Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Taking Off the Muzzle

This post may ramble, be boring, and just plain not make sense. But I've told myself I will write something and post it - no matter how many self doubts creep in. I won't reread it for two days wondering if it's good enough or if I've offended someone.

I was excited to start writing again after many years of muzzling that part of myself.  I thought I had some good ideas.  I read several blogs and thought, "I can do this. I know I can."  And I wrote a handful of posts. And then nothing.

Part of the problem is that I originally intended this to be an anonymous blog - some place I could finally write out my pain, my frustration, my sadness, my joys, my thoughts without being judged and worrying about putting the people I know on the defensive.  But then I shared it with a few close friends, and a few more friends, and now I'm afraid to write.  I think that before I can be the creative writer I wish to be, I need to get out everything I've been holding in for so long.

I am not a happy-go-lucky, optimistic, look-on-the-bright-side kind of person.  I've been condemned for that repeatedly.  While I do try not to always be the pessimistic bitch that I can be, I don't hesitate to share the bad day stories along with the great day stories.    I don't want my friends to only ever tell me the good in their lives - because that's not reality. Sometimes life sucks and sometimes we need to let it out!

What will you find out about me if you continue reading my blog in the future?  I suffer from depression and often go to bed praying I won't wake up in the morning. I hate being a parent but love my children. I'm certain that people don't think of me often but when they do it's negative.  I'm bored easily. I love to dance but am not good at playing.  I need time to myself like a fish needs water - I start to slowly (or not so slowly) go crazy if I haven't had quiet alone time.  My social anxiety often results in people thinking I'm snobbish or overly quiet. Or they think I'm a drunk who never shuts up - because I tend to drink too much in an effort to overcome said social anxiety. I enjoy being wanted but feel suffocated when needed.  My noise sensitivity could cause sharp pointy objects to fly through my office at some point soon and often results in me snapping at my kids.  I'm almost never actually "sick" by most people's definition when I call in sick - I've usually crashed into a wall of fatigue and my body feels so heavy that rolling over in bed is too much effort and my legs ache as if I've walked miles and miles.  I will do anything I can to help you and be there for you, even if we don't like each other. I love to read and my ideal vacation is simply sitting in a tropical place near a pool or ocean reading a book. You will see all of these things in my posts. They won't always be happy or funny.  They won't be full of wonderful.  They'll just be me.  So if you've come here from my Facebook page and don't appreciate the things I post there, then you most definitely don't want to read what I'll write here and absolutely you must stay away from following me on Twitter!  Twitter is where I filter myself the least.  But if you want to read more about how the Real Housewives of Placer County are driving me batty, or how I think maybe I'm becoming one of them, or what my kids did that made my head spin around, or my latest Burlesque experience, or the random bizarre thoughts that went through my mind today, or how hurt I am by something, or one of a bazillion stories that show what a  shitty parent I am - then please come back and read and comment.
Imagine this 20-some years later--that would be me some days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scarlett Strikes Again

Last week was my second burlesque performance.  It's a memory that will forever bring a smile to my face.  Four weeks of practice culminated in an amazing performance.  Perfect? Not even close.  But amazing.  When I compare this to the video of my first performance I can see the difference. My first show was cute and fun but it didn't really click with me.  For this second show I knew from the first class I was going to love every minute of it.  There were times I was nervous and afraid I wouldn't get the moves or the timing, but I didn't care. I loved the song. I loved the choreography.  I knew the four of us were going to be HOT!  Forewarning: You may need a cold shower after this.

Of course I stressed about what to wear.  I really wanted to do the bra with little vest, but my lack of workouts and love of food took away that possibility.  I also had this image of the skirt I wanted to wear but couldn't find it anywhere.  At the last minute I found the corset I'm wearing. It's my favorite so far - my boobs looked the best I've seen them in awhile.  It was so nice to bring them out for the night. It's not easy to find something that makes my tennis-balls-in-tube-sock looking breasts look less so. I cut the skirt off of my Halloween costume, tucked it under the corset, and was happy with the final look.  The tights are definitely my favorite so far.  I'd love to wear my black stilettos but I knew I'd fall on my face or twist an ankle.

Getting ready to perform!  See more pictures here.

