Port Your Bra

Annie Dance

Did you know that King Louis the XIV of France loved ballet?  He established the first official school for the dance, known today as the Paris Opera Ballet.  That’s why all of the dance terms are in French.  I know that because over the past two weeks, I’ve spent five hours observing my daughters’ dance classes.  It happens every May, parent observation days.

It should have been seven hours but DJ told me she’d do a grande jete on my head if I showed up to watch her dance.  After the other five hours, I think I could have taught her class.

When I picked DJ up after her observation day, she said, “There were some other parents you knew who were there.  You really looked bad for not coming.”

At that point I wanted to jerk a knot in her echappe!

One afternoon I observed from 5 – 7 pm.  I hadn’t had lunch that day and was starving.  The ballet instructor kept tantalizing me:  “Everyone, it’s time to fondue.”  But no food ever came!  She’d say “Saute!”  Again, no food.  It was dinner time, why would you say we were going to fondue and then not produce?  I was about to start gnawing on the ballet barre!

Her words were confusing to me.  At one point she started talking about their underwear:  “Port your bras” or something like that.  How do you port your bra?  Wouldn’t we need to be on the coast?  She kept calling for “Sue-sue,” but she never did come.  “Run to John,” she yelled several times, but there wasn’t one boy in the class.  Who was she talking about?

The woman is a good teacher, but I don’t think she’s that smart.  She doesn’t even know Pig Latin.  For some reason, she didn’t want us to know she was telling them to balance so she tried to disguise the term like a parent would in front of a young child.  But she got it all wrong.  Instead of dropping the first letter and putting it on the end, “alancebay,” she said, “balance-a.”  We all knew exactly what she was talking about.  Em-barr-assing!

I’m thinking about opening my own studio next fall.  But we’re going to use regular words that normal, English-speaking kids can understand like:  squat,  poke your toes out in opposite directions, jump like a duck, make the shape of a Krispy Kreme doughnut with your legs.  And when we talk about food, there will be some.


Sunday Post 117: Love My Mom

I have such wonderful memories with my mom, and we’re still working on building more!

I remember her, as the preacher’s wife, sitting on the front row of our church.  Very few others would sit that close to the pulpit so we often had our pew to ourselves.  As a young kid, when it neared sermon time, I’d sprawl out, legs stretched out, thumb heading toward my mouth.  I’d plunk my head in mom’s lap.  She’d scratch my head.  Sometimes I’d curl up in a ball.  It’s as if I were in my own bed.  Wouldn’t wake up until she stood for the Doxology!

As a young teenager, I once coaxed my mom into running around the car with me at a stoplight.  I begged and begged, it was very in at the time.  She finally relented.  We pulled up, each of us jumped out of the car.  One lap around and I was back at the passenger seat.  Interestingly, my mom was nowhere to be seen.  As I walked to the front of the car, I found her laying face down on the pavement.  Apparently her red sandal high heels weren’t meant for running on gravel.  She ripped her hose and laughed and laughed.

Another time, when I was in high school, we were in the car on our way to a southern Baptist covered dish  dinner.  Mom had me hold the Corningware pot of field peas, just taken off the stove.  She wasn’t known for her driving prowess,  and her short frame kept her from fully seeing at intersections.  The one at the corner of Marlborough Road and Village Drive slipped up on her that day.  She braked hard.  Scalding pea juice poured into my lap.  She got tickled.  I bit my lip to ease the pain.  Went home and had to pull down my pants to see if anything had melted away.

I can’t count the number of times my mother and I got tickled in church.  Weddings were the worst.  Once we were at a 3rd cousin’s wedding in rural South Carolina.  As the Kimball organ started playing Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady, we lost it.  The more I laughed, the more she laughed.  My grandmother was mortified.  We were used to it, this wasn’t our first.

I’m forty-seven, and I still call to chat.  I still want her opinion.  She’s my go to with problems.  Yeah, I love my mom.

As good as these memories are, my joy on Mother’s Day is hampered by the knowledge that my girls won’t get to experience that same connection with their mom.  They have some, but simply not enough.

The Evolution of Dad Dancing

My oldest daughter sent me this video last week.  She wrote:  This is you dad.

When do you move from that guy in high school coolly laying on the floor during the song “Shout” to this guy?

