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September 14, 2016

Wannabes

From the time we are kids, life seems to make us “wannabe” something that we will probably never be. We might “wannabe” the kid who gets picked first by his classmates to play on a team. Or we might “wannabe” popular, pretty, handsome or thin. But as we grow up we realize that wishing doesn’t make it so.
A conversation with some friends over coffee got us laughing about the things we didn’t do well in life. A true sign of security is the ability to laugh at oneself. Everyone at the table seemed to have it.
See if any of my “wannabes” are like yours. If they are not, reflect on the ones in your own life and smile as you remember them.
As a grade school student I was not musically inclined but I tried my best to play the clarinet. I wanted to be in the school band and march in parades. I could play the required songs but my sense of rhythm was sorely lacking. All band members were told to take a half-step when our feet were not in line with the rest of the band. In our first parade my parents watched me take half-steps for practically the entire parade route. As my father said, “They were all out of step but Mary Ellen!”
I was persistent in my musical endeavors and tried the piano. I practiced in the cellar. You wouldn’t think a neighbor would be bothered by music bouncing off our cellar walls, with no windows open, but apparently that was not so. Our next door neighbor called my mother and asked that I stop playing, as I was giving her a migraine!
Another “wannabe” came in high school when it was suggested that we take home economics classes. I thought I would be able to make my own clothes. I was probably the worst student in the class. My pillowcases were lopsided and when we moved on to skirts I handstitched the hem to my uniform and had to be given a late note for my next class as I unstitched it. My mistakes got everyone laughing … except the teacher!
I also wanted to be in the glee club in high school because my friends were. I knew I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life, but I tried out anyway. When I was a freshman I was told to come back next year because my voice hadn’t changed. (Isn’t that a “guy thing”?) This rejection pattern followed for the next two years. In my senior year I finally asked if I could “lip sync.” That didn’t work either!
When my met my future husband over 40 years ago I wanted to take part in the sports he enjoyed—skiing and tennis. Our first date was on the tennis court and I kept hitting the ball into another court. I said “sorry” so many times I lost count. Skiing didn’t go much better. In order to get down the trail I had to ski from one side to the other … passing in front of those taking a nice schuss down the middle of the trail.
In spite of those failed “wannabes” he married me. However, our winter sport became snowshoeing and we never played tennis again. I am sure everyone who had a previous encounter with me is glad of that!
I envy people who are handy with things. I always wanted to be one of them. That “wannabe” phase went like this. During my working days coworkers had to un-jam the copier countless times after I used it. They also had to open locked cabinet doors to get supplies after I would come back into the office emptyhanded. Perhaps my worst offense was not being able to open the office vault. I would turn the dial to all the required numbers, left and right, and then to the “magic number” that should open the door. It never did! Guess I will never be accused of robbing a bank safe!
In case you didn’t know, it takes two people to feed a cat when a friend goes away. At least it does when I am asked. One person unlocks the door (that would be my husband) and the other (that would be me) feeds the cat. At least I am consistent. It’s the same at every house. Nobody has a lock that works for me.
There is a very definite pattern here and it started at a young age. The intellectual part of my brain has always worked far better than the part that controls my hands and feet. While you are doing any of the things mentioned above I will be working on Sudoku, Cryptoquote or a crossword puzzle, the harder, the better! As long as my hands or feet are not involved, success will prevail.
As you look back at your failed “wannabes” I hope you find some humor in them. Then congratulate yourself on your strong points. People will envy you for them, just as you envy others for theirs.

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