Dancers have a notorious reputation for being klutzes. Offstage.
Onstage we leap, turn, sustain, flow, tie eighteen movements into a single phrase, and navigate amongst each other with seamless, split-second timing.
Offstage we can’t navigate the six inches between the couch and coffee table without banging a shin.
Or in my case, we can’t get up from our desk.
I had a brilliant idea this afternoon to do a post about tea, specifically tea parties and the institution of British “high tea,” replete with illustrations and excerpts from some of my favorite books. Really, I was excited about this. So excited that I got up from my desk to go over to the Mac where I house all my scribbles, so I could quickly jot down a couple notes.
OK, I jumped up from my desk.
So awkwardly that I banged the desk with my hip, thus causing my Oy Vey coffee mug, which was half-full of cold coffee, to topple over.
Into my laptop.
My work laptop.
(Ugh, my stomach).
I yelled out a string of four-letter words that caused Pandagirl and her playdate to go utterly silent upstairs. I pulled the plug and turned the laptop upside down as the fan whirred on, sputtered, coughed, and then died. The screen went blank. I howled to Panda, “Get the hairdryer!”
No, really, I said that. I was slightly insane at the time. It didn’t help. I might as well have yelled, “Get the tortilla!” like Jessie in Toy Story 3.
I had killed the laptop.
[Editor’s note – there is no food in this post. If you’ve gotten the jist by now and wish to leave ERT, it is perfectly understood. Please do come again soon.]
I pinged my boss to tell her I had suddenly gone out of pocket. I pinged Krista because when I am out of pocket, she is my gateway back in. And then I braced myself for Helpdesk Hell.
I don’t understand why there is not a touchtone option for “If you have spilled a beverage onto your laptop and need immediate therapy and a replacement…Press 2, dumbass.” Instead you wind up at the call center in India, with technicians who cannot go off script if their lives depended on it. “How may I help you today, Ms. Laqueer?” My last name is not Laqueer but that’s often what it gets twisted into. Don’t ask.
“I spilled a cup of coffee on my laptop and killed it,” I replied, hoping a little black humor would help this guy find his humanity.
“I’ll be very happy to help you resolve this issue. Can I get some information first?”
YOU HAVE MY INFORMATION!! It’s right in front of you on your screen from when I entered in my employee id seven commands ago, you automaton. Very simple. Laptop dead. Need new.
Half an hour later I have a ticket # and have been cheerfully told that IT technicians do not work past 5:00 and someone will probably contact me in the morning. “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
Yes, you can help me clear space on the wall so I can bang my head against it.
(Ugh, my stomach).
So anyway, that rearranged my entire evening. Took Panda to ballet class, completely distracted and snippy because in my head, while I am hoping for the best, I am preparing for the worst by taking mental inventory of what could be lost, what I can reconstruct, what I can retrieve from the server, what I can get from my teammates. And kicking myself because I did have a few personal scribbles and a couple love letters in my c:\ drive that I kept nagging myself to move over to the MAC or at least put them on a CD. I never listen to me.
What? A love letter, come on, don’t you have one somewhere? Please, don’t give me that look.
After I dropped her off I found myself with an iPhone full of notes (and not about anything fun like high tea!) and a lump in my throat. So I did the only reasonable thing and walked over to the nail salon to get my eyebrows waxed. See that way I could lie down and let the pity-party tears drip out the corners of my eyes while blaming it on the lady with the wax and tweezers.
I’m brilliant in my self-punishment.
Groomed and chastised, I went back to the studios to watch the rest of Panda’s class through the one-way mirrors.
They were doing adagio at the barre to a piano arrangement of “True Love” from High Society. I grew up on ballet classroom piano music. Something about it either instantly soothes me, or makes me want to get up and do grands battements. Tonight I just sank down on a bench and finally let go of my breath and my shoulders, and I just watched my daughter. She was having a great class. She got invited to this intermediate-level class by her teacher back in September, and she is the youngest in the class by a good three years. But she is holding her own. She’s young – she fidgets and loses focus and is often looking in the mirror when she ought to be looking at the teacher. But something was definitely clicking tonight. And she was so sleek and pretty in her black leotard and tights, her hair pulled back smooth with a purple headband and a few wisps over her forehead, earrings sparkling.
I let go. And let go a little more. Some things cannot be replaced. Some things lost can be found. Some things turn out better when you start over. Some love letters are better off unsent. And, I am just finding out, when you search Google Images for “Dancer falling”…you get a lot of pictures of dancers who are falling, but still look like they are dancing.
[Editor’s note – thank you for sticking with our baby on a hard day’s night. There will now be food.]
And I came home to find that Jeeps had made dinner. The perfect dinner. And I ate all of it.