On we go…

Write about getting fired or quitting.

This is another thing that I’m not the best source for. I have held lots of jobs, but in my experience, not many jobs end in getting fired or quitting. My jobs seem to end with a lot more wishy-washyness. Let me elaborate as I take each in turn.

He looks pretty cheerful about quitting or being fired, but maybe he hated his job. Or maybe he’s giving them the finger behind his hat.

My first jobs were at Northwestern. I pretty much held those until I graduated. I got my radio job and hung onto it. I got my school of nursing job and hung onto it. There was one job, at the Academic Assistance Center, that I could only do one summer because I got work study in the summer and the less desirable E&G work during the school year. So no firing or quitting really took place – I just wasn’t eligible anymore.

I worked at KALV radio in Alva, and that was an okay job. Things got weird when the boss came in one night while I was on the air and proceeded to clean out his desk and leave. Shortly after that, the lady in charge of scheduling took me off my regular shift, asking me to work as a fill-in person for a while while she got a new guy some hours. I was called in a couple of times, and it dwindled, and that was it. On a positive note, I had warned her against hiring said guy because he ripped off the campus radio station for a ton of long distance phone calls and she hired him anyway. He did the same thing at KALV; he got the mail and stole the phone bills for a couple of months before they caught him. I think that was what really made her dislike me. Probably should have kept my fool mouth shut.

I also worked at McDonald’s in Alva. I liked working there. I didn’t get enough hours, which hacked me off because I was married and trying to earn a living while this dopey kid that was hired the same day as me and was a really lousy employee got lots of hours. I suppose it was because of who the families were in town. I was just a college kid from out of town. Regardless, I left McDonald’s just before my dad died. It was about two weeks before he died, and my family called because he was in the hospital and he was really sick and this was probably it, Regina, so you’d better get home now. I went in to McDonald’s and asked to be taken off the schedule, since I had to go to Tuttle right away. They asked when I could go back on the schedule, and I told them I’d have to let them know. Daddy died later that month and after that, I didn’t really feel like going back in and letting them know I was ready to work again. So I didn’t.

After college, my first job was at the Bricktown Haunted Warehouse. I was a spook. I did that until KATT radio called to hire me. I told the haunted house that I could probably work on weekends, but couldn’t do weekdays because of the radio. They told me to let them know…but after a week of working in a nice office with cool people, dressing like the devil and sweating for hours and drinking Chloraseptic straight from the bottle so I could keep screaming and having to watch little children cry when their parents forced them to go through despite the warnings lost its thrill somehow. So I never got around to letting them know.

You’d think that a professional place like KATT/KYIS/KTNT radio, aka Caribou Communications, would be professional about hiring and firing. I found that this was not the case. I did all kinds of things there. I recorded commercials and helped out in the traffic department, and did stuff with the prize window. I played receptionist when the regular person was at lunch or off work for some reason. I still remember a lot of peoples’ phone extensions. I trained other people too. Then the boss told me they were doing a restructuring kind of thing, and asked me to take a month’s leave of absence, paid. So I did. When the month was up, I called the boss and he seemed surprised. Apparently I was supposed to take the hint that I was supposed to find another job. Go figure. He didn’t say I was fired or let go or anything, but he did say that they weren’t sure they had a place for me right then. So that was that.

Then there is the Tuttle Times. I actually worked for them twice. The first time was with the Chickasha Star. That didn’t last long though. I worked there from April 1998 until November 1998. That was when the Express bought out the Star. I was not retained. For one day. Then I was rehired. That always annoyed me because my start date was in November instead of April. The other Star employees that were at the Express got to keep their April dates as their start dates. I worked there until I went on bedrest with Belinda. I used up all of my FMLA leave because I kept having contractions when I stood up. I wanted to work partial disability, doing layout from home, but that wasn’t understood very well, so we just let it go. Then, a week after she was born, I was told that I had to come back to keep my job. I said I hated that, because I couldn’t come back when the baby was only a week old and so…

I guess that was the only one where I actually said I wasn’t coming back. Sort of a quit then.

