Monday, December 13, 2010

What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud?

I posted this as my status Saturday night on Facebook, and several of my friends responded, telling me about the random acts of kindness they had performed that day. The things they had done ranged from humorous to sweet, and I was reminded again why social networking is fun.

I had to chuckle, though, because when I posted it, I was watching the finale of my very first drag show. The evening had been a revelation, an adventure, inspirational even, and without a doubt the most fun I've had in a very long time.

Four of my good friends, all teachers, and I decided about a month ago that it had been a long stressful semester, and that we needed a girls' weekend to blow off steam. So we planned a shopping excursion to a large outlet mall in southern Indiana. Then Pam, who seems to have a nose for sniffing out a good time, suggested we hit a drag show in Louisville. None of us had ever been to one before, but The Connection's show came highly recommended by several of Pam's Louisville-based friends.

The five of us are all open-minded, but as soon as we told folks our plans, our motives came under fire. Were we going to laugh at the drag queens? To mock them?

When I told one friend that paying my money to see the show was actually a form of support, he said, "Kathy, you are not going to a drag show to make the world a better place."

I responded, "I'm on the front lines of making the world a better place EVERY DAY!"

Regardless of the questions, our motives were pure. We were admittedly curious, but we were going to be entertained, to have a good time. And oh holy cow! We were, and we did!

We shopped for seven hours, so when we arrived at our hotel in Louisville, we were already on a post-shopping high. We were actually giddy, like twelve year old girls having a slumber party. We had momentarily escaped the pressures and stress of our daily lives. Nothing seemed over the top, not even being carded at the front door. (A couple of us have kids old enough to get into the place.)

I'm not gonna lie, though. In spite of our spirit of adventure, my jaw dropped several times during the show. Then, since my mouth was already open, I screamed my approval. Seriously, is there anything more fun than the outrageous? My friends were right there with me. We might have been the loudest group at the show.

At one point, Hurricane Summers, the hostess of the show, invited all the birthdays and brides to the front. She interviewed one young bride-to-be who said she was in school, studying to be a teacher. Almost as if choreographed in advance, my friends and I yelled, "NOOOOOOO!" (I wasn't joking about the stressful Hurricane turned her attention our way and asked if we were all teachers. "Yes! High school teachers!"

Once we outed ourselves as educators, we had a steady stream of people stop by to talk to us, shake our hands, or hug us.

"Thank you so much for coming!"

"We really appreciate your support."

"High school sucked for me. I wish I had teachers like you guys who would've had my back."

Wow. Just wow. I hope I deserve that. I don't tolerate bullying of any kind in my classroom, but I hope I deserve that. When the gals did a rendition of Heather Small's "Proud," I felt compelled to post the lyrics.

We made a lot of new friends, danced our butts off, and laughed so hard I felt like I had done sit-ups the next day. I could write a whole blog post on the unisex bathrooms. The first time I used them, I was wide-eyed and a little uncomfortable. By the end of the night, I was standing in line chatting casually with both boys and girls.

Sunday morning, the five of us curled up in our pj's and shared pictures and stories...and laughed some more. Pam has photographic evidence that I literally danced all front of the stage, in my chair, with the waiter...and I apparently can't dance unless my arms are in the air. Linda was horrified to remember that she ate a whole Jimmie John's sub at 3:30 in the morning. Tammy was pleased that the boots she bought at the outlet mall received high praise in the unisex bathroom.

When the snow melts and we get back to school, I will be reinvigorated...ready to face the last crazy days until the winter break. Nothing like a girls' weekend to recharge the batteries. We're already planning the next one. I'm leaving you with Heather Small's song. Imagine a tall, leggy blonde pointing into the crowd and asking, "What have you done today to make you feel proud?"

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