Friday, December 18, 2015

I Picked a Bad Night to Feel Inadequate

Dancing is perhaps the physical embodiment of everything I fear, loathe, and dread, as I have written about previously.

I regularly do the blogging equivalent of putting on a tight, sequined-covered dress, top hat, fishnet stockings and a bun and kicking my legs up as high in the air as they will go. But I will never literally do that in real life, and I'm way too lazy to help my kids do it. And this--as I learned this evening--is what separates me from half the population of Juneau.

And if it's another thing I've learned from years of mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety, and obsessive thinking, it's that you should never leave the house when you're already feeling inadequate. Especially as a parent.

No matter what they tell you, do NOT do that shit.

Tonight was a recital for a dance company in town (somehow a town of 30,000 supports not one but at least three dance companies that I know of) and even considering the small size of Juneau, I was shocked by exactly HOW many people I knew who were dancing in this show or had kids dancing in this show. 

It was sort of like this Mindy Kaling "Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?" parenting moment. It felt like half the world was pirouetteing, popping-and-locking, and tapping all over the stage in elaborate costumes and makeup, and all I could do was wonder how I'd missed this memo. 

Not that I regretted having missed it exactly, and not that I didn't have a vague recollection that something like this was going on. But I'd confused it with The Nutcracker, another performance about which I've documented my conflicted feelings and about which I'd already accepted my failure to participate.

But not this.

My mind during this show was like a montage in the movies where the main character has a sudden realization, and then there's a flashback sequence to all the evidence, with the pieces coming together: The Facebook posts of people and their kids all dressed up; something about rehearsals; cancelled plans; stories about needing to go order some costumes. Ah . . .  yes . . . It was all coming back to me. 

My children were the only small human beings in Juneau not dancing or performing in SOMETHING this holiday season. Of course Paige asked me why we hadn't done this, leading me to further feelings of inadequacy and failure. 

As if reading my mind, Isaac reacted to the first half of the program by behaving as though he were a victim of several violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Thanks, little man. Thanks a lot.

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