And that’s it. All my jobs. None of them have an impressive fire or quit sequence. Like that poem that says the world will end, not with a bang, but a whimper. My jobs all ended, not with a bang, but a whimper.

I like being at home the best.

Oh my! Numbah 25!

This is my 25th journal entry! Hooray!

Did you ever witness a birth?

I have not witnessed any births in which I was not an active participant.

I have seen newborn cats, rabbits and dogs, but not actually seen the birthing process even once…well, in person anyway. I have seen the miracle of life taking place on film occasionally, and it is enough to send me screaming out the door.

I am squeamish by nature. When someone shows me a scar, my stomach turns over. When a TV show has a moment of surgery or something, and I know it’s not real, I still can’t look. I don’t understand how people can be doctors and nurses. I’m glad they can do this, but I cannot even fathom having to do that every day. I can’t even do it one time.

We took a birthing class before Lenora was born and when the baby in the video was being born, I had to look away.

We were told that I could request a mirror if I liked, so I could see the baby crowning. No, thank you. During birth, would I like to reach down and touch the baby’s head? Thanks, I’ll pass. I had no desire to do either one.

I don’t want to get into the birthing stories of any of the children here. I’ve written them all down before, and they were nice stories. Bennett unfortunately got the shaft because I wrote his on a computer that later crashed, and I haven’t been able to find a copy of it. I did upload it…to friends on an AOL message board that no longer exists. I don’t remember if I sent it to anyone else. I wish I’d been on livejournal then. I started my account later that year. I should try to rewrite his, but so much about a birth gets erased from memory so quickly! I console myself with the fact that men seem to not be as interested in this kind of thing, so at least it’s the child that will be a man one day that won’t get such a good birth story.

Although there’s the ick factor, I sort of wish I had been at one uninvolved birth at least, so I would have something to write about. I can write about just about anything, but my own children’s births are suddenly too much to even consider writing about. There was just too much to even get down in a regular once-a-day journal entry. The emotions…the activity…everything really was just too intense and alive and too much for me to do it the injustice of putting it down in here when I’m already thinking about other things I need to do.

Perhaps when I get done with my journaling adventures from the angelfire site, I’ll rewrite Bennett’s and get all three of them uploaded and backed up.

This doesn’t seem to have a really good ending, but I guess that’s just the way it goes.

In other news, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve made it to 25 and only skipped weekends and holidays.

Locked out

Were you ever locked in or out? 

Yeah, so it’s almost 11 p.m. I’m sure I am sounding like a broken record with my whining about how I don’t have time to do this and it’s sooo late. Sorry about that.

Today we started homeschooling in earnest. Still almost a full week before Labor Day! Way to go, us! We also had a doctor’s appointment for Belinda and Bennett, and OCAG. So that’s what happened with my journaling today.

I wrote a poem the other day. I just felt like I had to. It doesn’t rhyme. I think it might be all this writing I’m forcing myself to do that made me want to write the poem. I wrote it on an envelope while I was outside of my hair appointment. I just had to get it down! If I ever get it out of the glove compartment I’ll try to post it.

Two year old me is not locked out of the house. But I look sort of like how I feel when I am.

Two year old me is not locked out of the house. But I look sort of like how I feel when I am.

Now to the subject at hand. It’s finally one that doesn’t have to go back more than a decade to write about! I got locked out when I was a kid sometimes – what a feeling of dread when I got home on the bus and there was no car in the driveway! It was usually some kind of mix-up and it didn’t take Mom or Dad long to get home but yuck. Sometimes we could find a window that was unlocked, and Marissa would heft me up into it, but most of the time we were out of luck.

I got that pleasure again about a week ago. I hadn’t moved my keys onto my new van keychain, so I didn’t have a house key. But that was okay because Ben knew I didn’t have the key.

Or so I thought.

I was sick. Ben had a class he was going to. I had Belinda and Bennett at home. Mom called and asked me to meet her at a gas station five miles away to pick up Lenora, who had spent the night over there. She was worried because she had company coming and didn’t want to come all the way in. I said okay and got the kids in the car, since Ben was getting ready to leave. We got home and I realized I didn’t have my key, Ben was gone, and I hoped that he hadn’t locked the door.