I can almost smell Elizabeth Hall, my high school sweetheart, in the fellowship Hall at Highland Methodist Church at a Friday night dance in 1982.  A mix of sweat, Polo by Ralph Lauren and Jean Nate.  Veronica Jamiachello and Dale Angel, the King and Queen of the party, dancing in the middle of the room.  Ebo, as we called her, and I, snuggled close nearby, barely swaying back and forth.  My hands awkwardly propped on her hips.

Always and forever

Each moment with you

Is just like a dream to me

That somehow came true

She actually wore knee highs under her formal prom dress.  What a cool chic.

Uncle Jesse is a good dancer.  He’s cool – with lots of rhythm, and he’s confident enough that he doesn’t seem to care what everybody else in the room thinks.  I wish I could dance like him.

I don’t think I’m as bad as the guy in the video, but I’m certainly not smooth.  I do alright on the shag, a waltz or a slow dance.  But turn on the music and throw me in the middle of the floor, expected to coordinate both arms, both legs and spontaneously choreograph my moves and I’m in trouble.  I call it “free dancing.”  Yea, free to make a fool of yourself.

Last weekend my dad was inducted into the Fayetteville, NC, Music Hall of Fame.  After the presentation, we joined 2,000 others for a Kool In The Gang concert.  Interestingly, there was no one on that stage older than me and the Gang was popular in the early 1980s.  I think we really saw the Grandchildren of Cool In The Gang.  After five songs my dad had to leave – said it was “Too Loud.  Just too much for him.  He couldn’t take anymore.”

It’s too loud?  This coming from a man who blares the television at 140 decibels because he’s going deaf!  My mom and I have to step outside to chat during the nightly news.

Before my dad evacuated us from the Crown Coliseum, I looked to my right and noticed an older man standing near the back row.  He was tall and slim, wearing a brown tweed overcoat and newsboy hat.  Jungle Boogie was cranking from the stage.  This dude was bobbing his head up and down and slightly moving his body.  Although his motions were modest, you could tell his entire being was oozing soul.  Sort of like the band leader in Dirty Dancing.



Now that’s how I want to move.  I’m not looking to be Mikhail Baryshnikov, just a little Tito Suarez.

Holes, Those Comfy Holes


I had a crotchial blowout on Monday.  I’m not sure what happened.  I just picked them up and there was a huge hole.  Perhaps I saw it coming and just didn’t want to accept it.  They are so special to me.  They’re my favorite drawers.  They’re comfortable.  They don’t bind me at all.  I feel so free in them.  The elastic is just right – loose enough not to leave a mark, tight enough to grip even on a man with a derriere deficit.

I don’t understand.  I remember buying these boxers when I got married.  I thought I needed some underwear without holes in them.  And now look what happened.  Only 18 years old.  They just don’t make things like they used to.

I asked my mom to patch the hole, but she refused.  Something about stitching not working on rotten material.  What if we’d have given up on her at age 18?   We didn’t throw in the towel just because she’s aging!

I thought about taking them to the tailor, she hems all of my dress pants.  There is a language barrier though, and I was afraid she’d think I was getting fresh.  Plus, her husband is big, and I was afraid if I handed his wife my underwear he’d hit me.

I just like comfortable clothes.

This is my favorite t-shirt.  Lisa forbade me to wear it.  She told me if she caught me in it she would throw it away.


Can wives do that?  Throw your stuff away even if you still need it?

I’m not sure, but I was too afraid to call her bluff.  I thought about putting it on to run a couple of errands and then keeping it in my briefcase so that there was little chance that she could toss it without my knowledge.  But that just seemed too cumbersome.  I did hang it on the back of the closet door right beside her robe.  It was sort of a warning:  Don’t mess with me … I’m a man.  I can put it on if I want.

And then, as I was putting on my favorite lounging pants this morning, my foot got stuck in the small hole I’d worn in the knee – rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppppppppp.


Dag gone.  I was gonna keep the boxers and wear them with those pants – the pinnacle of comfort.  But now I’m afraid there is just too little material and too much Danny.

Seriously, I put those three articles of clothing on and it’s like warm milk from your mama.  It just feels right.  That ensemble is more comfortable than being naked.

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