“Scuse me, while I kiss this guy” – that is probably my favorite misheard song lyric. I suppose there was a time when someone standing not ten feet away from Jimi Hendrix looked to his left and to his right, desperate to make eye contact with someone else that heard what he had heard. “Did he just say that? “Kiss this guy?”
I have what one might call an active imagination. Pretty frequently I hear things that are not at all what was just said. I get a kick out of saying “Wait, hold up, I swear you just said [insert inane comment that could not possibly be correct.]” But the other day I had a real, live, honest to god “NO WAY. THIS DID NOT JUST HAPPEN” moment. And nobody heard it but me.
Let me set the scene. Girl Scout Awards Ceremony. It’s chaotic. It is dinner time and Lucy is not really into meetings at 5:30 pm. She is trying to be quiet-ish. Emily is making faces at us both and I am trying to balance the “Please pay attention to your troop” with the “Please keep entertaining your sister, holy cow, it is a long day when you don’t come straight home from school to relieve me from my entertaining small people duties.”
I am seated next to a friend. Not a Mom Friend, the friends that you make because your kids are in the same class and you lock eyes at a horrible birthday party and realize you are of like mind but a Friend Friend that just happens to have a daughter in Em’s troop. We are quietly saying howdy and exchanging twenty words (the highlight of my otherwise toddler-filled day) when I have that sudden realization that I am an Adult. I should be paying attention. I try to refocus my attention to the Scouts as they excitedly receive their goodie bags filled with badges they have dutifully earned. The older girls are explaining their badges.
Scout meetings are held in a local church with gorgeous acoustics. Acoustics that, I imagine, can lift the voice of a passionate speaker and deliver their words to the pews in a neat little package. However, the voice of a pre-teen girl that is not quite sure of herself can get lost in the sounds of thirty some girls wiggling at the end of the day. I listened harder. “Stereotypes….. and so we….. break down…. For example, white girls. Everyone thinks that white girls are boring…. and then you get to know a white girl and she is fun…” This is about when I could not keep my eyeballs in my head any longer.
I turned to my friend with the tamest version of my “Are you fucking kidding me? Is this real life?!” face on and whispered “Did she just say “white girls are no fun?!” I barely got it out of my mouth before I had to scoop up my three year old, holding her in front of my face like a visual excuse for being noisy. “Shy girls,” whispered my friend. “Shy.”
I wonder if the first person that thought Jimi Hendrix wanted to kiss a guy was really into dudes and not so much down with kissing skies. Maybe everyone listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon on the Rise” was on their third beer and desperately had to pee and that’s why it sounds so very much like “bathroom on the right.” Perhaps it really is just all about where you’re coming from in the moment and I am just a boring white girl. Because heaven knows I am not a shy girl.
And boring? Am I boring? Maybe. I am running and biking and swimming and momming. But mostly I am smiling and laughing and writing blog posts in my mind while I count laps or time running intervals. I am nearing the end of the precious years I have spent sleeping with a sweaty kid head pressed against my chest so I am less and less inclined to sneak out of bed at night to write down the memories before they escape.
I will leave you with this. In case you wondered if I am a boring girl, white, shy or otherwise. The other day I sat on the side of the bath tub and ate the last ice cream cone. It was wonderful. I was all alone. It was delicious because ice cream. But even more than that – it was the last one. And I was hiding. Now, tell me I don’t know how to have fun?