This week I began my third workshop series. I'd planned to take a break until spring, but after Friday's show I couldn't resist signing up again. I'd hoped to do the 8-week class, but my hesitation meant the classes were already full.  So, another four-week series it is.  We'll perform on December 2.  And for the first time I left class not at all excited about practicing or the upcoming performance.

Why is that?  I'm still not sure.  Maybe it's the depression that I'm trying to keep at bay with a combination of exercise and medications but that manifests itself at random times.  Maybe it was watching the video the first time and not seeing the overall picture but instead only my mistakes.  Maybe it's the feeling of disconnect with the other students - it takes at least one, sometimes two, classes to connect.  Maybe it's the song: Queen's "Body Language".  I don't do slow well.  Maybe it's the choreography that seems so different from what I was expecting and I feel like I can't get.  Maybe it's the "do what you want for this four count".  That freaks me out. I immediately flashback to high school cheer tryouts.  I had great jumps. I could cheer.  But I could not make up my own cheer. I struggled and froze and forgot my cheer. I didn't make the squad that year. I do better being told/taught what to do, I guess.  Whatever it is, I hope it disappears at the next class.  This is the first thing I've felt any kind of passion for in a long time.  It's a giant step out of the hole of depression and anxiety that I've almost been buried in too many times.

Stay tuned for more pictures and video of my amateur burlesque experiences.  And if you're in Sacramento and want to try it out yourself or go to the upcoming Blue Collar Burlesque Show, be sure to check out  The Siren Show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Put Your Hands on Me

I recently started my second Burlesque workshop series.  I spent four weeks previously working with Indiana Bones, formerly known as Colette Corbeau, learning choreography set to Trent Reznor and Karen O's rendition of "Immigrant Song".  Here's the video of our performance.  I am slightly embarrassed by this.  In part because I screw up and in part because there's just some guilty feelings over being an almost-middle-aged mom of 4 doing a bootie shake on stage in public. I'm the first one to walk out on stage. My awesome friends all assumed I was the very cute, very good second person to walk out, but that was our instructor.

This time around my instructor is my girl crush, Sass Herass.  My crush developed at the first live Burlesque show I went to at Harlow's.  I pretty much drool all over and make an idiot of myself whenever I'm around her.  Such is the nature of crushes, I suppose, even at my age.  Sass's class performed to Joi's "Lick" at Fishnet Friday and I can't even begin to tell you how turned on I was by the end of that number.  Or pretty much every time I hear it.

I left class the last two weeks sweaty, excited, and really nervous.  Each Siren has a unique personality and teaching style.  I thoroughly enjoyed Colette's series and think it was the perfect starting point for me.  We learned the routine starting at the beginning and moved straight through to the end. Colette made a video for us to practice with at home, and the moves weren't too difficult.  It was sexy, in a cute kind of way.  With Sass, she teaches chunks of the routine, not necessarily in order.  She reminds me of the Tazmanian Devil - a whirlwind of activity, her mind moving faster than her body or mouth.  The class was exciting, the moves incredibly sexy and fast, and I just hope I can keep up and not look like a spazzed out monkey on stage.  Let me tell you, though, I do love putting my hands on myself to the sounds of "Put Your Hands on Me" by Joss Stone.

The thing I love about Burlesque is that it's not about everyone doing the exact same move in the exact same way.  It's not about perfection.  It's about feeling the music and how it speaks to you. It's about moving in ways that make you feel comfortable and sexy.  It's about touching yourself the way you want to be touched.  Music is my savior.  That sounds dramatic, but it really saves me when I'm down or in a pissy mood - which is almost always. You know that weird older lady driving down the freeway dancing in her seat and obviously singing loudly and probably horribly?  Wearing red fishnets, a corset and tutu?  Yep, that would be me. I'm not a great dancer but that doesn't stop me from really enjoying it.  My daughters find it mortifying, because in the rare instances that I actually cook or clean, I'm blaring these songs and dancing seductively (okay, attempting to dance seductively) around the house.

9-year-old very opinionated brat, snickering: "What are you doing, Mom?  You look funny. You do weird things with your mouth."

17.5-year-old, covering her eyes: "I can not watch my mom move like this. There's something just so wrong about it."  This was said after walking downstairs and into the living room right as I shimmied all the way down, put my hands between my knees and pressed them open and then shut again, stuck my behind in the air and rolled back up.  A move you can see in the above video. I don't ask my girls to watch me. I usually practice when I think they're otherwise occupied, but they seem to have a sixth sense and walk in as soon as I start.

