It's Saturday. And around here that means dance class. Or should I say, "dance class." Maren goes to an Orff music class at the local high fallutin' dance company. It's actually not really a dance class so much as place to learn about rhythm and sound. It's really kind of a feeder program into the high fallutin' ballet program.
Being the big important dance company that it is, I'm always pleased to see that they spend company money where they should: on excellent instruction. I can tell that because the parent's waiting areas are... well... less prioritized.
There are two rooms for the parents: one with couches and coffee tables where people can talk and socialize and have small children, and a quiet room. The couches all sink nearly to the ground. It's kind of fun to see how low each spot on each couch will go. But I avoid the couch room--being the unapproachable, bitchy type, I don't like to be forced into banal, uninteresting small talk. Besides, I can do all the people-watching I want from the quiet room, so why would I put myself in the middle of all of that hullybully?
The quiet room is filled with plastic chairs and tables. And there's a missing ceiling tile that reveals a rusty bit of duct work and a bucket. Every time I see that I think to myself how glad I am that this premiere dance school spends it's money on instruction.
The parents are what make the waiting areas the most interesting. There's an unstated pissing contest going on. Who's the most cerebral, who's the calmest with their unruly child, who's the most on-time. Everyone seems to be trying to outdo everyone else at being perfectly normal. Even the knitters: who has the funnest yarn (yes, I said funnest!) or the most interesting pattern or can knit the fastest. It's a very competitive group. VERY competitive. But nobody would ever admit to it. Dear god, nobody would even begin to acknowledge it. But there's no escaping the competition in that room.
Today I had to sit in a different spot in the quiet room. No big deal for me. I like sitting someplace new every time I go. But I had to sit at the table where a dad sits every week. He likes to sit in the same chair and he likes to sit alone.
I think he's a psychiatrist. His coffee mug has the name of a psychiatric firm on it and he seems more like a doctor than a patient. And he always has this journal with him that he reads/writes in. But today, I could tell it totally freaked him out that I was sitting at his table when he got there. But he made do.
He sat down and read in his journal. He even very quietly chuckled to himself at something in the journal at one point. The most noise the good doctor had made up until then. Until a few minutes later.
As I was sitting crocheting I felt a horrible bout of gas coming on. (I know, you don't want to know that about me, but it's important for the story.) The entire time I sat through dance class today in the quiet room next to the good doctor, right next to the good doctor, I was fighting the urge to pass gas. With every bit of strength in my body I was fighting that urge. Fighting that urge. Because I would die if I farted in public. Great god and odsbodikins. I. Would. Die.
Wrapt in my own private hell, tormented by the likelihood that, at any second, I was about to create my own worst fear, I heard something I could not believe: the good doctor farted. And loudly. Very loudly. He did it. It wasn't me.
I am very proud to report that not one person in the room acknowledged the event. Noone even flinched. We were such grown-ups! But the rest of the time in that room all I could think was, "Don't let me be Dr. Fart Boy, too."
I made it. I survived the time in the quiet room with no embarrassing outbursts. I feel that it was some sort of grand achievement, but while I'm proud of it, I don't know that I'll actually go around bragging.