Apparently hoping wasn’t good enough. It was locked. And with new screens on all the downstairs windows, there was no good way to get in any of the windows, even if there was one unlocked. So we drove to Mustang and got Wendy’s for dinner. Then we drove over to where the class was, but surprisingly enough, I was not able to find the class with my limited information of “somewhere over by the airport.”

Went back to the house and we ate the Wendy’s burgers out in the yard. Then we went over to Marissa’s for a while. Then we went driving around. Then we sat in the shade in the car until Ben came home. It was so frustrating!

Then as a bonus, less than a week later IT HAPPENED AGAIN!

That time I was mad.

Ben made me a new key on his way home.

Two days after that I found my old keychain on the floor in Lenora’s room. I can only assume Belinda put them there. I put the keys on the same keychain as the van.

Now my keys annoy me because they are so big they touch my leg when I’m driving. Plus I have two unlocking things on my keychain. I really need to do something about this, but I haven’t yet.

Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m not teaching the kids or taking them to P.E. or Lenora to dance or going to the podiatrist to get a cast made of my foot for an orthodic device because my arches are falling.

And maybe I won’t!


Did you ever get lost in a strange town?

Of course. I’m 35 years old. Who my age hasn’t been lost in a strange town at least once? I get lost in Oklahoma City sometimes still.

The trick is to always act like you know what’s going on. I never let on that I’m lost. Never. Ben thinks that I have some kind of miracle powers and I never get lost. It’s not true.

I do know I’m going quite a bit. I have an amazing talent of watching the signs around me and deciphering them. I say it’s amazing because Ben doesn’t see signs when he’s driving, so I guess it’s not something that naturally comes to all people. So it’s amazing in our house.

But sometimes I do get lost. I can’t think of a specific example, but I know it happens. When it does, I watch the signs, I check the sun…I look where other people are going…Ben looks up and asks me if I know were I am and I reply of course I do with a tone that implies that he is a fool for asking.

This approach rarely fails me. After a few moments of internal panic, I generally come across a sign or a turn that leads me back to a familiar place. But I never lose the poker face.

And that’s it! No more for today!!!

Lessons part deux

It is becoming painfully obvious to me that these journal topics, whilst seeming so merry to begin with, are truly designed for the college freshman. It is really trying my patience to come up with so many long-ago memories.

Describe learning to drive.

In the time since I’ve typed the above, I’ve cooked dinner, made a pumpkin patch reservation (I’m handling the field trip bookings for TG Farms again this year), went to the chicken yard and found a dead chick floating in the water trough, buried it, watched the forlorn mother (she only had the one) clucking and looking for it, came back in and pulled this up again.

And I’m supposed to write about what?

Learning to drive. Learning to drive. The struggles of youth.

Okay. My mom let me learn to drive on the country roads when I was about 12, I guess. Marissa got to do it, so I suppose she was around 15, and I got to do it to. I might have been 11. One time a police car drove by and I lifted my fingers in a casual half-wave. Mom about died but the police car didn’t even brake. That was Tuttle back in the day.

My parents also went through the whole deal of driving better when I was getting closer to getting my license. When my dad went back home from Tuttle, he liked to pull over into the left lane if no one was coming (this was a two-lane road) just before he turned onto our street as a courtesy to the drivers behind him. One day when I was 15, he pulled off this trick, then glanced over at me and said, “You know you’re not actually supposed to do that when you turn, right?” I assured him that I did know that, and that it was cool.

Me and my sister hanging out in front of the car that we both ended up learning to drive.

Me and my sister hanging out in front of the car that we both ended up learning to drive.

I did not take drivers’ ed. At Tuttle, it was offered only in the summer, and you have to pay for it and get one credit, and for some reason my family wasn’t interested. I learned to drive in the Malibu Classic station wagon with either one of my parents at my side.

