In Which I Did Not Get Arrested
When my brother and I were little and my parents went out on a Saturday night, our two elderly, maiden great-aunts babysat us and watched The Lawrence Welk Show. That show drove me nuts, even as a young kid, because it was just so cheesy and awful (but my brother and I had to suffer through it if we wanted to watch Hee Haw). But, when Arthur Duncan took over the stage with a tap dance? LOVED.
I put on my first pair of tap shoes when I was seven years old. They were little oxford-looking flats in black patent leather, and were tied closed with a pretty light pink ribbon. I took tap lessons for a year or two (and got into huge trouble when I did a forbidden cartwheel-in-tap-shoes and accidentally kicked my classmate, Donna Bishop, in the forehead), and didn't tap again until I was in college. Freshman year, I strapped on a pair of beige chorus line tap shoes and played Hope Harcourt in the musical "Anything Goes." Our choreographer was hardcore and really pushed us, and I loved it. I was the nerd who loved a five-hour choreography rehearsal on a Saturday morning. LOSER. Granted, I'd taken years of ballet, pointe, and jazz classes, and I was only 18 (as opposed to the old fart I am now), so getting back into it wasn't really all that difficult. Off and on over the years, I've thought about picking up tap dancing again, but never got around to it. Instead, I lulled myself into thinking I was a really great dancer merely by watching So You Think You Can Dance... kind of like the time I bought a Tae Bo DVD and sat on the sofa eating a bag of marshmallows while watching it, saying to myself, "yeah, I could totally do that."
However, I hadn't put on my tap shoes since November 1986, so part of my offering to do this as one of the milestone challenges in this year's Share Our Strength fundraiser was part humiliation, but mostly a kick in the pants to remind myself about something I used to love to do, that maybe now, I'll try again.
Prior to setting foot onto Pennsylvania Avenue, I checked every federal web site I could and learned it's not necessarily illegal to tap dance in front of the White House. In fact, it can be considered an exercise of my First Amendment rights. However, the playing music and lighting sparklers part is generally ill-advised (according to the Park Service), and with a heightened terror alert, well, let's just say, I didn't wanna take out a home equity loan for bail money. So, here's me, doing time steps (and a few double time steps!! /nerdalert) in front of the White House gate. At the end of the video, you'll see me looking off to my left. There was a big white truck pulling out of the WH driveway and heading my way, so I just backed up out of the way and that was a wrap. Enjoy!
Thanks, again, Chris for filming!
As of yesterday, we were at $8,600, which -- you guys -- WOW! I could not be more grateful. Thank you. I'm gonna keep this campaign open through the end of the day Monday, January 4th. Remember, your donation is tax-deductible (Share Our Strength emails a confirmation receipt for tax purposes), and you'll be entered into a drawing to win what I think are some pretty nice prizes.
One final recap:
- When we reach $1,000 in donations, I'll eat a handful of cilantro.
- At the $2,500 mark, I'll eat 6 raw oysters. [we're really close, and I'm really afraid]
- At the $5,000 milestone, I'll eat tripe soup. [click here for how awful this is gonna be]
- At the $6,500 milestone, I'll eat some celery. WITH NOTHING ELSE ON IT.
- Raise $8,000 (meeting last year's donations) and I'll tap dance in front of the White House. Yes, I own tap shoes, and no, I haven't used them since 1986.
- Think we can get to $10,000? If so, I'll eat a softshell crab with a side of durian.
- At $12,500, I'll videotape myself singing some really awful song at karaoke -- New Kids on the Block, Milli Vanilli, Celine Dion, Tone Loc...
- Reach $15,000, and I'll go work the line in a restaurant.
- If we go above $30,000, I'll sweeten the giveaway pot and take one lucky donor to Alinea for dinner sometime in 2010.
- And, if we reach $100,000 in donations to Share Our Strength, I'll not just change my name to Alinea Blymire, I'll take it one step further: I'll legally change my name to the different sized circles on the Alinea menu. Don't believe I'll do it? TRY ME.
Again, to those who have donated -- thank you. Hope you all have a great weekend, and happy new year!