My Life Has Been A Chorus Line

The following, is my life depicted in word and video clips of one of my favorite movies, “A Chorus Line.” You need to watch the videos in sequence with the writing to understand. Unfortunately, the source of some of the videos is going to say that embedding is not allowed and it will redirect you to watch the video on You Tube directly, but all you have to do is click on the screen and you are taken directly there. I had to forfeit a smoother transition to keep the original cast, which I feel is imperative to my story. I hope you enjoy the journey, I have!

Having reached my sixtieth year, I’ve been doing some reflecting. Just what have I done with all of these years I’ve been blessed to live? Oh sure, I’ve been married, had children and now grandchildren and those are very important aspects of my life. I have worked, boy have I worked! And it is on this most personal level of achievement, not based upon being someone’s Mom or wife, that I speak.

What did I do? Well, first off I’d like to say I tried … tried so very very hard, but long before I knew of the term, hears the beat of a different drummer, I knew I was out of step somehow.

It was true, I often did not perceive things as others seemed to. My peers seemed to have the key, while I, didn’t even know where the lock was located. I was out on my own by the age of sixteen and took various types of employment to support myself. I was a waitress/cook/cashier at a busy truck stop. Part of my “job description” when things were slow was to play pool with the truckers. This was one of my first realizations that things that happen in your life, as insignificant as they may seem, can benefit you or someone you come into contact with at a later time. My high-school sweetheart and later husband, was an excellent pool player. As a matter of fact, he kept us eating and provided a roof over our young heads by hustling pool nights and as a house painter by day. He had taught me all I needed to know to drag in some hefty tips at that truck stop, enough that I was able to bankroll a larger apartment and begin looking for another job.

But, what could a sixteen year old, without a diploma, possibly do? I read the want ads and found little but then I decided to engage my tried and true method of survival … people watching. I started going around town, observing people in their different professions. I noted how they dressed, how they spoke and what their jobs seemed to entail.

Then, one day it hit me …

I had realized the similarities in my job as a waitress to those as a sales person in a fine clothing store. It was all about pleasing the customer, meeting a need. From listening, I also knew that in addition to the hourly wage, the sales people could also earn bonuses. The only thing I was lacking, besides a diploma, was a suitable wardrobe. I immediately took the remaining money from my tips and headed for the local thrift store where I purchased three basic, but classic outfits, a few accessories and two pair of used shoes. It never entered my head that I would not get the job, only that I needed the wardrobe. Growing up poor, I had all of the training I needed to make-do and, once again, what seemed like a negative turned out to be another important learning experience.

Now all I had to do was show the store owner why he needed me. That was easy. I entered the store on the pretext of buying a new Spring wardrobe and soon had not one, but two sales girls vying for my business and their prospective bonuses. Instead of them selling to me however, I would take notice of another customer and starting with a compliment, I would suggest how stunning they would look in a certain dress or better yet an entire outfit. It was all about showing them how the overpriced merchandise enhanced the qualities they already possessed, not about the purchase. I saw the owner taking notice and after three or four of these helpful fellow customer pretenses, I approached him.

I told him I was new to the area and had found his shop to be one, of possibly two, which carried suitable clothing for young people. I knew, from my older sister, how to give people what they wanted, whether they knew they wanted it or not. Become indispensable. Give them what they want, whatever that happened to be.


Of course I got the job. I lied like a trooper about my former employers and made up a name of the school from which I had supposedly graduated, but it was my attitude, and my performance he was after. I made money for the shop and for myself and I gained more experience that would behoove me later in life, such as how people who didn’t have to worry about money spoke, how they carried themselves and how they got what they wanted.

With each position I held and as my years advanced, I learned and I adapted. I got the test study book for the GED, studied at home and passed with ease. It just so happened that the tests were given at the local Community College. When I received my GED certificate there was a cover letter, inviting me to look into classes at the college. Me? College? Well, why not … I hadn’t done anything grand with my life at that point other than having two children, one divorce and one relationship that need to go into the dumpster. At twenty-four I started college with very few people of my age and a mass of eighteen and nineteen year-old kids. I worked part-time in the school cafeteria, was raising my two children alone by that time, finished the two year degree in eighteen months and graduated with a grade point average of 3.60. It was during that time that I was introduced to the Broadway musical, “A Chorus Line” and while I never was able to see it on, or even off Broadway, I did find that it came out as a movie. All of these years later, whether I see a clip or hear a tune, I am reminded of that sixteen year old girl shooting pool with truckers. Her relationships were horrendous, she didn’t go on to get her four year degree, or more, as she wished but she was able to provide for her two children and herself and all in all I can say, yes … I am proud of who she became.