Since I didn’t take driver’s ed, I couldn’t get my permit until I was 16. On my birthday, we went to Oklahoma City and I took the computerized test. I missed two. One was a motorcycle question. The other dealt with where your eyes should be while driving. I struggled between looking at the car in front of you and moving all over, watching traffic. I chose wrong, and wanted to kick myself afterward. I knew you didn’t just look at the car in front of you. Moron.

I could have taken my driving test that day too, but instead I elected to go to Chickasha, where I had heard that they only made every seventh person parallel park. Even though I had done my parallel parking training in the teachers’ parking lot at the high school between two trash cans, I still wasn’t confident with my abilities. I had to wait one month since I was going to Chickasha.

Chickasha’s testing station was a trailer in a parking lot surrounded by trees. They were changing during that time of year, and it was pretty. The tester was in there by himself, and seemed a little surprised to see anyone. He was nice, patient, and didn’t make me parallel park. After it was over, he stuck a sticker on the back of my driver’s license. I looked up at him. “Did I pass?”

He told me I did. So I hugged him. This also surprised him, and he laughed. I got in the car with Mom and left before he changed his mind or something.

My friends asked me later what my score was. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask and he didn’t say, probably because he was so flabbergasted by the hug. Didn’t matter. I passed, and that’s what mattered.

And I’m actually glad this was the topic for today, because it was nice to dwell in the past for a little while, and with such nice little memories.


Write about learning to skate, to ride a bike, to climb a tree, or to turn a cartwheel.

Learning to skate…I never was very good at skating…not roller or ice, or rollerblading. I can do a little of each, but not very well. Skateboarding I cannot do.

Learning to turn a cartwheel…I don’t remember this. I used to be able to turn good cartwheels, all told; I can’t remember it though. I have a faded memory of turning a cartwheel in the front yard at the house in Tuttle. The story goes that I was doing a lovely cartwheel once, toes pointed and all, and I slipped, fell right on my head, and was afraid to cartwheel ever after. I don’t remember the fall or anything about it. I just have that brief, light memory of doing a cartwheel. That’s all.

Learning to climb a tree…who learns to climb a tree? Climbing a tree just seems like something you just do – not something you learn to do.

Learning to ride a bicycle. This is the one that I can do.

Coordinated I am not, and I rode a trike for a long time. Then my parents got me a two-wheeler. It was a little racing bike that was supposed to look like a motorcycle, I think. It was yellow and it had training wheels. The training wheels were off-kilter; this was so I would learn to ride and not let them touch the ground, I was told. If I balanced perfectly, they wouldn’t touch, but I had them if I wobbled.

So I rode everywhere leaning.

I rode in the homecoming parade with Becky, and we got behind everybody because I was so slow on my little bike with my training wheels. We got so far behind that the parade was gone and we went into a church to try to find a phone to call our parents but didn’t find anyone there. I don’t remember after that…I guess one of our parents came looking for us. Becky could have kept up with the parade but she waited for me. I’m glad she did.

Riding a bike was slow and tedious and not fun. My sisters could both ride, but I could not. My parents tried to help me but I was hopeless on that little yellow bike.

One day I was about 8 or so (yes, 8, I know) and I decided to try to ride a different bike. We had an old purple bike with a banana seat, and the tires were okay. It was too big for me, and I could hardly ride it. I tried it anyway.

I rode it perfectly. I rode right into the street, turning north, rode towards Autrys’, turned, rode back and went up in the driveway.

It was exhilarating.

After all that time being unable to ride the little yellow bike, to be able to ride the purple bike was almost like a miracle. And to be able to do it without falling or anything…imagine that!

The yellow bike was obviously too small for me to ride. I had thought that it would be easier, and safer, to ride the little bike, but I couldn’t get my balance right on the tiny thing. It was only when I gave in, got on the purple bike, and just went for it that I was able to fly down the street. That bike and I became inseparable, and I logged a lot of miles on that banana seat.

Mom wrote about me being “finally able to ride a bike” in my baby book, and noted the date. Just in case I might have tried to forget that I couldn’t ride a bike until the summer after third grade. Sheesh. A person can’t even pretend to be cool around here.

