Tap Dancing Around the Truth
The Truth of the Matter Is.....
I didn't want to entitle this page, The First Time I Lied, because that may give the impression I lie all the time and that's just not true. But before I speak further about this temporary character flaw allow me to say I was in the second grade when this happened. Of course, this fact does not excuse my behavior but nevertheless this is my story.
Growing up in the northern part of Missouri in the early 1960s I was raised to respect my elders, I was expected to clean my plate no matter what. Nobody got a "free ride" in our house. Each of us kids were assigned a few daily chores beginning at a young age. And ALWAYS, we were expected to tell the truth.
Our family of five consisted of dad, mom, my position was the middle child. One brother was one year older and one brother was one year younger than myself; all of us kids born in the month of August. My dad was the sole breadwinner and had recently left his work at the glove factory in town for his first white collar job. We weren't poor, but we were teetering that line between lower middle class and below. We ate a lot of beans but I don't ever remember anyone going hungry.
Now that I've told you a bit of my humble beginnings, I must first talk very briefly about bookends.....well, one bookend in particular.
All pictures this page: My Family Archives
Our Parents Didn't Teach Us to Lie
Our Parents Taught Us to Share
Each August mom baked one birthday cake with 3 candles, one to represent each kid's birthday that month.
How It All Started.....The Year Before
My First Taste of Small-Town, Small-School Fame
I first appeared onstage around 1961, which would have been in the late Fall of my first grade year in school. The elementary music teacher (I'm sorry, I can't remember her name), must have seen something special in me because unlike all the other kids in the class, I did NOT have to audition at all for my part in the Christmas play. All the other kids in the chorus had to sing for their supper, but not me. She singled me out in front of everyone and said, "Pamela, YOU will be a bookend!"
My role as the bookend was a non-speaking, non-singing part and to play this bookend I had to stand perfectly still all by myself off on the side of the stage. I don't want to brag, but I was good at it. No, I take that back... I was GREAT!
The night of the Christmas play I was so nervous, but I did just as instructed and undoubtedly would have stolen the show if anyone could have seen me up there pulling my bookend sentry-duty off in the shadows. However, though I was right on the big X my teacher taped to the floor, the stage lights just missed me. It didn't matter though because I was hooked and made a promise to myself that next year, NO MATTER WHAT, I was going to shine and everyone would clap for me.
It wasn't until several years later during a class in Vacation Bible School that I realized there was no mention of a bookend in the stable when Jesus was born.— Me
Fast Forward to 1962.....
Time to Fess Up
Here's where it happened....the first time I lied about something.
Late Fall of 1962 and the music teacher tells our class she has planned something glorious this year for the Christmas play and she says one of the parts is VERY, VERY special. (Can you imagine how excited I was by then?)
My hand shot up in the air before the teacher could get the words "tap dancing" out of her mouth. uh oh.....Yes, she said she needed a girl from our class to play a tap dancing Snow Fairy and asked WHO in our class knew how to tap dance?
Two of us raised our hands. Me, the tap-dancing imposter and a pretty little girl named Debbie Ross (whose father just happened to be the boss of my dad in his new job).
Debbie had been taking tap dancing classes for several years already. Her family seemed to always have money for all kinds of lessons. However, forever and still to this day an optimist, I hoped by going first I'd scare the curls right out of Debbie's head once she saw how cleverly I danced. No, I didn't back down. It was way past time for that.
I called that teacher's bluff and right then and there I proved to her and my entire class I didn't know A THING about tap dancing. I stomped my feet, jumped around and huffed and puffed a whole bunch for several minutes until I eventually ran out of steam.
And to my dismay after my epileptic solo, the teacher dared to ask me in front of the class, "are you sure you've taken lessons, Pamela?" and of course, I said, "yes" and I looked her square in the eye all the time knowing I was telling a bald-faced lie.
What would you say if someone wasn't telling the truth?
When someone tells a lie, what do you call it?
Tap Dancing Books and Shoes
What I THOUGHT I Looked Like.....
What I imagined I looked like during the audition.
What I REALLY Looked Like....
And..........Debbie got the part.
Please always be kind to children, animals and the elderly. And let me add.....if ever you should feel like tap dancing, I'll be there to clap for you! :) Care to add anything here?