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Comments 28 comments

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

You should be proud of who she became. A wonderful story and well told. There is so much more value in street smarts over a college education but no one seems to appreciate that. Always stay spunky!

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Thanks so much tammy. I doubt there's much reason to fear I'll lose my "spunk" ... lol It seems to be deeply embedded!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I like the way you think Poohgranma! What a way to get a job, that's impressive! Kudos to you for all you've accomplished along your life journey. You didn't have it easy and you learned to appreciate everything you achieved. Way to go!

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

A great and inspirational story....and you used one of my favorite movies to make it even better....I loved reading these hub. Voted up and very interesting.

calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

I loved this hub poohgranma it is inspirational, you had a rocky time but you have achieved so much :)

Voted this up and send you a huge thumbs hub from across the atlantic xx

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Cal, my buddy - so nice of you to stop by! My life's not been any more rocky than most and much more blessed than I could have hoped for. I'm just coming to realize how useful even very painful times can be later on. When we want to ask why or why me, it's something to consider!

calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

Thats very true poohgranma I believe in what tsung said "Everything Happens For A Reason" :)

Am glad I stopped by to read this, it is a great hub :)

Hugs :)

loveofnight profile image

loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

A definate page turner as well as a well presented story.Thank you for sharing it with us.....Be Well

SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 4 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

that was kewl!....luv the way you wrote it! go gurl!

Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

What a lesson in tackling life and beating it to the punch! This is a wonderfully inspiring piece for anyone who wonders if they'll ever succeed. Voted up, awesome and beautiful!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

Wow, you were so strong and brave. I was the polar opposite at that age, so to me your story is both astonishing and inspiring! It’s also very well written.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Thanks to all. I was on You Tube yesterday and watched a bit of this when the realization came to me that probably one of the reasons I love the movie so (beyond it's brilliance) was the individual struggles, stories and how they overcame, often in rather unconventional ways. I applied this in my lifetime too. Sometimes it worked!

molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

I bet I could whoop you at pool?

I too, had what many would call a misspent youth.

I don't see it that way.

We have a lot in common I guess.

I went to college at the age of 27 with 3 kids.

It was hard but I loved every minute of it.

Great story and well told. More power to your elbow.

Voted up beautiful and interesting. SHARING

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

What a wonderful cool life. I know it was hard, but your brilliant anyway, and everyone here knows that easy enough. Fantastic hub to say the least. And God Bless You And Gary Dear Heart.

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I'm hitting 60 and thinking maybe I should get more credits at university -- or not -- and whether or not I should be satisfied with what I've done. What a great hub you've written...and tales for your grandchildren when they're older. Lots of boldness and spunk in you!

phteh profile image

phteh 4 years ago from Georgetown

Wonderful hub,I am sure your kids and grandchildren are very proud of you!

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Loved the article, the videos and the attitude of gratitude. Cheers, Gerry

TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

Someone once asked me if I'd rather be smart or pretty. My reply? Smart! Being smart is what saved you. Your story just goes to show that if you use your head, you can still succeed in life, despite problems that life may bring you. Congratulations and best wishes always.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

To all who have taken the time to read and comment, I thank you. It's always fun for me to write when I get an idea stuck in my head. To have people read and appreciate what I've written is a huge bonus and means a lot to me!

calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

Your very welcome Poohgranma :) We love you :) xxx

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

You rock Poohgranma. I admire your spunk, innovation and resilience. Keep on keepin' on. Gerry

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Quite a compliment coming from a "rocker" such as yourself, sligobay! We have to keep on, don't we, not so many of us around anymore.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

This is really wonderful writing, and the title is cool. God Bless You Dear Heart.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Thanks so much Lee! And thanks for dropping by.

stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Dear Phoenix : You are such a wonderful person , mother, and wife to Gary. You have done so much, and went to college , and taken care of children, and worked. You are like a lioness that has had enough strength, and intellect to feed a whole pride. Had to comment again. This is one of many of you're inspiring hubs. GBY.

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AudraLeigh 4 years ago

It has been a pleasure to become friends with you on FB recently. It is a bond I treasure so much. Reading this shows so much of who you are! You have worked so hard in life! You are an amazing writer too! I like how you are able to talk about life using the videos too! It is a great movie! I have never seen it on stage either. I hope you get a chance to see it live someday.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Hello Audra! Thanks for the nice things you've said here and most of all, thanks for taking the time to read! I'm really glad you're back on HP and can;t wait to read some of your hubs! I had fun doing this one and I hope I can see the play live someday too!

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AudraLeigh 4 years ago

"A Chorus line" is coming to Iowa!!

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