Over the past few weeks I've learned a few things.
  1. Do not go to a new hair stylist the day of the performance.
  2. Not everyone responds to the same type of music in the same way.  I had a really hard time getting into my first performance.  "Immigrant Song" isn't a song I'd normally choose for dancing.  I didn't feel sexy listening to the song.  It didn't make my body start to move before I even realized what was happening.  Songs like "Lick", "Sail", and "Put Your Hands on Me", however, make me want to touch myself all over immediately.  It's much easier to feel sexy and just focus on how my body wants to respond to these songs, so I feel much less self conscious performing to them.
  3. I hate putting together costumes.  I'm not the type of person who can go to random thrift shops and stores and piece together a cute outfit. I don't sew.  I basically need an entire outfit already put together for me. So figuring out what to wear for my short stint on stage stresses me out more than actually performing.
  4. I should not order three corsets just because I'm so excited after my first class and I'm sure I'll wear them again.  Especially since each instructor has an idea of what they want you to wear and it's not anything I've already spent too much money on.  Personally I think they're overdoing the "all black with some accent color" theme. Especially since the stage has a dark background and we blend into it wearing black.
  5. I am not as big as I think I am - all three corsets are too big, but I've worn them and can't return them.  Corsets are supposed to be tight and uncomfortable and have skin showing in the back.  Mine are laced completely closed and I can still breath and move comfortable and pull them away from my body.  This is not helpful in making me look smaller, which is, in addition to pushing up my saggy sad boobs that were ruined by breast feeding, the whole point of corsets.   
Wanna see my next performance? Or just lots of sexy women running around scantily clad? Then check this out.
Fishnet Friday at Marilyn's on K! See you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Introducing Scarlett Sinsation

Last Friday was my burlesque debut.  My first time performing on stage. The afternoon was slightly stressful and more than once I was close to tears.  I stress about the stupidest shit!

I love all things girlie, but I suck at them: makeup, hair, cute outfits.  I just don't have a clue.  Nobody taught me this stuff growing up.  So I decided to leave my makeup and hair to professionals.  This was my debut and I'd spend the money to have other people make me look fabulous.  This did not work out so well.

My hair cut came out great - the style not so much.  It took about an hour to do four barrel curls, which then left no time to do much with the back.  It was determined I probably should have came in the night before to do pin curls and let them set.  I rushed to get my daughter from daycare and put in my contacts so I could head to my makeup appointment.  I walked in and my daughter pursed her lips and tried not to laugh at me. She did not succeed.

Not my most flattering look.

Makeup was a little better.  It was fun to sit and have someone make me up.  But she kept asking me questions  I couldn't answer. I didn't know what colors I wanted or how I wanted it to look. I wanted dramatic, bold, different. I'd be on stage. What colors would look good on me and stand out on stage?  I wanted huge lashes but she was worried they would be too heavy for my first time and picked some smaller ones that didn't quite give me the look I wanted.  My daughter approved of the makeup, at least.

After putting on my corset, fishnets, tutu and bootie shorts I was starting to feel sexy enough to be on stage.  But all I saw when I looked in the mirror was a middle-aged, not-so-hot,trying to recapture something in her life, woman.  My hair was coming out of the rolls already so I took down the sides and pinned them up and got out the curling wand and flat iron to curl the back.

Picture my daughter took using my phone.

Me: "Do I look fabulous?"
Bratty 9-year-old fashion guru, giving me the so-so hand motion: "From the neck down.  Your hair ruins it."

*sigh*  It is what it is.

I headed out, on my own, to meet up with the rest of my class so we could do a practice run on the stage.  We'd been practicing in a really small room and were all worried about the difference between that and a stage.  I left in plenty of time.  I should have arrived 15 minutes early.  Instead I arrived 20 minutes late. Such is the life of someone who gets lost everywhere she goes.  My damn iPhone maps app doesn't navigate.  It gives you directions, but you have to be looking at the phone, reading and hitting next.  This is not conducive to driving in heavy traffic in Sacramento.  So of course I missed part of the directions and wound up lost. More than once.  At one point I pulled over and was viciously beating my steering wheel, screaming "Fuck, fuck, stupid fucking iPhone", trying not to ruin my makeup with tears, wondering why I have such a horrible sense of direction. Yes, yes, I have since learned how the streets in Sacramento work: letter streets go one way, number streets  intersect, if the address you want is 2419 J Street then that means it's between 24th and 25th streets on J Street, etc.  I did make it shortly after that. My maps app sent me in a huge circle that involved two different freeways and it turned out I really was just around the corner from where I needed to be.  I seriously need someone to take pity and buy me a navigation system!  Whenever I need navigation, I miss my Droid.

