An email was sitting in my inbox from Amazon.com with, “Best Books of March,” typed in the subject line. Since I am an avid reader and always looking for a good book, I immediately opened it and found that the first four titles were memoirs. Memoirs are my favorite. I’d love to write a memoir. The problem with this, of course, is that I’m a little boring. Oh my family and friends love me. I suppose I’m interesting enough for them, but honestly is anyone going to want to read about my life? I doubt it. It’s not like I left an abusive home at age eleven, and survived by eating ketchup and mustard packets swiped from McDonald’s until I was “discovered” and designated the next Twyla Tharp. Now that would make for some interesting reading, but none of that happened, at least not to me. The memoir I’d really like to write is the one detailing my experience as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. No, I have not given up on that fantasy so stop rolling your eyes. You heard me. Just stop it. One of these days, Mr. ABC Television Executive, you are going to realize that adding an ordinary person to the mix (i.e. ME) is a genius idea. You’ll see. (Sigh.) So for now, I will keep right on dancing because you never know who’s watching. You never know when you might get “discovered.” You just never know.
In addition to the common household names that routinely land among the cast of celebrities on Dancing with the Stars, there is always a smattering of unfamiliar names that inspire us to ask, “Who ?” They are the aging super-models, obscure former Olympic champions and professional athletes, celebrities-by-marraige, and most recently the inevitable reality television personalities. FIrst came Kate Gosslin, then Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, and this year’s reality t.v. star is some ex-stripper-former-Playboy-mansion-inhabitant named Kendra. Like I said, “Who?” Honestly fellas, do you think anybody cares? These reality t.v. personalities are not particularly endearing, they usually can’t dance and when they do, most viewers take the opportunity to use the bathroom, walk the dog, or clip their toe nails. This whole idea that quasi-stardom qualifies a person to have a go at that coveted mirror disco ball trophy agitates me. It makes me want to scream. WHAT ABOUT US REGULAR ORDINARY PEOPLE? Translation: What about me? When do I get a shot?
Okay, so it’s obvious that I’m a little bitter. I never got the call for which I had been waiting since the end of last season. Brandy sulked, Jennifer Gray hoisted that trophy over her head to a medley of Dirty Dancing tunes, and I held onto the hope that somehow, some way, someone at ABC might happen upon my blog, read it and think, “Hmmm. Having an ordinary person on the show might be good for ratings.” I just knew that Season 12 would be my season. Apparently I was wrong, because I never got the call. The exclusion of regular, ordinary persons (i.e. ME) from the season 12 cast wouldn’t be so bad if the suits over at the American Broadcasting Company weren’t currently making such a ridiculous attempt to stimulate viewership with (get ready) fictional literary characters. I’m not kidding. This season, Romeo was invited and accepted the invitation to join the season 12 cast of Dancing with the Stars. Stop scratching your heads. Yes, indeed, I said Romeo as in, “Romeo? Romeo? Where for art thou, Romeo?” Who’s on next season’s celebrity cast voir dire? Hamlet? Or maybe Don Quixote? It’s ridiculous if you ask me, but (sigh) for now I’ll do the only thing I can. I will keep right on dancing because you never know who’s watching. You never know when you might get “discovered.” You just never know.
A few weeks ago. My husband, Pat, my youngest son, Jared, and I were in Key West for a few days. We were having dinner at the famous Sloppy Joe’s on Duvall Street. A little while into our meal, a Latin band took the stage and patrons headed for the dance floor. Pat looked at me and said, “Come on. Let’s dance.” Then Jared looked at me with a horror-stricken-please-don’t-do-it expression on his face. Don’t get me wrong. I love my son and his pained expression tugged briefly at my heart, but come on. The opportunity to shake my bon-bon, salsa-style, in a place other than the cloistered privacy of my own living room is a rare one. So, I returned Jared’s look with my own don’t-worry-it’s-going-to-be-fine wink, grabbed Pat’s hand and we cha-cha-ed our way to the dance floor. We danced for quite a while and every so often I glanced at Jared who, snapping his thumbs up and down furiously, was immersed in texting the following message to his friends: OMG. SO EMBARRASSING. MY PARENTS ARE DANCING IN PUBLIC. As parents of a fifteen year old, nearly everything my husband and I do in public is cause for embarrassment so we simply ignored him.
“Mom, can we please leave. You and dad have done enough dancing for one night.”
“Oh, Jared, is it that embarrassing? No one knows us here and we’ll never see these people again.”
Just the same, we paid the check, collected our belongings and headed out the door. Within minutes of our exiting the restaurant, Pat’s cell phone vibrated, signaling an incoming text. It was from our eldest, Christian, who was spending his spring break working in the Washington, D.C. area.
“It’s from Christian,” Pat said, “Oh my gosh!”
“What?” I asked. “Is everything ok?”
“Yes,” Pat said. “Christian just wanted to know what we were doing, because he just got a text from his friend Ian, who is vacationing in Key West and apparently saw us dancing at Sloppy Joe’s.”
Ha! There you have it! I’m not going to say I told you so, but well..you know. You never know when you might get “discovered.” So I will keep on dancing because next time around it just might be Mr. ABC Executive who’s watching. Like I said; you never know. You just never know.
Till tomorrow… Good night. Sleep tight.