Oh yes. That is me, getting ready to ride the banana seat bike in the Tuttle fair parade. The bike is actually purple under all that crepe paper. I don't know if I won the decorated bike contest, but I should have.

Oh yes. That is me, getting ready to ride the banana seat bike in the Tuttle fair parade. The bike is actually purple under all that crepe paper. I don’t know if I won the decorated bike contest, but I obviously should have.

In the good ol’ summertime

What did you do last summer? What did you do the summer you were ten?

This is nice because I can count this summer that is now wrapping up as “last summer.” This is an excellent option because I cannot remember what I did during summer 2008. How sad is that? And as for the summer I was ten…well, we’ll just have to put out some vague generalities there.

I started writing that we didn’t do anything special this summer, and then I had to erase that because we did do something good – we did the musical “Annie” this summer. Lenora was Annie. Bennett was a guy named Ira. It took two months and it was a really good show – a lot of fun. It was also stressful and it didn’t help that the home life isn’t really ideal right now either.

Near the end of the summer I started up my new website and starting trying to go to different places in Oklahoma for it. We went to White Water on Saturday – I’m hoping to get that one written today, but I have the podiatrist to go to, with all three kids, so I don’t know if I’ll have the strength after that!

Gosh, I just don’t know what else to say. I turned 35…Belinda turned 2…we were all sick that day and you can kind of tell around Belinda’s eyes in the photos.

We all did the Ice Cream Festival in Tuttle for July 4. Our church did fireworks on the 5th. Lenora was in the princess pageant but didn’t win.

Bennett has been learning to read this summer.

Ugh. End. Summer when I was 10.

I have no idea how to answer this. I don’t remember one summer differentiating from the next at that age. We didn’t go anywhere or travel. I assume my 10th summer was one filled with playing outside, watching TV in the air conditioning, hanging in my playhouse, swimming in the pool, swinging, sucking on honeysuckles…we didn’t have our ponies anymore at that point, so no horse riding…um, I probably wrote some poetry, went to church camp, went shopping with mom…just a regular kid summer. I got my cat, Jessabella (aka Black) before fifth grade, so that was either my 9th or 10th summer, since I turned 10 on August 6…depends on which one was the summer I was 10. Was it the summer I turned 10, or the summer that I was 10 for the majority of it?

What is happening to my journaling project? My introspective memories are now turning into mush. Bleah.

Our Annie cast!

Another “what was I thinking” entry

Write about a time you found out something about yourself.

Seriously? I’m supposed to think of something to fit that description?

Today was not the funnest. We had theatre class from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (which ran late, thank you very much), I led 4-H (i.e. listen to me talk for a mindnumbing hour and a half) during the 1-3 p.m. block, we got home around 3:45 p.m., I made a spreadsheet for my new 4-Hery, we had the acting guild from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and now I am teh tireds.

I found out that I am a complete idiot for attempting to follow these journal topics, in order, every weekday without fail. I mean, what was I thinking?

What to write…what to write…what to write.

This topic is so awful. I don’t remember ever finding out anything that was so mind-blowing as to warrant writing about. I have always liked the things that I think shape who I am. I’ve always been into writing, acting, singing…that kind of stuff. And things weren’t kept from me that I can think of. I wasn’t secretly adopted…I’ve not been told I have some terrible disease…wait…back up. That’s all I can come up with.

When I was pregnant with Belinda, I found out something about myself. I found out that I had gestational diabetes. There you go.

I didn’t have it with the first two kids. They had their own problems. Lenora came five weeks early; I had pre-eclampsia with Bennett and he had to be induced early. But I escaped the gestational D until little Toot was inside of me.

Diabetes is a big scary thing around here, and I know I’ve got the predisposition. It was just all too easy to think that it probably wouldn’t happen to me, and there was time to change the habits. Then I got my test results back.