I finally made it in time to do half a practice run.  At this point I was direly in need of a drink.  My nerves were shot. I hate driving. I hate traffic.  I hate being lost.  I hate being late.  I'd just gone through all four!  I When the waiter asked what I wanted I had no idea - all I could come up with was "Not wine".   I wanted something strong that would ease my anxiety and get me feeling happy and outgoing FAST.  He recommended Captain Morgan, sprite and a lime or lemon or something.  It was good, and it was strong, and I had several that night.  I owe Mona's husband big time. He got the drink ordered for me and ended up paying for it because I was running around being social.  He also kept the phone and money I lamely left just sitting on the counter as I wandered around the bar.

During all of this I was texting one of my best friends, who was driving 2.5 hours to watch me.  Who could ask for a better friend?  I got lost.  She got lost.  We finally both got where we needed to be. At pretty much the same time. You would think this meant she would be there in plenty of time to actually watch me perform.  You would be wrong.

Text from friend at about 8:40: "We're in a parking garage, gonna get dressed..."
Text from me to friend at 9:22: "Get here!!"

Texts back and forth beginning at 9:52
Friend: "Almost done."
Me: "We are going on any minute."

Friend: "Figures! I'm waiting on [insert name of sister here], grrr"
Me: "I don't care if you are naked. I'm on in minutes.  And almost everyone bailed."

Yah, she walked in about two minutes after I performed. I was slightly disheartened.  But she did show up and we got to hang out and dance part of the night.  Hopefully her sister had a great birthday and it was worth being super late and missing the main point of driving that far.

And almost everyone did bail.  My husband's friends didn't show.  Thank goodness my friend's daughter's softball tournament was cancelled and she and her husband were able to come.  I know it sounds lame and pathetic, but this 1.5 minute performance was important to me. I wanted my friends to come out and support me.  So the fact that my friends who live near Sac couldn't take time out of their lives to come out and watch me really hurt my feelings.  I would have been (and have been) there for them.  They had a month's notice on this.  A few made up excuses at the last minute, one of which I knew was bullshit because that same person had replied to the invite two weeks earlier that they weren't going.  At least be honest about not being there!

So, anyway, the night turned out fine. I loved every minute of being on stage and of dancing and talking with all the Sizzling Sirens (especially my girl crush, Sass Herass, who will be talked about in more detail in my next post) and the other students.  I thoroughly enjoyed walking around in heels,a corset, fishnets and bootie shorts with my butt hanging out (the pictures show me wearing a tutu, but I left that off most of the night).  Where else can an almost-40-year-old woman do that comfortably?

Here are some pictures from the event.  The gorgeous woman kneeling in front is our amazing instructor, Colette Corbeau, now known as Indiana Bones.  To the left, with short blonde hair, is another amazing instructor, Meowie Wowie.  Despite not looking anything alike, two different Sirens mistook me from behind as Meowie.  Sass almost grabbed my ass thinking I was her, which would have been absolutely fine with me.  To the right is a fabulous fellow student, Mona S'Amor, who I'm so glad to have met, even if she is moving out of state next month and abandoning me. She's irritatingly cute AND sewed part of her outfit and had awesome makeup.  I still love her, though!

The other performers didn't actually wear masks.  I'm attempting to protect their identities and
 couldn't figure out how to blur the faces.

Stay tuned for more about my Burlesque experiences.  I'm hoping to get permission from all the participants to post the link from the video soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The A to Z of Me. Then the A to Z of You.

