When a young child calls you on her mother’s cell phone to invite you to be her “special friend” at school next day, naturally, you’re honored… until you find out that you have to get up at the crack of dawn. Not exactly the crack for most people, but since I’ve become addicted to Mr. Ferguson… 8:00 am is early for me… but, trust me, I’m working on re-setting my rhythmic clock… TIVO would go a long way to solving the problem as might a regular job!
So, not one to let down a child, let alone a smart, hip, adorable one at that, I roused myself, fixed the old face and hair-do and went to her darling, private school...
I’d been forewarned that I would be interviewed in front of the class. Now, I have to admit that I had a wee bit trepidation about this, my imaginings running to James Lipton-type questions in front of a roomful of eight-year olds… Why, James, my favorite profanity is f**k and I like to use it liberally. My all-time favorite word is Zambezi… don’t ask me what it means; I just like how it sounds, along with bamboozle and, now that you mention it, martini. What would I do for a living if I wasn’t… ? Well, actually, what living? I would love to earn a living!
Worse, I was preparing answers to philosophical questions like my advice on life…
Thankfully, the interview was conducted quietly in a corner while others around us were doing their own interviews and none of the questions were of a philosophical nature… unless of course when asked, “what is your favorite color?” you have a philosophy, which I do… right up there with Johnny Cash, I guess.
When asked if I knew a good joke, I had to repeat the one I’d heard just yesterday… it went over like a bad facelift. Oh, no, that was the joke… you know, the one where the woman gets run over by a car and dies. She then complains to God, “you told me I had another forty years!” to which God replies, “Girl, I didn’t even recognize you!”
The kicker had to be, “what jobs have you had?” Well… fish pickler, Internet Director, movie producer, writer, interior designer, teacher, were just a few I picked out of my hat… and, yes, I’ve done all of these.
We had our photograph taken, so now I have a nice Polaroid memento of the occasion, which I duly scanned and turned into a thank you card for her.
We, grandparents and special friends (for children who don’t have grandparents, either alive (I suppose) or in the neighborhood) were then shuttled to the gymnasium and given a treat of a performance by the musicians of the school. It was utterly charming and I sat next to a lovely grandmother (I think the only African-American represented) and had a nice chat about her exercise program and the benefits of yoga. Heck, she used to be able to balance her body horizontally off the floor with the support of her arms, which is way more than I can do! I told her that muscle has memory and if she could do it before, with some practice she’ll be able to do it again. “I’m inspired,” she said.
Well, I was inspired by the talent and energy of the young folks. It was a beautiful start to the day… and it sure feels wonderful to be somebody wonderful’s special friend.