I'm just really grateful that I'm not under as much pressure as the woman who works at Danceworks--And her husband. I was there today, just lookin' for some new leotards and trying on leg warmers. What?
I mean, my occasional job of teaching writing to college students is not without it's pressures and responsibilities--not the least of which is really being sure when I talk at length in class about Michael Stipe's intentions in the song "Losing My Religion."
Letters of recommendation are sort of important and proofreading stuff for students or helping them write admissions essays seems important, but we all know that no one reads that junk. Once a pre-med student enrolled in my class to prepare for the written part of the MCAT. Boy did he surprise me at the end of the semester with the good news that he had abandoned his dream of medical school to pursue a Master's degree in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric! What can I say, my enthusiasm for my subject is contagious. And rhetoric does lay at the heart of every worthwhile pursuit. . . Still, I did feel just a little like vomiting when he told me. Gulp. "Are you shuh-sh-shsh-shuh-sh-sh-shuh sure?"
But all of that is NOTHING compared to what I heard at Danceworks today. I couldn't believe it. I was waiting for Maggie to try on a pink leotard and overheard the owner of the store talking to someone on the phone as she scrutinized the taps on the bottom of a bright white, men's clogging shoe. Once she had gathered the information from the expert and, apparently, veteran tap installer on the phone she called her husband who, apparently, has recently started installing (applying? adorning? bestowing?) the taps onto shoes for her clogging customers.
She told him that, according to the expert she had just consulted, her client--the soon to be owner of the white shoes with new taps--would be learning a move whereupon he used the backs of his heels. I'm going to venture a guess here and say this move is some kind of a "chug" for those of you familiar with clogging terminology. Because of these chugs, the tap has to be a quarter of an inch above the rubber edge of the shoe, instead of right on the edge of the shoe--for traction. Or else--and this is the startling responsibility with which I could not live--"He'll go down."
"Yeah," she repeated to her husband who was, undoubtedly, beginning to sweat on the other end of the line, "He'll go down."
I like to think I'm semi-reliable--like I would come through in a pinch. But the pressure of knowing that the possibility of a clogging man in new white shoes "going down" rested upon my application of a tap within a quarter of an inch of the all-important rubber sole is probably something I would buckle under. It's just too, too much.