I got this from "A to Z of ME! (You are next!)" which was posted by Beautifully Invisible.  She got it from someone else, and you can link to that from her blog.  While we're talking about Beautifully Invisible, let me say that I've become a follower.  First I created a Damn Twitter account because of her. Now this.  Anyway, she has some great blog tips, so be sure to visit her site if you're interested in or are already blogging.  She also writes about fashion. I'm not a fashionable person so those don't interest me that much.  You'll read about my fear of fashion in a future blog, so let's get back to the A to Z.

A. Age: 37.  Nothing more to say about THAT.

B. Bed size: King. My husband decided recently we needed a bigger bed. I LOVE it. I especially love it when he's not in bed with me because I like to lay diagonally across the bed with my head hidden under the huge king sized pillows.

C. Chore that you hate: All of them.  Seriously. My husband does most of the chores. I'm trying to pitch in more now that I'm not sleeping my life away due to meds and/or depression.  Okay, the ONE chore would be unloading the dishwasher.  I'd rather load it. Don't ask me why. I really don't know.

D. Dogs: None. Our landlord doesn't allow pets. This does not bother me as I'm a horrible pet owner.

E. Essential start to your day: A shower.  I don't function well without a shower first thing in the morning.

F. Favorite color: Red. It's vibrant and bold and eye catching.

G. Gold or Silver: White gold.

My wedding set.  Pretty much the only jewelry I wear.

H. Height: 5'3''.  I love being short.

I. Instruments you play: Flute.  I started with the viola but we moved and the new school didn't have string instruments. I still want to know how to play that instrument.

J. Job title: Nothing too exciting.

K. Kids: Four. Two stepkids and two biological.  Three teens and one younger.  Parenting is one of those things you don't know you suck at or that really don't enjoy until it's too late and then you can't quit.  I love my kids. I just don't love being a parent.

L. Live: Foster the People.  They were great live.  In California.

M. Mother's name: Starts with a B. No, not THAT B word. Sheesh, people, I love my mom.

N. Nicknames: Jock-Strap Heimlich Maneuver.  That's from middle school. Fortunately it didn't stick.  

O. Overnight hospital stays: Having children.  Having kidney stones.  Having a hysterectomy.

P. Pet Peeves: Inconsiderate parkers.  People who leave their carts in the middle of the parking spaces.  Blamers.  Whispering.

Q. Quotes from a movie. "You think I'm gorgeous, you want to kiss me... You want to hug me... You want to love me... You want to hug me... You want to smooch me... You want to..." -- Gracie Heart from Miss Congeniality and "This is the first time I've seen you look ugly, and that makes me happy!" -- Annie in Bridesmaids.

R. Right or left handed: Right.

S. Siblings: One older brother I barely know, three younger brothers I don't see or talk to very often. We're not a really close family, sadly.

T. Time you wake up: 6:20 am on weekday. Well, 2:00 am and 6:20 am.  My body has decided it needs to wake up at 2:00 am every morning for some unknown reason and I can't seem to retrain it.

U. Underwear: Victoria's Secret.  Got some new ones I really like, but I only buy them on sale.

V. Vegetable you hate: I don't really hate any vegetables. I don't like most vegetables, although I like them more when steamed by someone else.  I'll go with peas here. I pretty much never like peas.

W. What makes you run late: I hate being late. HATE IT. If I'm late it almost always is due to my kids or husband or both.

X. X-Rays you've had: Lots.  Teeth, lungs, back...

Y. Yummy food that you make: Sour cream chicken enchiladas.  White chocolate cheesecake.  Libby's Pumpkin Roll.  That's pretty much the extent of my cooking abilities.
Image from

Z. Zoo animal: None. I'm not an animal or zoo person.

Let me know if you decide to answer these so I can read all about YOU!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy Mark

Yep, that's me.  I'm not that gullible person who clicks on every single Facebook scam link no matter how many people tell me it's a scam. I don't fall for the emails from friends who are suddenly traveling in a far off European or Asian country and have been robbed of all their money.  But there are certain things I am now banned from doing.