It was a scary thing and was made even more scary by the fact that I was going to have to test my blood four or five times a day and I am deathly afraid of needles. Not only that – no sugar, of course, and I had to count and track literally everything that went in my mouth. Could have been better if I had exercised, but any kind of movement pretty much started contractions, so I got to be on bedrest too.

I had to go to a class to learn how to have gestational diabetes. All the other ladies in there were due to deliver within four weeks. I had like four months to go. Sad times indeed. The others felt sorry for me. I studied hard, learned how to track the food, took the meter in hand and finally pricked my finger. It stung…but it was bearable. I never could do it without closing my eyes and bracing myself for it though. I am a weenie.

I guess I learned something else about myself. When it was important, I could make those changes. I didn’t cheat on that darned diet one time. I didn’t touch the cake at my mom’s wedding just a short time before little Toot was born. The reception was catered, with barbecue. I ate my meat without sauce, because sauce has sugar, ha ha.

My reward? A healthy Belinda who was absolutely a normal weight. GD babies are generally gargantuan, but because I was such a stickler, she was fine.

The GD went away after she was born (in some people it just turns into regular diabetes – surprise!) but my odds of getting it now are like skyrocketed. That stinks because doing shots for my whole life and having messed up feet doesn’t sound like a party to me. That’s the big reason I started low-carbing last year. Matter of fact, in seven days it will be a complete year, with no cheating. No bread, no corn, no sugar, no potato…it’s still going okay. I’m not the svelte vixen I imagined I would be after a year, but I’m smaller and I suppose I have less chance of getting the real diabetes, so it’s definitely worth it.

I wish I could have thought of something that was life-changing about who I really am inside – you know, a real self-awareness discovery…but at least I thought of something.

I’m getting tired of just thinking of something though…not much on the agenda tomorrow…maybe that one will be easy to write.

Then again, maybe it’s the ones that are hard that make you a better writer. If so, I’d probably better hope for the hard ones…I think I have a long way to go.

Am I seriously starting this ten minutes before midnight?

Watch and enjoy the spectacle of the daily journal entry as it crashes into oblivion. Yes, it is 11:40 p.m. and I am finally dragging myself into today’s entry. School (or homeschool) started today. The home part is a joke because Bennett had a science class at 10:30 a.m. and Lenora had geography at 11:30 a.m. Then Lenora had dance at 5:30 p.m. Tomorrow we have stuff from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and then theatre that night. I miss summer already.

Write about a difficult decision you had to make.

Well, there was this one time that I was really tired, but I made this insane commitment to write in my journal every day, but I wanted to go to bed…but I decided to write in the journal after all. Ha ha.

Not good enough?

Okay. How about we go with what I was talking about at the start? I am a homeschooling parent. That was a difficult decision.

I started worrying about school when Lenora was about three. Tuttle was getting full-swing into Pre-K at the time, and I realized that Lenora would be in that program. Instead of thinking how great that would be, I was upset at having her leave home at such a young age. She has always been a little immature for her age (got that from me, I’m afraid) and I thought 4 was too young. On the flip size, I didn’t want to start her at 5 and have her be some kind of Amazon girl when she got to junior high, towering over the boys in the class and being a social pariah. (Yes, I over-worry everything.)

But 4 was a long way off, I assured myself. And so I put it out of my mind.

But she did turn 4. And then the summer came, and with it, Pre-K pre-enrollment.

I went to the school with Lenora. I talked to the teachers, went to the room at the end of the special services building, and filled out her pre-enrollment form. I talked to a school representative. I asked about immunizations, since I didn’t have her card with me at the time. (Lenora was fully immunized, but knowing that immunizations are voluntary in this state, I asked if we actually had to have the card because of that, and the woman lied – or didn’t know herself, which is scarier – and said that Lenora couldn’t enter school without them….a later visit to the superintendent revealed that I was the correct party.) Anyhoo…

Another mother there asked a teacher who was there if there was a full-day Pre-K program, and was disappointed that there wasn’t. I felt like I could have a panic attack at any moment at the idea of my 4 year old spending thirty minutes at school every day, much less a full day.

I handed in the pre-enrollment form and went home. I felt lousy. I felt like I was doing something I didn’t want to do.

