Dear Dad: vol. 2

Hey Dad,
My heart is so heavy for the horrible news of your health. I wish I could fix it. I wish it wasn't so. But for some reason my wishes this year seem to be broken and none of them are coming true! I was glad to hear your humor intact when we talked. I will do my best to write some funny stories while I continue to pray for your health and comfort.


Growing up I took dance. I wasn't bad, but I was also not one of the best. I loved performing and am very outgoing like you are. The start of 4th grade at a new school was rough, as for any kid at a new school, but I was eager to show off my skills at the talent show! I decided on my own to lip sync and dance to a song. It was the 80's and MTV was brand new; I couldn't get enough of it! I was able to tape record one of my favorite songs off a college radio station (a perk of having a big sister: introduced to college radio early). I practiced my moves in the mirror in private for weeks. I just knew it would be the best part of the whole talent show.

The morning of I rummaged through my mom's make-up drawer. No one else was home, so I was on my own. I had no idea how to put any of the stuff on, but figured I had watched my mom do it enough at dance performances it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. On went the bright red lipstick. Smears of electric blue eye shadow covered my lids all the way up to my brows. Rose colored blush was dusted heavily on my cheeks. Oh how I wish I could remember what I wore that day.

I headed to school early and stopped by my friend Danielle's house so we could walk together. I think she was going to do sign language to a song or something really nerdy. Her mom had a red letter 'E' in the window which meant she was always home if someone had an emergency and needed a place to go. I wished my mom was home and had an 'E' in our window cos she was a cool mom. Danielle's mom was mean. None of the kids in the neighborhood liked her. It seemed a waste for a kid to get their mom to be home if she wasn't a nice one.

That morning her mom answered the door with a wrinkled nose and asked about my make-up. I had already forgotten about it on my face. She was a good 15 houses away from mine and I was thinking of my dance routine in my head the whole time.

"Does your mom know you have that make-up on?" her mom scowled.

"Oh, there's a talent show today," I offered as we turned our backs to her and walked to school. Danielle didn't say anything about the make-up, so I only assumed she wished she could have some on, too.

We arrived in the music room and the sweet music teacher was setting up chairs and told us we could practice on the carpet in the front of the room. I plugged in my boom box and arranged the tape so it was at the start of the song. Danielle watched wishing all the while her mom let her take dance, too, and wondered how amazing it must be to be me. I had no fear of performing and could not wait to have an audience later in the morning.

I took my position in the center of the carpeted space; Danielle agreed to push play. The song sprang into the air and that feeling of big kid life energized me the way it did when I watched MTV. I was no longer a 4th grader in my mind in that moment, I was a music video SUPERSTAR! All of my dreams would be coming true that day dancing and singing to a peppy tune.

"Stop the tape! STOP THE TAPE!" the music teacher ran from the back of the room to the front. It had not even gotten to the chorus yet, my favorite part.

Confused, we watched the teacher and waited for an explanation.

"Is she singing about a gun?" the music teacher huffed and puffed with stress in her voice and I stood dumbfounded.

As a kid you don't always listen closely to what the lyrics actually are or even what they mean. Sometimes as a kid you just love the beat or in my case the funny video that's so outrageous and quirky you love it the way some people might find Chihuahua's adorable (they really are not, btw). I was sternly told I could NOT play that song and right there all my 4th grade dreams were crushed.

Here's a clip of the song. The title is Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun" by Julie Brown. Any kid from the 80's that had MTV will know this song (maybe?). It wasn't as popular as I imagined, turns out, once I took it to school.

I wanted to stab out my eyes with forks when it was Danielle's turn in the talent show with the friggin sign language. BOOOOOOOORIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING. That dumb E in her window and now her spot in the talent show. Oh, I was mad and envious and bummed all rolled into one really bad 4th grade day.

The best part about this memory is that no one but Danielle, her mom, and the music teacher knew I planned to perform that day. So I spent the rest of the day with all that make-up on. I am positive I had long forgotten it was on my face. The image of my little self working on a math worksheet at my desk, rubbing blue eye shadow across my face, had to be incredibly hilarious-slash-confusing to my teacher and the other kids. Just spent the day walking around with whore-ish make-up on like it was no big thing.