Monday, October 09, 2006

Party Like It's 1993-1997

Adonis and I, married now for 16 months, recently went out on a date on Friday. He themed it Highschool. (God help us, I thought.)

Adonis and I met, fell in love, and youknowwherethestorywent, in college. He insightfully observed that we typically don't talk about our pre-18yr. old selves. Sure we do daily blurbs about memories, families, funny stories when we were kids, but there's still a lot about one another we may not know, he proposed. For instance, we found out:

he ran sprints back and forth in his backyard as a kid
to get ready for basketball conditioning

i faked passing out during gym class so i didn't have to finish running a mile

and intimate details like that.

We talked about the things that embarassed us most and the light broke on our heads: highschool wasn't about finding yourself (that would be college), highschool was about finding a way to survive. Neither of us attended violence ridden or gun controlled schools. I went to a private, college-prep-pretentious-people-go-here-becuz-we're-rich kind of highschool. (I was at the bottom of that totem financial pole.).I was, uh, a cheerleader.

The idea of me bopping around in short skirt is enough to make me want to dive head first into my pillow and not resurface until I have muscle atrophy. My current reasons for existence are far more compelling, concrete, and purposeful than flipping around a grassy field for 18000 people in hopes BillyBob will run two more sacred yards for first down. But I didn't know it then. I didn't know a lot of things then and I don't blame myself for subjecting my own body and reputation for something, I now understand, to be limiting, degrading, sexist, and misunderstood.

I loved the physical portion of cheering and the friendships I made then. It was about camraderie, finding mentors of how to survive highschool. However, the physical demand of a competitive squad also spent countless hours and money for gymnastic coaches, dance lessons, and forked the money over ourhighschoolselves. It wasn't all for the boys, but it sure was a lot. Hard-work, flexibility, and fitness were key elements. But then, ultimately, it was pushed down a channel I now can't believe I ever found appealing.

Last week, I ran into a woman whose face I knew thatI knew from the past. I just couldn't place it. A short gasp later, I saw the former varsity captain with whom I cheered. Staring rudely for an inordinate amount of time at the side of her head, I remembered cheerleading like it was yesterday. I loved dancing, yelling, and sports. Now
that I can still see in myself.

As Adonis and I tossed a football back and forth, musing about who we were 9-13 years ago, we came to many conclusions. We all wanted acceptance then, we still do now. We wanted to feel hot and desired, we definitely still do. At that time period of our lives, we tried to maximize our opportunities and gifts for what we were given. The difference now is that we can more clearly see what those opportunities are and for what gifts are made. For me, cheerleading is not that.

However, I do still shake my ass in the shower and holler more loudly than anyone else I know.

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