Tea & Strumpets

I have come to two conclusions this week, both of which are preposterous. Both conclusions also involve me recognizing things that irk me, and--for those that know me--that isn't a terrible surprise. As those people will tell you, "Everything annoys [Dawn.]" Yes, I do have many pet peeves, irritants, annoyances...whatever you would like to call them. Basically, I am a Negative Nancy that either flat-out dislikes something or shows no interest in an activity other than what I am used to or have done before.

However, I have found that I am greatly enjoying assisting with PC TAG this week, and it is something I have never done before. Granted, I am teaching middle-school-aged children how to do Shakespeare improvisation, which I find completely fascinating. "All right," I said to a group of kids on Monday. "Here is your situation--" I drew a small strip of paper from a manila envelope I had previously prepared--"Two of you are Romeo and Juliet. You are the proud owners of a brand spanking NEW.....Slip 'N Slide! ............GO!" (One of the better situations involved the students dropping something valuable while wearing an incredibly obscene ruff that they could neither see around or take off.)


I wouldn't completely say that PC TAG is an exception to my agnosticism-s. After all, I did Speech (aka Drama) in high school, and am currently a Theater major. So I'm not completely out of my element. Sometimes it seems like the kids are, though. Even though we (the instructor, another assistant and myself) run through both the Shakespearean and modern English translations, read them a summary of what they are supposed to act out, and then feed them lines, many have yet to participate fully. Hopefully tomorrow--the day we film their antics--they will be better behaved, better prepared, and ready to astound us. If not, then their rendition of A Comedy of Errors will truly be one.

Speaking of the students, this brings me to my first irritant. Now, we (said instructor, assistant and myself) only cater to a couple dozen students, but there are a few Taylors and a couple McKenzie's. Of course, these names have been adopted from males, whom originally stole them from last names. Personally, I would almost prefer them just as last names--especially when the "owners" of these titles are both girls and boys. (Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned if I think names should be associated with a particular gender? Perhaps I should also move to Germany, where the government requires parents to give their child a name that will immediately denote his or her sex.) Furthermore, why complicate matters even further and provide alternate spellings for these multi-gender aliases, such as "Tayhler" and "MacKinsea?" I love the name Nathaniel, for instance, but would never consider naming my son "Nathenyel," "Natanial," or "Nethaniyel." Heck, even I would only call him "Nate." On the other hand, maybe I will start my own trend, and name my children ridiculous things like Udi, which is Hebrew for "burning stick."

This reminds me...there is a large pile of branches, weeds, and sticks in the backyard that my mother plans to burn. The annual "burning of the stick pile" usually evokes small festivities on the behalf of my mother and I, and we typically make s'mores and roast hot dogs. However, I believe she plans to burn said pile of discarded lumber while I am back in Indiana. This is mildly upsetting, but not nearly as upsetting as the process of packing bras. This, I must tell you, is my second annoyance.

Now, I have traveled before...to several places. And, due to the fact that I am a young woman traveling in a reasonably-civilized nation, I require the use of a bra. Unfortunately, a woman cannot go through life with just one bra. (There are nude-colored ones, sexy black ones, cute ones with polka dots, ones that are too small, too big, make our boobs look somewhat misshapen, strapless ones, racer-back ones, push-up ones, and maybe even the bra that our significant-others bought us.) As such, when packing, a woman does not pack only one bra...she must pack at least two, perhaps even several. For me, two is enough...those cups just don't seem to curl around anything else I shove into that suitcase (which, this time around, includes Tupperware, Pringles, a heating pad, and six pairs of shoes).

Oh how I love those three-week vacations. After all, I may need one after tomorrow. I'll probably have to morph into some version of Brunhilda, which means "Armor-wearing fighting maid." It seems appropriate, but Shakespeare might not have approved. He would have wanted to name me "Miranda" or "Rosalyn," and turned me into a strumpet. A bra-less strumpet.

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