last night shawn & i went to back fence pdx. before the show, shawn was in the beer line and our friend molly came to say hi. she was encouraging me to enter my name for the audience lightning round. i nervously laughed and said, "yes, i should..." more nervous laughter. what happens is that they pick five names out of the pitcher and each person tells a story on the night's theme in one minute or less. last night's theme was "hashtag nerd." so, here's the thing: i REALLY want to do it. god knows i've got nerdy stories. here's the other thing: i hate speaking in front of people. it actually terrifies me. nervous laughter.
when shawn came back with beer and we took our seats, i told him molly wanted me to put my name in the pitcher. he laughed. he knows i want to do it but that i'm chicken shit. the show begins. right before the intermission, b. frayn masters reminded everyone to put their name in the pitcher and grab a cupcake. shawn looked at me and said he was going to grab a cupcake and put my name in.
"no you're not."
"totally. i am. you should do it. you know you want to. what would you talk about?"
"probably buffy as a security blanket."
"see, you know what you'd talk about. i'm going to go put your name in."
"no. no you're not."
"fine. i'll put both our names in. what could i talk about even though you're the bigger nerd?"
"quitting the sax because you didn't want to be in high school marching band with the nerds."
"oh right. ok. i'm going to go do that."
he came back, ate his cupcake and the intermission was over. i really wasn't sure whether or not he put our names in. b. frayn masters was on stage with the pitcher and had a volunteer ready to pull the names. she told everyone who wrote their name down to take a deep, cleansing yoga breath and unclench their sphincter. she explained what was going to happen next and was joking with the announcer. she took her time and my mind was racing.
molly once told me the key to it was to have your topic, a few sentences and punchline. right. so. breathe. buffy. oh my god. shawn's freaking out. he really put our names in. shit shit shit shit shit. deep breath. buffy. i can do this.
b. frayn masters has the first name. "SH..." OH MY GOD. "Seamus."
at this point, shawn says, "hold me" and the woman sitting next to him almost falls out of her seat laughing at us.
i should also mention that while she's reading names, i know i should be figuring out what the hell i'm going to say if she calls my name but i can't. i just can't.
if she'd called my name my story probably would've went something like this:
"i was going to tell a story about how i use buffy the vampire slayer like a wooby sometimes. i watch episode after episode when things are rough because no matter how shitty things seem, i don't have to slay vampires. but i'm afraid to speak in front of people. my husband actually put my name in. yeah. i'm stressing out because here i am speaking in front of people and i'm wearing this silk chiffon dress without a slip which is totally giving my mother chest pains right now. in chicago. in normal lights you can't tell that i'm wearing underwear with big cartoony owls on them. i know because i checked before i left the house. but on this stage, under these bright lights, i'm afraid you can. can you see the owls? you can totally see the owls can't you? crap. well, at least i don't have to slay vampires."