and aaahhh at the dessert masterpieces, but I just felt so proud and good inside because of what I had accomplished.  I had baked!  Me!  Me the one who tells everyone I have ice cream on hand for dessert because I don’t bake.   Thanks to The Baker for pushing me.  Sometimes a kick in the pants is a good thing.  She never doubted me so why did I?

This year I am going to continue my journey into bakingdom.  From there I am going to sit with The Artist so that she can give me some pointers on how to move beyond my awesome stick people drawings.  I also have all these neato machines needed for scrapbooking (cricut and expressions…amazing stuff) and will be making my own cards.  The Artist made elegant “save the date” cards for her wedding.  Absolutely beautiful.  So I will definitely be telling myself that I CAN DO IT and I will forget about what I had heard for so many years about how I couldn’t do something.

With every new venture I will enjoy the learning and all the hiccups and hardships that come with it.  Most importantly, when someone decides to point out that something doesn’t look nice or I did it wrong, it really won’t matter because I have almost finished learning Kennie’s flamboyant dance moves.  Dance on in life like no one’s watching and be happy!