Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My best

Inspired by Brian Regan's "My Best"  (A recommended read)

I decided to think of some of my finest moments.

<  (me thinking of said moments at my desk)

My best (and most expensive) nap.
My new husband is a die-hard sports nut. I mean EVERY single time we go to the mall, we have to make a stop in every sports store. Whether it be a FANZZ or a Sports Authority, we make our way there at some point. Every night his twitter ritual is the same, checking sports scores and injuries before they hit the front page of ESPN. I know what I married. It could be worse.

My biggest mistake was convincing this nut of mine that I too was a huge sports fan during our courtship. Don’t get me wrong, I claim the Jazz and the BYU teams as my own, but FANZZ doesn’t get me all tingly. Neither does seeing LeBron James up close and personal. But alas, that was our chance.

At a charity auction a few months ago, we ‘won’ some row three seats for a Jazz game. They were going to play the Cavs. We would be so close to LeBron that we would be able to identify individual sweat beads. “Babe! This is going to be better than HD!” I was told.  After heated bidding, we won the tickets. 165 a pop. Not together. Each.
Naturally, this game was on a school night. 9 pm on a weeknight is not when a first year teacher is normally at his or her best. My husband and I were there, on the third row, so close to LeBron that I could have heckled him and made it count during a free throw shot. Instead, I wasted my opportunity by dozing through the 2nd quarter on my husband’s shoulder. He didn’t notice until half time when he saw me yawning profusely.

My best lost in translation moment.
As a missionary in the wilds of Brazil, I came to expect moments of confusion frequently. I would mostly just smile and nod when I didn’t understand what someone had just said. I once accidentally agreed to sew a dress for someone on my P-day (when I don’t know how to thread a machine), and told somebody else that I used to be a bus driver. These moments of looking like a ditzy blonde were so frequent that my companions became very deft at changing the subject.

In English there is a word for my problems: Homonym. When words sound the same, but have a different meaning. In Portuguese, oil, garlic, and eye all have very similar sounding names and things got tricky a few times. The worst moments came when I confused homonyms in English and THEN translated in 90 degree, 90 percent humidity weather into Portuguese. One particular day, a sweet sister served us a delicious meal full of local favorites including but not limited to a boiled beet salad. I told her that her BAT salad was out of this world. No, no, not the baseball bat; the flying, echolocation expert that lives in the night. My companion didn’t even know how to fix that one.

My best performance
In fourth grade, my teacher decided that we were ALL gifted and talented. Of course, we all believed her and were eager to show off exactly how talented we were. A talent show was scheduled, and we were all to share some kind of talent. Even though it was 15 years ago, I remember some oddly specific details about this wonderful event. I recall the girl who played the Jurassic Park theme song on her clarinet, squeaking her way through the visions of Kauai water falls. I also can also still see the awkward baton twirling routine. I don’t care who you are, batons are not that cool.

For my talent, I came up short. I didn’t want to sing, I would rather have died than danced, and I had no advanced instrumental abilities. I told my teacher that I was not going to perform, because I certainly wasn’t talented. After some patient brainstorming, she convinced me to memorize and recite a poem. I could do that. In hindsight, I’ll bet she was envisioning some Robert Frost or even some Shel Silverstein, but I gave her the most dramatic poem she’d ever heard about a bologna sandwich. I put in all of the exasperation and drama that I could into my performance of “Jim’s lunch box” and I knew that it was gifted and talented worthy. To this day, I still have the whole poem memorized. I pull it out at parties and when things get boring before the bell rings.

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