  1. I am no longer allowed to stop at kiosks in the mall.  This started one Christmas when I was a minutes away from spending $300 on sea salt products.  Let me tell you, those products were amazing.  My husband's hands were smooth as a baby's butt (obviously a baby with no diaper rash), the cream they put under one eye instantly banished the puffiness, and I don't even remember what else was going to come with this $300 purchase. My husband had more sense than I that day and we walked away empty handed. And with one puffy eye and one fabulous looking eye. The next time I was near a kiosk, I bought my oldest daughter one of their incredible flat irons. But they were called straighteners then.  It straightened AND curled. She was begging for a straightener.  How could I possible resist?  Now fortunately for us, the mall was 2.5 hours from where we lived and I hate to drive, so I didn't get there often.  But then we moved very close to a very upscale, fancy schmancy mall.  I still managed to avoid it most of the time until one day I had time on my own and needed something from Victoria's Secret.  Which meant walking by the many kiosks.  And my hair was a mess and the sales girl (yes,she was younger than me by at least 15 years, so she was a girl) just wanted to show me how straight and smooth my hair could be.  Well, my flat iron was on the fritz, my oldest's daughter's had died, my younger daughter had a cheapie one a friend gave me, and graduation was coming up.  So what did I do? Did I buy one of the damn things?  Noooooooo!  I bought three.  Plus a traveling sleeve and a counter top holder for mine. And did I wait for graduation? No. Did I wait for Easter which was only a month away? No. I was too excited. I gave the girls their gifts right away.  So, now I'm not allowed to stop at mall kiosk.
  2. I am no longer allowed to answer my front door.  Over the years I have been convinced to buy foil art prints, encyclopedia sets, packages of meat, newspaper subscriptions (which usually sit in my front driveway and turn yellow because we don't read the paper and I'm not a couponer), pretty much anything a kid is selling for a fundraiser, and most recently a magazine subscription that cost $50.  I promptly discovered I could get the SAME subscription online for about $15.  But the girl pretty much walked right into the house and sat down and started writing it up,she didn't have any orders yet, the money would help her go - well I don't remember where now - and she would pay the shipping fee, so it was really only $35, so yah okay I fell for it. Except I didn't have any cash and if she had to take a check for it then I had to pay the $15 shipping fee as well.  So I wrote a check for $50 and my husband tried to keep his mocking laughter under control in the other room.  Fortunately the next day I looked at the back of the receipt and found I had 7 days to cancel the order. I felt bad for about 30 seconds and then wrote my letter cancelling.  Someone else has to answer the door now.
  3. I am also no longer allowed to attend parties.  You know the type: purse parties, jewelry parties, makeup parties, jean parties, scrapbook parties, whatever else you can sell out of someone's house parties.  I am, actually, much less of an easy mark at these kind of parties. For some reason it's easier to say no to people I know - probably because they know when my budget is super tight and I don't feel bad eating their food and not buying their stuff.  Unfortunately, though, if there's any leeway left in my budget, I'm likely to buy stuff.  I've primarily made purchases at make-up and scrapbook parties.  I don't wear much jewelry, so something has to really catch my eye for me to buy it.  I don't like to cook, so although I'll admire and covet Pampered Chef stuff I'm too cheap to spend that kind of money on things I won't use that often.  The two biggies that got me were a Mary Kay party and a jean party.  The Mary Kay party was great, and I love the product, and not only did I buy lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara, foundation, eye liner, lip liner and blush, I also signed up to be a consultant.  Let me just say that I gave every single person who ordered from me a discount, gave away too many free gifts, and spent more than I earned.  But it was fun.  The jean party was a big surprise. I don't really like jeans (I grew up in Arizona and didn't own a pair of jeans when I moved to northern California my junior year).  I refuse to spend a lot of money on fancy jeans.  I went to the party simply to be sociable and had no plans to purchase anything. And yet somehow I spent $172. On three items: two pairs of jeans and a skirt. I have many justifications for this.  One being I didn't have any jeans with cute little pockets like everyone else in my office and all of the Real Housewives of Placer County wear.  Another being my Old Navy denim skirt was really too short to continue wearing to the office and the new one was much more work appropriate.  Even if it is slightly too big - I love that skirt.  In my own defense, I will say I put back a fourth item.  These were jeans with cute little pockets that brought a cowboy theme to mind.  Apparently my butt looked FABULOUS in them.  But I could pull the waist out far enough to shove a pillow folded in half down the front of my pants.  I enjoy comfort - I don't like skin tight jeans - but these were just over the top too big and I didn't want to spend $67 only to have to attempt to have the jeans altered. And I don't like cowboy themes. So despite some serious pressure to purchase said jeans, I put them back.  And went home to listen to more snickers from my husband as I told him how much I spent. I'll probably still go to parties and spend too much money.
Next time I'll tell you all about my addictive personality.  :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Burlesque and Me

There was a time in my life I contemplated becoming a stripper.  I like to dance, back then my body was in good shape.  I'd split up from my first husband and was making $800 a month.  I needed some cash.  There were no stripclubs nearby, but there was "bikini dancing".  Basically stripping down to a bikini/bra and underwear.  A pole could be involved if you were so inclined.  Perfect, I wouldn't have to get fully naked (a good thing since my breasts and ass looked like they'd been clawed by an angry bear thanks to the joys of pregnancy a few years earlier).

