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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parades, Batons, and Miniature Ponies

I hate parades. Ok I mostly hate parades. I kind of like the little miniature ponies with their little miniature saddles and the little miniature people riding them down the street. But that's all. I would be happy to never hear the Salvation Army band play the "Be kind to your web footed friends, for a duck may be somebody's mother" song again. My mom on the other hand loves parades and a New Year's Day does not pass that she doesn't ask me if I want to go to watch the Rose Parade in Pasadena. (What a horrible way to start off a new year, don't you think? My answer is always "No!" unless there is some sort of bribe involved.)

Well, this weekend my mom and I were on a miniature (yes, just like the ponies) road trip and we were wearing miniature saddles and miniature people were riding us down the street. Wait that's not right... We pulled into a hotel in a small town that we had never heard of to sleep at for the night, and we awoke the next day and checked out of our room only to find a parade going on outside our hotel. I saw the excitement in my mom's eyes, but she was trying to hide it as the police officer who was blocking the hotel exit approached us and explained that in order to leave we would need to wait for a small break in the action and then have a police car escort us through the parade route. My mom was no longer hiding the excitement. She was beaming. We were going to be in the parade. Great.

You should probably know, that when I was a child my mom signed me up for just about every kind of class imaginable. This is much appreciated, because it quickly separated my strengths from my weaknesses. So what, gymnastics and ballet and tap and dance of any kind and drama and most of the recreational sports (ok all of them!) are not exactly where I've been gifted. And I'm fine with that. Really, who needs back handsprings or intricate dance moves or athletic stuff. Not me. Well, my mom also signed me up for baton...you know those terribly cheesy stick twirlers that wear bright leotards with ruffles and orange colored nylons and march at the beginning of a parade. Those cheesy stick twirlers that have a plastic smile and when they toss the baton way up in the air and as it spins and spins back down towards them, you secretly cross your fingers that it will hit them in the mouth and knock out their front teeth and ruin the whole parade. Don't tell me I'm the only one hoping for that, you know you feel the same. Anyway, I think my mom signed me up for baton because she loves parades and wanted me to be in one.

Before we knew it we were getting a real life police escort (with flashing lights and all!) down the middle of the parade route, right between a high school marching band and an old vintage car that was probably carrying the mayor (not to be confused with John Mayer, who I would have been honored to share the parade route with). There we were. My mom in the driver's seat, smiling and nodding to the crowd as we passed, and me, in the passenger seat, first trying to hide under my seat but quickly embracing the opportunity to preform a dramatic beauty queen wave for the crowd. (By the way, it's all about the elbow.) I have to admit it was pretty cool and I kind of wish I hadn't quit baton. Wait, did I quit baton? I don't remember how my relationship with baton ended but for all I know the teacher may have asked my mom to pull me from the class because I messed up really badly during a group recital at City Hall when I was six. (I was a 3 count behind everyone else.)

Well, at least this weekend I was able to fulfill my mom's dream of me starring in a parade and I'm happy with the outcome. I didn't even have to wear bright orange nylons or knock out my front tooth. I just wish I could have gotten the a picture with a little miniature horse and it's little miniature saddle and it's little miniature jockey. I guess there's always The Rose Parade...