What can I say? My first triple date with the men of A Ride to the End went so well that I decided to accompany them to a Quaker meetinghouse in Delaware County to see what it is that they actually do when they’re not busy serenading their hosts’ daughters. (Apparently they actually asked my parents what sort of music I like in preparation for Thursday afternoon’s lunch date! Is that smooth or what?)
Admittedly, I wasn’t in the best mood when we all piled into my mom’s Volkswagen last night. Between the Wedding Date’s busy schedule, dinner with Date #6 on Thursday night and Date #7’s rather ardent campaign to reclaim the lion’s share of my affections, I’ve spent the past week practically glued to my cell phone.
(A word of advice to all would-be serial daters out there: don’t. At least not unless you’re independently wealthy and can afford to devote ALL of your time to your “anthropological” endeavors.)
I’m also choreographing a 30-student tap production number for this year’s competition season, for which I’m requiring the majority of the dancers to purchase high heeled tap shoes. It’s not difficult (1.5” high heeled tap shoes for the younger girls; 2.5” for the older, which is fairly standard operating procedure in the tap community) but judging by the number of questions, emails, texts and Facebook messages I’ve received from their parents, you’d think I’d ask them to make their daughters tap shoes.
Needless to say, I wasn’t really in the mood to hear about the war in Afghanistan or A.R.T.T.E.’s Bikes Not Bombs program or anything with the power to put the daily minutia of my life as a serial-dating-dance-teacher into perspective… but I went—and holy sh*t.
Approximately three minutes into their presentation, I realized I was going to need a tissue. Lots of tissues, actually. In fact, a whole freakin’ role of paper towels, so I excused myself to the ladies room and came back with an entire wad of extra-quilted something or other. (Is it just me or do Quaker meetinghouses always seem to come well stocked with high quality, super absorbent paper towels?)
I’d offered to film the presentation for the A.A.R.T.E. website but approximately fifteen minutes in, I’d filled the entire memory card of the camera I was using. (My intent was to capture only the “important parts” but when you’ve got an Afghan vet just a few years older than yourself talking about his journey from paratrooper to peace activist, his younger brother’s decision to join the military and the incredibly complex relationship between the varying occupying forces vying for power in Afghanistan, it’s nothing but “important parts.”)
Twenty minutes later, I was planning to renounce my worldly possessions and hit the road. (We discovered, during some post-date shenanigans under I-95, that I’m actually quite adept at two-person bike riding.)
But then I remembered that the men of A.A.R.T.E. travel lightly. Very lightly. Banjos and laptops and sleeping bags don’t leave much room for stilettos. Or dresses. Or serial dating. Also, they don’t always know where there next meal is going to come from or where they’ll be sleeping that night and as one who relies upon Excel spreadsheets to plan her more “spontaneous” adventures, I can’t stand not knowing exactly when I’m going to be doing and when I’m going to be doing it. (Come to think of it, this is one of the reasons I have so little patience for Date #7… but that’s another story for another time. I can only handle so much self-improvement in one 24-hour period).
As much as I’d like to dust off my ol’ CodePink gear, get a bike and totally pimp it out in the name of peace and understanding (peace signs… doves… way-cool streamers made from the blue cloth the Afghan youth wear to symbolize the fact that we all live under the same blue sky…), I don’t know that my decorative skills would provide the needed support to the A.R.T.T.E collective. Plus I can’t play the banjo. Also I’m not into shitake mushrooms, and I have nearly 150 students under my care for the duration of the school year so this is probably not the best time to go all Siddhartha (or Gandhi, or Mother Theresa).
But I did start thinking… and I’m thinking that high-heeled tap shoes are not really the be-all and end-all of the universe. I’m also thinking that it’s high time to stop being such a sunshine patriot and get my *ss down to D.C. next month (especially as the A.R.T.T.E. fellas will be there, and as I confessed during a particularly poignant moment during last night’s post-presentation talk back/ideologue session “Umm… you guys are all really hot.”)
In conclusion, you gotta love a date that makes you think (especially if it comes with a serenade and vegan chocolate peanut butter something-or-other.)
And on that note, I’m off to call a certain someone to ascertain his views on the US occupation of Afghanistan because such things have suddenly become important to me again and I’m kind of hoping they’re important to him too.
To J, J and R: wishing you the very best on your continued journey and I still want my bracelet! I promise I will do something very pretty with it 🙂