Here’s Rob McRay’s understory from our March 2017 theme “School Days”
Tonight, Nashville, we went back to school.
We remembered the profound truth that childhood school days made us who we are. We remembered hanging our coat on the floor, and strange aliens, and strangely dark songs, and dolls with complexes, and a second-grade Casanova…maybe that’s why we need counseling.
We came perfectly prepared to the first day of school, and met Mrs. Amazon Doubtfire. Our green smiley faces gave way to broken crayons and statues on toilets and wet pants—and getting into trouble for doing exactly what we were told!
We realized that a cold was cancer, and we were going to lose our loud Italian mother. We returned to a hair-covered apartment and tried to lose our minds by immersing ourselves in stuffy, esoteric subjects taught by a golden-haired bag lady…and we learned that it’s ok not to be ok.
We were the new kid in our seventh school, when snickering boys with lurid imaginations pushed us over the edge. Our tiny fists pounded the male pride out of the bully—but the bully’s bully father knocked the fight out of us.
We took our first college road trip to a girls school with 700 women! A night on a laundromat massage bed led to wading in the snow to a summer house, and to monthly phone calls, and our best friend became our best man. And 52 years later we “remember long after Saturday’s gone.”
In high school, we met a west side redneck punk rocker, but we were seeking acceptance in a north side “service club.” After kissing an elephant and having Heet improperly applied, we sat in an icy creek and realized that friendship shouldn’t be this hard.
A snow day gave us time to plot our escape from the grief of rejection from a high school club. And off we went to an adventure at New York boarding school. But our last big night at the frozen yogurt shop led to answered prayer with a chocolate-covered wallet—and the realization that we must live with an ironically ungraceful name.
Bullies and a teacher who couldn’t see sent us to a dairy farm private school, where theater melting exercises and stampeding cattle led to a desire to live, and to write…and to an irrational fear of cows.
Getting dumped by a girl led to taking confession at a Victoria’s Secret and having our sexual identity mistaken. We studied why were driven to study women…maybe it had something to do with sixth-grade witchcraft in a sweater vest.
Those were our school days.
Thanks to all who told stories–Cherie, Katy, Colleen, Grace, Katy, Bill, John, Christopher, and Darlene. Join us for TWO Tenx9s in April: April 19th with Meharry Medical college on stories of healthcare, and on April 24th for our theme “Trouble.” Send us your story proposal here!