Sometimes, I just don’t know when to stop. Okay, it’s a little more often than sometimes., and I have to stop trying to be witty at every turn, even when I’m teaching a room full of teenagers. But last night in dance class was not such a time.
The girls came in dragging their feet, complaining of stomach aches, back aches and general malaise. Whatever! I was there to teach, not to listen to the whining of, “Look at me, I’m a ballet dancer, and walk like a duck” teens. They didn’t want to do anything. I was in a quandary. Do I stand up tall, be a teacher and demand rolling like a ball, and single leg knee stretch? Or do I hang back (I’m getting paid regardless) and listen to their very important problems?
We compromised. I put them through their Pilates paces but when I saw the incessant yawning and eyes closing, I decided to stop. And then because I apparently don’t know the difference between a 17 year old and a 40 year old, I asked Carrie what she thought of the Mini Cooper car (I’m getting one tomorrow) She curled her lip and said, “Why, do you have one?” Here’s where I like to practice being coy. “No.” She said, “Oh, I think they’re stupid.” Can a car be stupid? And then a little part of me died because as much as I hate to admit it, I wanted her to be terribly impressed when I told her that I was getting one.
I gave them another abdominal exercise not only to punish Carrie, but to get my head around the fact that she thought the Mini was stupid. Stupid? You’re stupid. The Mini’s are the cutest cars around. There’s a friggin’ Mini culture out there. Mini drivers honk at each another when they pass on the road. Like motorcycle drivers do.
After a few more swan dives I dropped the bomb. “I’m getting the Mini. It’s Chili red, with a white roof and white side mirrors and two white racing stripes on the hood. It’s sassy.” I was smiling and getting all up in Carrie’s face, like a six year old who just got a Malibu Barbie Beach House, AND the Corvette.
Carrie looked at me, “Sassy?” Great, now I have to explain what sassy means. She apologetically said, “I’m sorry.” But I wasn’t impressed. I found my adult nuts and replied (now here’s where I practiced no self control, bordered on inappropriate and was just downright mean) “Carrie, as much as I adore you, you’re not liking the car I’m getting doesn’t really have any impact on my decision making.” Now, if you know me, you’d hear this as non threatening sarcasm, accompanied by a whacky facial expression and think it no big deal. On the other hand, did I mention that these girls are teenagers.
As soon as it came out of my mouth, I felt bad. It was uncalled for but I wasn’t going to give a 2% body fat dancer the satisfaction of thinking that her stupid remark would have any affect on me or my car. For those keeping score at home, yes, I was engaging in a power struggle with a seventeen year old.
And then, just as I was punishing them with Pilates push-ups, Carried blurted, “I just thought you were cooler than that.” I will now be spending the rest of the season, proving to Carrie, that I am cool. I am. I am.