23 March 2011


I went to the symphony last week, and watching all the musicians in their uniform black outfits (women get much more flexibility than men, who all wear suits), I thought about junior high. Logical leap, no, but junior high was the last time I played in a band.

I played the coronet. I liked the coronet almost as much as I liked the violin, which is to say that I liked the idea of playing it a great deal, but I despised practicing and I was therefore never very good.

Our junior high band played in competitions every once in a while, and one Saturday morning my dad got up early to drive me to the school to get on the bus for a competition.

It wasn't until I was on the bus that I remembered that I was supposed to wear white on top and black on the bottom. I was, in fact, wearing light jeans and a purple sweatshirt. (This was the early 1990s.)

I had a fun day, anyway, even though I was 12 and wearing something totally wrong. I liked the band people. We played pretty well.

When we got the tape of the judges' comments, though, one of them said something about, "the girl in the back wearing purple," when talking about our appearance.

The funny thing is that I don't really remember being embarrassed. I should have been mortified, and I probably was, but it doesn't really stick out as The Most Embarrassing Moment of My Life. Maybe I didn't know enough to be embarrassed. I've either blocked out the embarrassment or I was still protected by the third culture kid obliviousness, and I don't know which.

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