When I was just a girl, I had it in my head that I wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for something. I probably was watching too much of the Brady Bunch or something. Just what would be my claim to fame? That didn’t matter as much as just being in there. I was young. I had that going for me. I would go for being the youngest at doing something.
I was already the youngest person in my grade in Woodland Elementary. I somehow managed to start kindergarten when I was four by wowing the school with my ability to read and write my ABCs and counting to 99. The concept of something being more than 100 didn’t click back then.
In fifth or sixth grade, I can’t remember except the fact that Mr. Zoschg was my English teacher and mentor at the time, I decided I would be the youngest published author. I set out to write a novel about a teddy bear named Annabelle. I also sent in the mail for a test on How to Become an Author, or some such name from a magazine clipping found at the laundromat. At the time, I felt it was so meant to be. I mean I never would have set foot in that laundromat if it didn’t have that oversize washer for my mother to wash our comforters and I never would have stumbled across that ad had I not had to endure the wash and dry cycle with no entertainment other than women’s magazines. I did the test and sent it away for my results. The results? Too young, keep writing and try back when you are older.
Next attempt at semi-stardom was to enter a contest which will come as no surprise to you that know me. I entered a cake baking and decorating contest which was to be judged by the superintendent of our school district. My bright idea was to make a gingerbread house out of gingerbread. I made three 9×9 pans of gingerbread and assembled it into the heaviest cake you ever saw. I won! Not because it was anything amazing, it wasn’t. I got an honorable mention for being the youngest entrant in the competition. The attempt was honorable and may have deserved the mention, but I will never forget hearing the superintendent comment on what a heavy cake it was.
My follow-up in the area of contests was a disco competition. Yes, you read that right, disco competition. I must have been in junior high and was spending all my time at my friend’s house listening to her older sister’s records and creating dance routines. Once a year our town had a carnival and Old Home Week full of activities, one of which was a dance competition. Debbie and I were so ready for this. We got out our hairspray and our disco clothes – I think mine was a purple vest over black stretchy pants and a skinny scarf as an accessory. We had only our moves learned from many weekends of watching Solid Gold and Soul Train, but the competition was fierce with couples who had real practice weekly at the Vet’s Club on the other side of town. We were, you guessed it, the youngest ones in the dance contest and probably the first in elimination. At least we got to walk around the carnival the rest of the night in our fancy get-up as our consolation.
Here we are, much, much later, still trying to succeed in our attempts. I am here writing for my life (okay, overexaggeration) and Debbie, just yesterday, announced that she has an interview for a job she has been yearning for. She is so ready for this interview. She has finally found something to fully utilize her qualifications and the spirit of someone ready to strut, bump and twirl through another challenge. So to Debbie I say:
Fly, Lady, Fly! Up, up, to the sky!
Good luck, girlfriend!