A few nights ago, I received the following email:
When I read it, I panicked. After college, I’m sort of a grown-up, right? How is it time for me to graduate?
As much as I hate to get nostalgic, it’s hard to not at least reflect a little bit when I read these kinds of emails. So much of my life has changed in the last four years but there has been one constant…
For those of you who have not seen me dance, know this–what I lack in skill I more than make up for in enthusiasm and commitment. As I type this I can admit my technical shortcomings but when I’m dancing I forget that I’ve never taken a dance lesson in my life. I don’t know what to call my personal style but I do know it includes a lot of stomping, jumping, and running. I go for it.
I didn’t go out much my freshman year but I found places to dance (my dorm room). Here’s a picture of me busting out a sweet move from the Single Ladies video.
Sophomore and junior year I really took it to the next level. I spent Thursday through Saturday nights dancing around my friends’ living room. One day, we decided to literally take our dance moves to the next level. Suddenly we weren’t just dancing–we were table-dancing. It was half dancing, half furious attempt to break the wooden coffee table. We had some good dances on that table but, like all good things, table-dancing came to an end. Most of my friends blame the glass coffee table that took the place of the wooden one- I think it was more than that…then again I have been known to read into things…it probably didn’t help that my table-dancing counterparts, with a few exceptions, graduated last year. For whatever reason, table-dancing died out.
I miss that living room. I miss my friends. I miss table-dancing.
Last semester I tried to resurrect table dancing (too close to Easter for this?) but it didn’t catch on. My friends kept making excuses like “Amelia, the table is too rickety” or “Amelia, the ceiling fan might hit us” or “Amelia, no one else is dancing. It’s just you!” I wouldn’t give up! If no one would dance with me, I’d dance alone! For Halloween, I dressed up as Amelia Earhart and set out to attempt a solo table dance! What could possibly go wrong?!?!?!
Look how hopeful I look…
Just like Amelia Earhart (R.I.P.?)
I was busting a move on a rickety table in my friend Brendan’s basement when tragedy struck. It was just like Amelia Earhart…only maybe not quite as bad. I was knocked off of the table by a low-hanging ceiling fan. After the accident, a friend took me home and put me in my bed. I woke up the next morning with a black eye and a new, personal understanding of Amelia Earhart’s crash.
This accident, which I consider my personal Mid-Pacific crash, was a wake up call. I’m about to graduate from college. Maybe it’s time to call it quits…like Amelia Earhart did after her Mid-Pacific crash. I think that ceiling fan was trying to tell me “Grow up Amelia! Table dancing is over. That part of your life is over!” but, again, I have been known to read into things…
If that ceiling fan was trying to send me a message, I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to live in a world without table-dancing! Maybe I’ll get hit in the face with a ceiling fan, but sometimes you have to take risks in life…just like Amelia Earhart! I promise wherever I am, if there is a table, I’ll be dancing on it.
So I hope your tables are sturdy ,New York City, because I’m coming for ya.
This is the final post in a weeklong homage to one of the greatest musicians of the modern era. Please don’t look for any other videos on Youtube, or else you will be met with crippling disappointment for the rest of your life.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that last one doesn’t work at all. But I ran out of TFGJTVOAL titles that fit in with the Hemingway theme. But did that ever stop Jan Terri from making a cohesive music video or finishing a song if the end didn’t make sense? No! Of course not! Here are the lyrical lyrics of “Losing You” to remind you:
Remember long walks, sandy beaches, all those swims together?/We were like a merry-go-round going around in circles
You said we’ll always be together/But you weren’t telling the truth
You were telling lies
You see, I don’t need “rules” to making something great. So, pardon my genius. Or better yet, let’s be like Jan Terri and ‘Excuse My Christmas’. Like all great artists before her (Sting, Elton John, Chaka Khan) and all mediocre artists who have attempted to emulate after her (Mariah Carey, Barbara Streisand, Nickelback), you haven’t achieved icon status until you’ve put out a Christmas album. Or song. Semantics, really.
‘Excuse My Christmas’ is Jan Terri’s return to greatness, her first single in over ten years. Obviously, she’s still got it, baby! This old broad has NOT missed a step in all her time away from the limelight. But to this song, join me as I say, “Welcome back, oh great one”. (I said join me!!!)
The first thing you notice is how great she looks. There are plenty of stars who have tried to stem the onslaught of age with cosmetic procedures and a butt-ton of homeopathic medication (Bruce Jenner, I’m looking at you). However, Jan Terri understands real beauty, and that is her luscious voice.
Secondly, in all her years of shunning fame, Ms. Terri has obviously been studying computers, becuase the graphicalistic effects of this video are mind-shattering. It’s like she’s actually walking in a winter wonderland!! And riding a sleigh!! And dancing with those…wait, I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. Are the shaking maracas? What the fuck are those things?!?! Am I going crazy?!?! IS THIS A SUICIDE CULT VIDEO?!?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?????
I’m sorry, I just can’t do this anymore. I honestly thought I’d be able to go an entire week professing my love for Jan Terri and the amazingness of her music videos, but this is just too much. I can’t hold it in—I have to tell the truth.
