Here’s Rob McRay’s understory from January 2019’s theme “The First Time.”

Tonight, Nashville, was our first time.

We spent our first Southern Christmas without oddly wrapped socks or a “What’s-a-Jew-65 - The First Timeto-Do Party.” But we helped Nanny with the gravy, opened an athiest’s search for Jesus, and cherished her favorite cookbook.

We went to our first Hanukkah party on a jaded road trip with a pornstar, where we had a God-arranged date to Abilene, and got a goodie bag from a surprising place…that seemed to surprise no one.

We had our first psychedelic experience at the legendary hippy refugee camp, where our spiritual awakening turned out to be hurling zucchini; and we left the disappointed Deadheads to go listen to CSN in the a/c.

We remembered our first images of beauty, when we saved our lunch money for a magic hair potion and learned that being “black black” wasn’t attractive. But in time we learned to wear our natural hair and agreed with his compliments…even if he was kind of stupid.

We took our first joy ride in a stolen family minivan, when we tore up the yard and raced around at an astonishing 15 miles-an-hour! But our new sense of self nearly cost us our greatest ally—and it wasn’t worth it.

In our first year of teaching, a gallon of cheese balls revealed that 7th graders lack integrity. We struggled through a culturally insensitive kimono hole and gave Spanish instructions about finding trash—only to hear again that fateful chant.

After growing up in a very Baptist town with no bars or Catholics, we experienced our first Mass, wearing highly inappropriate footwear and being inappropriately grateful for the moon-sized wafer. But we have learned to receive a gentle blessing and say, “Amen.”

For the first time we took charge of our own happiness and reversed societal roles—then hid in the Phantom’s darkness. Rereading the Instagram led to a roller coaster ride of emotion, but now we are content waiting for the right person.

The first time we had a gun pulled on us we were on beach just 50 miles from horror, when a creepy soldier invaded our space and questioned our vocabulary—and we came to wonder, “What is an acceptable reason for war?”


Thanks to Natasha, Paul, Josh, Sally, Emma, Deena, Karla, Brad, and Jenny for such great stories! Join us February 25 for our next night, with stories on “Whoops.” Got a story? Let us know here!

66 - whoops

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One comment

  1. Got Rob’s story. On Jan 29, 2019 10:33 AM, “Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling” wrote:

    > tenx9nashville posted: “Here’s Rob McRay’s understory from January 2019’s > theme “The First Time.” Tonight, Nashville, was our first time. We spent > our first Southern Christmas without oddly wrapped socks or a > “What’s-a-Jew-to-Do Party.” But we helped Nanny with the gravy, open” >

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