My super fun friend Jay asked me to take a personality test one day. I’m up for any test where I get to answer questions about myself, and that I don’t have to study for. It was only one question: If you could describe yourself as a shape, which would it be? Square, Circle, Triangle, Squiggly line. My first impression was, This is a stupid test. How the heck can I …….Interrupted by my exclamation of Squiggle! It doesn’t seem at all reasonable to match yourself up to a shape, but because I’m really good at not delving too deep into any topic and asking silly questions..it took me 3 seconds.
I evidently said the right thing, because my friend enthusiastically concurred. As it turns out, Squiggles are happy people, but hopelessly unorganized. They jump onto bandwagon after bandwagon, only to sneak off the back when no one is looking. Ideas are plentiful for the Squiggle. Unfortunately though, only a handful actually ever pan out. As she’s reading the definition to me, I start to wonder if the unidentified car that I seem to always see near my house and while driving around our small town could actually be these personality experts. They’ve been looking to observe a Squiggle in her natural habitat…and hit the jackpot when they found me. It’s the only explanation for this dead-on description of my personality Jay is reciting from her book.
A month ago, my dear daughter Violet asked me to learn a piano accompaniment piece for her solo that she will be performing in a couple of weeks. In true Squiggle form, I heartily agreed. Without looking at the music. Now, just so you know, I am a pretty darn good piano player. Or at least I used to be. Once upon a time, I studied under one of the best pianists in the country. How she ended up in our tiny town of 100 people, I will never know…..but I do tend to be a very lucky person. Good things happen to me all the time without any effort on my part.
She did what all good teachers do: She inspired me. She gave me help, but not too much. She waved beautiful pieces of music in front of me like European chocolates that I couldn’t wait to devour. My mom never had to ask me to practice. My piano was therapy after a long day of navigating my way through friends, teachers and school. It was a counselor to me when I couldn’t figure out tricky things like what dress to choose for prom. And I’ve never been without it. We have moved approximately thirty-two times since college. And my beloved piano’s been moved that many times right along with us…by my husband, and by pretty much him alone. The one occasion in which I tried to help, I dropped my side, causing him to curse loudly and complain of a squashed foot. He released me from duty at that point, and I’ve never been asked again. I don’t think Edward would have minded my piano following us as we traipsed across the country, but it is rather large, and heavy…as pianos tend to be.
The sad truth is, it sits silent all too often these days. I don’t have my encouraging teacher anymore, enticing me to learn new pieces. I have 3 kids that keep me in a constant state of happy distraction, and a husband that actually seems to enjoy spending time with me. For all those reasons, I haven’t kept my skill level up, and the day I lackadaisically pulled out the accompaniment piece that Violet had brought home, my palms started to sweat, and my face got all flushy. O dear Lord. It’s too hard for me! And displaying loyal Squiggle behavior…I placed it on my piano, to be dealt with…………………………later. I should point out here, that a SQUARE would have sat down that very second and worked on the piece until it was mastered, stopping only to pee. I know because I’m married to a square.
Yesterday, I was whining and complaining, and otherwise persuading one of my lovely friends that there is just no way I can do this piano piece. She nodded her head sympathetically, and said things like..of course you can’t! I don’t know any other MOMS that accompany their child. And just like that, I let myself off the hook. I’ve done some research, and found that it would be no problem whatsoever to hire a pianist for Violet. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Good. Problem solved. It was just too much for me. No one expects me to be able to do such a thing.
Except my daughter. And expect isn’t exactly the right word. If I dare to guess at the inner workings of her heart, I would say she might be pleased to have her Mom accompany her. She’s an unusual child, and doesn’t show any of the normal signs of being embarrassed by her mother. I may go as far as to say, she seems proud of me. I’m not sure that I deserve that honor, as I often show up to get her at school with my hair haphazardly thrown up in a ponytail and donning my ratty sweats that usually have paint on them. I laugh loudly, and a lot of the time it’s punctuated with a snort on the end…and have been known to do so in front of her friends. I post on her Facebook wall with reckless abandon. But still..she claims me. This goes into the category of unexplained things, like crop circles, and algebra.
And so. My gift for today, will be learning that piano piece. I will not call Mrs. Hathaway down the street, who could play Mr. Telleman’s March with one hand behind her back. I will do it myself, for my daughter…. but maybe for myself too. I’ve missed my piano, and I need some counseling come to think of it. Like…what to wear to The Jimmy Buffett Concert I happen to be going to on Saturday. (Did I say that casually? I’m tryin to be all smooth..but..JIMMY BUFFET!!) I will tell you all about it. Or not. We Squiggles are a tad undependable. 🙂
P.S. So what are you? A square, circle, triangle, or squiggle line? I’d love to hear!