My husband and I were still kind of seeing each other and we decided to go check things out.  Dimly lit room, alcohol, music, a stage with a pole.  We watched a few girls.  They all had nice bodies, a few actually knew how to use the pole,  and some could move their bodies seductively. Others looked bored and stiff.   "I can do this," I thought.  "You can do this," my ex said.  We learned they had an amateur night once a week.  So we went. And I chickened out.  My stripping career was not meant to be...

Fast forward 15 years.  This past year I've gone to three exotic dance classes.  These were fun because they involved a bunch of women in work out clothes drinking and dancing. But I didn't love it. I'd rather go to a club with a good DJ and get my groove on.  I tried pole dancing class. I hated it.  I didn't feel sexy at all, bruised the shit out of my upper arm, and was ready to leave halfway through the class. 

And then came Burlesque. First the movie came out - now my all time favorite movie. Christina Aguilera was amazing. 

I started searching for local classes and found a workshop series and some upcoming performances.  I dragged my husband and friends to watch one of the shows and knew as I watched that this was something I had to try.  I left the show with two new girl crushes and an overwhelming desire to try this out for myself.

Last weekend I went to Burlesque 101: a two-hour introductory class.  I was a nervous wreck.  Let's see, I have social anxiety and I hate driving and here I was headed into downtown Sacramento to a class completely on my own.  The other participants all came with friends, but I didn't have any friends.  Well, not any friends who were willing to give up a Sunday afternoon to take Burlesque 101 with me.

 "I shouldn't be here.  I'll look like an idiot trying to do it. Look at that girl. She obviously has dance experience.  Only dancers stretch like that.  Oh, look at those two. They even came dressed in fishnets and vests. I do not belong here.  I'm an idiot for thinking I can do this."  That was my internal conversation for about 25 minutes, since I showed up 15 minutes early and we started 10 minutes late waiting for some stragglers.

We sat in a circle, introduced ourselves, and told everyone what brought us there.  I was feeling a little more comfortable.  The instructor/owner explained her Burlesque philosophy and explained that the dancing is about us and nobody else.  We were instructed to look ourselves in the eyes in the mirror and to touch ourselves the way we want a lover to touch us. She explained that we needed to let our bodies guide us.  If her arm was straight up and ours wanted to go to the side, then go to the side.  This wasn't cheerleading where everything must be sharp and the same.   This was sounding better and better.

Then the music started and we began stretching and I knew I was going to love it.  I can't explain what happens to me when I hear certain music.  My mood instantly improves and my hips start moving.  My kids find it really embarrassing. My favorite act during the show we watched was one where there was a puppet master and puppet. It was an amazing act.  When they get the video posted I'll link it here.  It blew me away. And when the song played that night, I turned to my husband and told him I absolutely had to do Burlesque.  When it played during class I was certain that this would not be my last class.  It's "Sail" by Awolnation.  I have to touch myself and dance when I hear this song.  I was in heaven the entire two hours of the class.  At one point we were all practicing and the instructor forgot where she was.

"I was watching YOU and lost track of what I was doing," she exclaimed pointing at me.  I laughed nervously but was really flattered. 

After the class was over, she called me over and gave me the CD we'd been listening to and told me she knew how hard it was to go to something like this alone and that she really hoped I'd come back.  So what did I do? I immediately went home and signed up for their 4-week performance workshop series.  I start this Thursday and on October 7 I'll perform at Fishnet Friday with the rest of my classmates.

I'm probably crazy.  There's a good chance I'll make a total idiot of myself.  But it's been a really long time since I lost myself in something and enjoyed it so much.  I'd given up on feeling excited about anything.  So, here I go.  Wish me luck!