Jan, I’m sorry, this is the worst. Even after ingesting that mountain of drugs and watching “Excuse My Christmas” on loop for 36 hours straight, I still don’t get it. It’s impossible to get. I doubt you get it. If you do, all I can say is that your greatness has shed its mortal coil and has transcended understanding by us mere mortals. If that is the case, then goodbye forever, Jan. Goodbye…
In preparation for my first day of classes I purchase a new spiral ring notebook, choose an outfit that makes me look intelligent, and arrive to class five minutes early. I sit down near the back of the class, not because I’m afraid to sit near the professor or want to look cool. I sit in the back of the class because I want a clear view of all of my classmates. The makeup of my class is typical of any English class at William & Mary, comprised of a handful of stock characters. After three and a half years here I’ve become quite adept at spotting them. Some are easier to identify than others. Some won’t reveal themselves until they speak.
I scan the room, hoping to identify a few of these characters and spot a gaggle of girls sitting diagonally in front of me. They chat quietly while scrolling through pictures of themselves on Facebook. I can’t remember taking an English class that didn’t have at least one girl looking at pictures of herself during the lecture. What luck! I’ve already spotted three of “The Girl Who’s Constantly Looking at Pictures of Herself.” I keep looking for the usual suspects of the English department but don’t find much. The girl and guy next to me might be “That Couple That Takes Every Class Together” but it’s really too early to tell.
Our professor enters the room and immediately assigns us the daunting task of selecting our favorite contemporary novel and sharing it with the class. Since everyone in the class will have to speak, this is my perfect chance to identify the rest of the characters. I’ll have to be careful about my response. This is a big decision. I’m tempted to choose The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera but worry this will mark me as “That Girl Who Tries to Sound Worldly By Referencing Novels by Czech Authors.” I don’t want to be that girl. No one speaks. We are all too busy over-thinking this decision.
“Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.” One brave soul breaks the silence. I immediately identify him as “The Guy Who Tries to Relate Everything to Kurt Vonnegut.” I’ve seen a few of these guys before. “The Guy Who Tries to Relate Everything to Kurt Vonnegut” brings up Kurt Vonnegut every chance he gets, often referring to him as “Kurt,” like they’re old friends. Suddenly another character pops up. It’s “The Girl Who Disagrees with Everything for the Sake of Disagreeing” and unsurprisingly, she disagrees with the disciple of Vonnegut’s choice. This girl loves questioning anything from the norms of society to other peoples’ personal tastes. The girl speaks. “I’m not sure I agree that Kurt Vonnegut qualifies as a contemporary author. I mean, he’s been dead for a long time.” “The Guy Who Tries to Relate Everything to Kurt Vonnegut” slams his fists down on the table in front of him, whips his head around, and screams “THREE YEARS!” I readjust my assessment of him. I was wrong before. He is “The Guy Who Tries to Relate Everything to Kurt Vonnegut and Gets Angry When Questioned.”
As the class goes on I spot a few more characters.
- “The Girl Who Keeps Referencing that One Article by Foucault. You Know that One Article?” She can’t remember the name. No one knows what she’s talking about but no one wants to admit he or she doesn’t know. We all nod, knowingly.
- “The Guy Playing Tetris or Some Other Innocuous Game On His Cell Phone”
- “The Girl Who Shares Too Much Personal Information, Too Quickly”
- “The Guy Who Shows Up 15 Minutes Late and Immediately Proceeds to Fall Asleep”
- “The Girl Who is personally offended by Improper Use of Grammar”
After three and a half years of college, I’ve come to know these people and sort of love them. Their presence is comforting and when I graduate this year, I will miss them all. They are strange people but how could I not love them? I’m one of them. I don’t know what my character is but I’m sure I have one. I’m just too close to see it, I guess. I’m probably “That Girl Who Spends Class Sizing Up the Rest of the Class” or “That Girl Who Gets Sappy at the End of Her Blog Post.”
John Bane (my dad) has three children. Greg is an attorney, Will does Teach for America, and Amelia(me!) has no definite plans after graduation. John Bane loves all three of his children but never tries to hide the fact that he loves me the most. My brothers call it unfair. I call it a job well done. I’m constantly working to maintain my spot as John Bane’s favorite child. After years of research I have generated a list of my dad’s favorite topics of conversation.
List of My Dad’s Favorite Topics
- William & Mary
- Greek Life
- Celebrity Gossip
Throughout my life, I have used my knowledge of the list to become the favorite child.
Baseball– When my dad realized my brothers “couldn’t catch pee running down their legs” I became his last hope for a baseball player in the family. I bring up my softball days frequently to remind my dad why I’m so much better than both my brothers.
Vietnam– My dad is a Vietnam combat veteran. Once in high school, I read Tim OBrien’s The Things They Carried for an English class. It’s a book written by a Vietnam veteran. To this day, I alternate facts I learned through this book with statements like “God. Hippies are the worst!” I also own a “God Bless America” t-shirt.
Greek Life– My dad always wanted me to go Greek. I avoided it until sophomore year but look at me now! I’m so Greek I appear twice on the composite!
Celebrity Gossip– We agree on celebrity gossip. John Bane does not believe a female star can take the spot as “new female star” until she surpasses Pink. We both agree that Katy Perry has not yet surpassed Pink.
I’m not worried about losing my spot as favorite child to either of my brothers. I keep my methods a secret. They’re safe on this blog. Neither one of my brothers will read this blog. They’re too busy practicing law and teaching geography. My dad will probably read this though…