So, Momma Jo had enrolled me in a program called "Joy School". Joy School was so impactful that before I penned this blog I had to phone Momma Jo to figure out what exactly Joy School was. I mean, I knew what it was called. I knew I went. But the detail of what it actually was; not so sure. Was it pre-school? Was it some avaunt-guard church group? I had always just figured it was just the 1980's version of play dates. Turns out, I was right. Mom's would rotate as teachers, holding Joy School in their homes using some over-priced, white-washed, middle-class curriculum that includes music, stories, games, etc.
The fateful day of which I write, we had a lesson on goals. We were each given a copy (back then called a "ditto") of a blank pie chart and told to set a goal. Every day or every small victory would allow us to color a wedge of our goal pie.
I was going buckle my shoe. A totally acceptable goal for a 4 year old. I don't recall what everyone else goals were (but, for the record I do remember who was there: Autumn Buchellato, Andrew Stewart, Sean Wood, Heather Henderson, and Justin Patrick). We all eagerly began working on our respective goals.
Later that day I was sitting on the steps and I did it! I buckled that damned shoe. Of course I then proudly announced to everyone that I had accomplished my goal. Taking my social cue, Heathers Mom then loudly, so all the other kiddies would hear, declared I would now get to color my ENTIRE pie chart. Wait. What? No. I still remember her bringing over the recycled cool whip container filled with broken Crayolas and saying "pick a color and fill in your entire chart".
Now, if you know me then the issue at hand should be clear: I had to pick JUST ONE color to fill in my pie chart?! This was crazy. No way. Not only did that mean my pie could only have one color, while everyone else had multiple colors, but I had to settle on what that one color would be. Impossible. It was harder to select a color then it was to buckle that shoe.
When I called my mom tonight to find out exactly what in the hell Joy School was, I recanted the story about the pie chart and she said she remembered that happening. I no doubt complained about it then too. She then reminded me of another amusing childhood story:
So there I was, a few years later in the Fall of 1987. At the Stride Rite Shoe Store I started trying on shoes and couldn't decide which to get. I mean, it was the recession, and we were po' white folk. I didn't get multiple pairs. Whatever shoe I selected that day would be my shoe for the rest of the school year. Thoroughly pissing off the sales man, I demanded that I try on every shoe in the store in my size- every single one. Even though, it was really between three in my mind the entire time:
1.) The functional black sneaker. You remember- Reebok with the velcro
2.) The fashion forward pink bootie with the bedazzled ankle cuff
3.) The white moccasin with the native american eagle beaded on the front.
But that nagging question: what if the next shoe would be better?
I went with #2. I still wonder if first grade would have played out differently if I would have gone with the Reebok's.
Oh, and I colored my pie chart fuscia. Autumns stupid pie chart was teal, pink, AND yellow. Justins alternated between red, white, AND blue (very patriotic). Mine: just fuscia.
The morals of the story:
- I was either really advanced and/or I set an unlofty goal.
- So, I remember the first and last names of everyone in my Joy School group. Which is creepy of me.
- 25 years later and things haven't changed much: still can't make a choice to save my life (literally).