For me, having my kid in school was almost a peer pressure thing. I needed to have her in school because that was the normal thing to do. Nobody I knew was homeschooling. My mom and sister were public school teachers, for crying out loud! Academics…socialization…sports… thoughts clanged through my head as I cried in the car on the way home.

I felt better when I realized that filling out the form didn’t mean she was going to school right away. I had the summer to think it over. So I did.

When August rolled around, I called the school and said we wouldn’t be doing Pre-K after all. I alluded to friends and family that we were waiting for kindergarten. But in my heart I knew we’d never go.

The next year I made like I was waiting until she was six to start kindergarten. I think we really weren’t fooling anybody though.

Anyway. That was a hard decision, and one that took several years in total. Most decisions that have to do with your children are hard though, because you don’t want to make a mistake. I could have written about any number of things that have to do with Lenora and Bennett and Belinda…homeschooling was already at the top of the page though.

I am so happy with my decision. It’s hard sometimes…but I know that it is the right choice for us. I’m glad I went with my heart. 🙂

(I also think that this was a lame journal entry but I’m pretty tired…and I’ve been working on 4-H stuff for the homeschool meeting tomorrow morning…I’m the leader…so it’s going to have to do.)

A hard one to pin down

Write about a time you performed in front of an audience.

This is a hard one to pin down. I suppose that a lot of people really could pick between the few times they had been on stage. That’s not really fair for me. I mean, I could proably pick one time, but that kind of is insulting to the other experiences, isn’t it?

My mom clipped this from the local newspaper. I was 7.

My mom clipped this from the local newspaper. I was 7.

My first on-stage performance would have been when I was three, in ballet class. From there I sang with Marissa at church. My first time to really get up and entertain by myself was in Mark York’s “Broadway Ladies” in Chickasha. I sang “Too Many Rings Around Rosie” from “No, No Nannette.” I was 7. I remember that some big college boys were in the number with me and carried me off while I sang the last note lying on my side. That was very cool.

My latest performance was as a Who Mom in “Seussical” at the Stage Door Theatre in Yukon. It was about three years ago. Lenora was cast in it, as Cindy Lou Who, so it was nice having something to do while she was there rehearsing. I had a really good time with “Seussical,” and did my best to do a good performance. When the director gave me a note at the end that said that she had always been able to count on me to be doing the correct things on stage, I about died with happiness.

In between there, I’ve had quite a few performances in different places. I’m not afraid to do much of anything on stage, as long as I’m giving a performance. I have played a dog and tap danced on top of a doghouse. I have dressed as a grandma with a giant stuffed bra, SAS nurse shoes, one knee high at calf level and one around my ankle, and my slip showing below my dress. I have worn a cup costume that looked like a flour sack in a technicolor fantasy and brought on the persona of a 6-year-old boy. I have acted like a drunk and passed out on a couch. I have pinned playing cards in my hair and acted insane. I have been a nun in pointe shoes – and on roller skates. I have been a child; I have been a mother; I have been the star; I have been a nobody.

In all of this, I was not afraid. Of course, there are butterflies before any show, but I was never truly afraid. I have a lot of confidence in my ability in an actor, whether it’s truly deserved or not.

What I can’t do is get up on stage and be myself.

Just thinking about it right now put a knot in my stomach. And the times I’ve had to do it, instead of giving me pleasurable reminders like the acting, make me feel a little ill.

There’s the speeches I had to give in high school and college. Every one was a horror for me. The times I’ve had to pray in front of a group in church – even when it’s just in front of the children’s church. “Saying a few words” about the classes I teach for the homeschool group. Getting up in front of that class, even. How I hate to be myself in front of an audience! Being an actor is easy. Being me is impossible. I will do anything to get out of it.

Why is this? I don’t know entirely. I think that it must have a lot to do with confidence issues. Maybe performing is okay because I’m not being me – I’m being someone else.

Other actors I’ve talked to don’t have this problem…which makes me feel like I must be pretty odd indeed. Anyone else?