Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shakin' All Over

Just last month, a minor earthquake shook eastern Long Island. According to the Sag Harbor Express, 14 people from my hometown—East Hampton—reported to the US Geological Survey that they felt the 3.9 magnitude quake. It was about 10:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.

“Well,” I thought, “at least she wouldn’t have been in bed at that time.”

That she would be me as a kid.

Yup, surprise, surprise, I was a Nervous Nellie as a child, prone to anxiety of all sorts. I would read Alfred Hitchcock mysteries and books about the world’s greatest natural disasters before bed, have scary dreams and then wake up in the middle of the night, listening intently for rumbling and shaking, at which point I was sure the ground would split in two and the house would fall into the gaping chasm. Which would, of course, immediately close back up.

I think a lot of kids worry about similar stuff—a well-adjusted friend recently told me the first thing she’d do when she woke up in the morning when she was around 9 was drink a glass of water to make sure she hadn’t developed rabies overnight—but it often got in the way of fun things for me. Like for about a year or so I was constantly scared that I was going to throw up in front of everyone, so never made it to the Christmas pageant one year when I was supposed to be one of four cows in the nativity scene. I’m not sure cows are physically able to throw up. Horses can’t, right? I even got a fancy velvet dress from Gertz (spellcheck, East Hamptonites?) to wear. Not that cows wear velvet dresses either, but that’s what I would have worn under my costume.

Anyway, back on the subject of shaking and glamorous outfits, about 10 years ago I performed a solo bellydance number to this song at a bar in Alphabet City (ignore the weird Elvis stuff if it bothers you; this isn't about Elvis but it's the only video of this version of the song):

I have no idea what I was thinking, but I was definitely on some sort of mission. I'm no solo performer. Perhaps it was my way of making up for not playing a cow at Baby Jesus’ manger. Anyway, I recall a ridiculous conversation I had after my number with a Capricorn involved somehow in the printing industry:

Capricorn: I noticed you from across the room.

Me: I think it’s because I’m the only one wearing a glittery bellydance costume.

Capricorn: No, it was your eyes.

Me: Well, I do have on these gigantic falsh eyelashes.

I’d like to take the time to salute all Capricorns, who get such a bad rap from most astrologists for being boring, stubborn and stingy in all ways. It’s untrue and not fair. I like Capricorns, so there! Bing’s on the cusp, and Puffer was right in the middle.

And here’s some more stuff to shake all those cobwebs out:

P.S. If memory serves, one of the other cows was Ted, who used to eat ticks and insects on the playground.

P.S.S. I guess I didn’t know that rabid animals can’t drink water.

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