Tag Archives: Disney

Downward Facing Moron

1 May

Last week I tried a new yoga studio.

As I sat on my mat waiting for class to begin, I breathed deep, relaxing in the warmth of the room. Literally. It was at least 85 degrees and we hadn’t even started moving. The moist heat settled around me like a blanket, warming my body, preparing me for my practice. Ahhhh. This was why I had come.

The instructor set the music low and walked to the front of the class. Then she said this:

“I’d like everyone to get up and meet someone they don’t know. Introduce yourself and tell them your favorite childhood story.”

Ugh.

I sat there, unmoving, while everyone else began milling around the room.

Okay, what was my favorite childhood story? Does she mean a book I read, or one that someone else read to me? What the hell was my favorite childhood story? 

And so I sat, for what turned out to be a conspicuous amount of time, preparing for the introduction.

A flash of memory hit me; I’m eight years old, sitting in the back of my parent’s car, reading. The book was blue and hardcover.

Was it about witches? What was it called? 

I didn’t know. The only thing I could remember was that I never marked my page. I started over from the beginning each time. It was like, a thing. I never did finish it.

No way, too neurotic. What kind of favorite childhood story is that?

One minute slipped into two. The rest of the class milled about above, tossing names of books about, all innocence and ease.

“…I loved Goodnight Moon…,” “…and he read The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Oh yes, and remember The Pokey Little Puppy?”

It began to get slightly weird that I was the only one still sitting.

They probably think I’m purposely not participating. That I’m being a jerk or something. But what’s the point of getting up until I have something to say? What is your problem? Books are your thing, jackass.

And then the instructor headed my way.

Great. Now I’m the lonely kid who needs a friend. WTF. 

She knelt in front of me and smiled, her blue eyes drilling into my shallow, story-less soul. “I always loved The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.”

Of course you did. 

“Yeah,” I said, sweating like a kid failing a pop quiz, “that one was good.”

And if my life depended on remembering a sentence from that book right now, I’d be dead.

She waited, those eyes plumbing the depths of my sad little life. “What was your favorite childhood story?”

Yeah, thanks. I remember the assignment. 

Even a Disney movie is fine.”

Now I’m the girl who doesn’t read? Super.

I fidgeted and smiled. I was completely blank. And then, my mind latching onto the Disney prompt like a life preserver, this came out, “I always liked Bambi, I guess. You know, how her mom dies in the fire.”

Nice. 

I wish I could say that I’d planned it. I wish I could take credit for the way those penetrating blue eyes widened, then settled into a curious squint. Sadly, no. There was no calculated manipulation, no purposeful play to appear crazy. Just me being a spaz.

And while it is true that Bambi left an impression on me as a child, it was more because the fire terrified me than because it was a favorite, exactly. But back me into such a tight social corner as an unexpected introduction in a room full of strangers and apparently all bets are off.

She slipped back to the front of the room, watching me a little as she went. As she told everyone to return to their mats, I couldn’t help but smile.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’d recalled Bambi as my favorite story because the mother dies in a fire, I’m pretty sure that Bambi was a boy deer, not a girl. I had gone from sad and lonely to strange and delusional in about 2 seconds.

So much for the new yoga studio.

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Woody and Buzz

5 Jan

My family and I spent the Christmas holiday back home in Pennsylvania, visiting friends and family. It was great. To me, you just can’t beat the country at Christmas time. I mean, where else can you drive down the road and cross paths with a snowmobile as it cruises from one cornfield to the next? Don’t worry, the Dad was driving, the kid on the back was holding on with both hands (his eyes almost as huge as the grin he was wearing) and the baby was right up front. Ya’ know, so it’s safe.

In ten days we did it all. We packed in a marathon of craft mania (we decorated hundreds of handmade cinnamon ornaments and baked what seemed like 25,000 dozen sugar cookies), threw a cocktail party, had a fantastic lunch where we introduced my in-laws to the undeniable joy of Sonic’s chili cheese tots, and witnessed a mildly heated debate between my mother and my teenager on “the myth of the virgin birth.”

Don’t ask.

Not to mention a snow storm that had us marooned for a day, the gift exchanging, the drinking, or the ridiculous amounts of food. One day I actually had ham salad on wonder bread for lunch. Real ham salad on real wonder bread. I didn’t even know you could buy wonder bread anymore. It was absolutely awesome.

But of course, beyond all of that, the moments with our families are what stand out. And as I’ve begun to get back into my routine in California, that’s what I chat about with friends and acquaintances.

For example, just yesterday the women in my pilates class were talking about their holidays, about the gifts they’d given and received. Between sets of crunches one woman said her grand daughter had been thrilled to finally get an iPhone. After the leg lift series another one said her father had surprised everyone in her family with a cruise.

Everyone was laughing, enjoying the conversation, slowly easing into our workout. I smiled and shared that just before class I’d gotten a text from my brother, saying that the gift I’d given his three year old son had been seeing lots of action. I beamed with pride. Apparently it was a big hit. The room was quiet, full of smiling ladies, their heads filled with pictures and memories of happy little boys as they waited to hear what the special gift had been. I sat up and said, “Yeah, I gave him a Woody.”

Yep. That’s what I said.

Of course I meant that I’d given him the Woody action figure from Disney’s Toy Story. Because I did. He’s nuts for Toy Story stuff. But that’s not what it sounded like I’d given him.

Well, hell. If this doesn’t lock in my position as the cool aunt, I don’t know what will. Anyway, maybe I should’ve skipped the Woody and just told them about the Buzz I gave him.