Tuesday, September 16, 2008

line dancing, and happy birthday to my mommy

The doorbell rang at 9pm last night. It was my Irish neighbor, asking me to teach her to line dance. As I was running down our very long hallway to answer the door (not, at this point, knowing it was her but figuring it was as she is the only one who does ring the bell at odd hours like that) I actually muttered to myself, 'Now who is that at THIS hour?', which then made me laugh at myself because I sounded JUST like my parents. And as we all know, at a certain age we do, inescapably, become our parents. Don't fight it, just trust me on this one. You WILL become your parents. But I digress. This post is not about parental cloning.

Ok, Irish neighbor, door, line dancing.

I open the door, glamorous dressed in my 'lounging' wear, which is an ancient black tank dress worn sans bra, to see my lovely Irish neighbor, cute as a button in her corduroy mini skirt and dark green tights.

"Karla, how do I line dance? I have to teach a class of 14 year olds how to line dance for an English lesson about cowboys. Can you teach me?"
(my first thought)...!!!!!??????
(me) "Um....no? I have no idea how to line dance. Never done it."
(she) "But you're from Texas."
(me) "Yes."
(she) "And you always wear cowboy boots."
(me, ironic grin) "Yes, but you see, I am a liberal, Obama- supporting Subaru- driving Texan with a degree in English Lit and a house in Austin. Asking me how to line dance would be like me asking you how to plant potatoes because you are Irish. An unfortunate stereotype perpetuated by the media and the movies. The boots are a sartorial statement of irony and pop cultural retro-cool, as when I was growing up boots were really the most uncool thing you could possibly wear, sported only by Kikkers* and Ropers** and all the loser Ag*** kids in school. So when I moved to Norway I purposely bought the boots as a jokey physical reminder of my Texas roots, that I have since realized are actually incredibly comfortable, practical and oddly stylish. My wardrobe statement, if you will, along with the strong nerd glasses and the big funky rings. I have never worn the boots line dancing. I have, however, worn them while dancing to traditional Czech, Hungarian, Egyptian and Moroccan music. Just not line dancing."
(she) "Oh".
(she) "I thought all Texans line danced.."
(me) "Nope. Though we did all have to learn square dancing in elementary school."
(she, hopefully) "We have to dance it to 'Achy Breaky Heart'". She shows me the lesson, with diagrams of the moves step by step, suggested music, and a short paragraph about American Cowby culture and how this is a typical American dancing pastime (!!)
(me) "Urgh. Achy Breaky barf."
(she) laughs.

I think I went down a few notches in her eyes as a Texan. No Texas accent, no line dancing, no cowboy hat and a fear of horses. What good is it having a Texan next door if they don't live up to the glam?

In other news, Herzlichen gluckwunsch zum geburtstag Mutti! Ich liebe dich! Aber du liest mein blog nicht......oder?
*Kikkers...a slang term for kids who listened to a radio atation in Houston with the call letters KIKK, that played country music. Country music in the 80's? SO not cool.
**Ropers....kids who wore cowboy boots that did not have pointy toes, and the only thing worse than being a KIKKer was being a Roper.
***Ags. Kids who were in the agricultural program at school and would have cows or pigs and would show them at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They wore blue corduroy jackets and invariably wore ropers as well.
FYI, I was a Denizen of the Courtyard, one of the ones who eschewed the cafeteria, sat outside during lunch and ironically (so we thought) made fun of everyone else at school. High schoolers always think they are ironic, even if they are just idiots.

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