So, I had an uncharacteristically angsty week there! It’s almost as if I grew up in the Seattle area during the age of Nirvana. I was seriously about twenty minutes from putting on some flannel and writing horrendously bad haikus about my shoulder. Something like: Shoulder, you failed me/Abandoned to the elastic/Band of therapy. Or perhaps, Mortality looms/Age cripples youth, crumbling away/Hello, elastic band.
It’s true, yo. Physical therapy really does make mad use of that elastic band. On the plus side, my physical therapist sounds exactly like J. Lo and looks like her, too. So if I close my eyes, it’s like J. Lo’s there. And if I open them it’s still kinda like J. Lo’s there. So entertaining!
Anyway, during the angst, I realized I hadn’t planned anything for dinner one night, which made me veer dangerously toward the flannel. (I was teetering on the edge, it wasn’t taking much at that point.) I remembered the free dinner I’d won from McGee’s, so I asked Evan if he was cool with driving all the way to Anderson. (This is no more than a half an hour, but when you live in Pendleton/Clemson any drive longer than ten minutes becomes so far. When I first arrived from LA I was like, ???? Anderson is right down the road??? But now I, too, have realized just how far away it is.)
Anyway, point is, Evan agrees to the trek, and we set sail for Anderson, intent on collecting our free dinner. I’m still angsty, but content in the knowledge that a server and a cook will be taking care of feeding me. Sometimes, on particularly overwhelmed days, that’s a big deal.
Evan and I are, in many ways, like very old people. We eat lunch really early and we eat dinner even earlier. So, when we arrive, it’s just us and a handful of the aged. One older lady in particular is obviously a character. She’s in our section and she could’ve easily been included in the cast of Steel Magnolias. Hardcore Southern drawl, funny, a little nuts. At one point I turn, and she yells across the restaurant, “You’re the girl from story night!”
“Why, yes I am,” I say. The lady proceeds to tell her friends about me and my epic win, and she keeps using the phrase, “This girl wouldn’t quit!” I don’t really know what that means, but she appeared to be using it as a compliment, so, hey, I’ll take it. After basking in the warm glow of her nice words, and with a full belly, I suddenly realized, “Hey, I won a contest! I am a contest winner! I am fine! Life is good! Who cares whether my shoulder doesn’t work quite as well as it once did?”
And y’all, I didn’t get into it much before, but it was a pretty awesome win. You get instant feedback, as the crowd judges you. Each table has a score sheet, and as soon as the performer is done, each table raises their card. McGee’s has 25 tables. After my bit was over, I looked out into the crowd, and I’m not even going to front – it was pretty wicked cool to see 24 “10’s” out there. One table in the back gave me a “9.” One of my competitors was sitting at it.
Even more wicked cool was the incredible group of people who came out to support me. It was a beautiful case of worlds colliding. My parents meeting horse friends meeting gym friends meeting book trailer friends meeting work buddies meeting my writing group sisters meeting friends so old they’re more like family. 17 people showed up to cheer me on, and they were LOUD. It was helluva a lot of love and support.
I am a profoundly lucky human being. I am surrounded by wonderful people. I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends. They not only let me be me, they encourage it. I don’t know how many people can say that, but I know it’s not enough.
Thanks to Lisa (writing group sister) and Julia (horsey soul mate) my stand-up routine made it on to YouTube. If’n you’d like to check it out: Here it is.