This is not a dress rehearsal…

Out with a friend the other night to see a band. We were having a grand time, dancing our fool heads off and laughing. He’s a much better dancer than I am, and I had a hard time keeping up. (That little up-on-your-toes-glide thing in the waltz eludes me, but it didn’t stop me from trying.)

He sported his trademark waxed, curly que ‘stache, I was in some combo of sparkly-fringy-pig-tailed-cowboy-booted fabulousness. (Well, to me, anyway, and I’m the only one who counts.)

But no one else in the room moved. Here was this 7 piece band, swinging away, a clarinet, bongos, a sousaphone, a banjo, a cute chick belting out campy 40s songs, and everyone sat there, polite smiles on their faces, proof that all this marvelous sound was going into their ears evinced only in tiny toe-tappings.

A man confided quietly, pointing at my frolicking friend, “Wow, I wish I could be that free.”

He broke my heart, right then. Cuz the only thing stopping him, was him.

There’s this huge looming specter over so many people I’ve met. It’s name is What-Other-People-Think.

“Oh, I love it, but I could never wear that hat.”
“I wish I could say that to him.”
“I’d look stupid.”
“Well, YOU can pull it off, but I couldn’t.”

Here’s the dark secret: Other people don’t care. They’re too wrapped up in themselves, their own worries, potentially looking foolish. And if they DO say something, why should YOU give a damn? It’s so much easier to be a critic than a creator. There are six billion people on the planet, and they’re breeding at an outlandish pace – go talk to one of them.

This is YOUR life. In the off chance there’s no reincarnation, live NOW. What the hell are you waiting for? If you always wanted to learn Italian – TAKE A CLASS. If you love those shoes because they make you feel like Marilyn Monroe, WEAR THEM. If you think of something nice to say to that stranger just because, SAY IT.

Really, what’s the worst that will happen? You’ll fall off a cliff? You’ll break out in hives? You’ll die of shame? Some person you’ve never met & don’t care about won’t like you anymore?

How many more years will you sit there, wishing you’d gotten up & danced?


6 thoughts on “This is not a dress rehearsal…

  1. ***ACCOLADES!!!!*** What are they gonna do? Be mean to your face? Sing Kareoke. Dance in your back yard. Paint your house a rainbow color (wait…didn’t someone already break the ice & do that one? 😉

  2. Sometimes Marrus, I read your thoughts and you remind me that it is ok to be me. I need to be reminded why I love who I have become, it is easy to forget with all the crap life throws at you. Thank you, you remain the most amazing human I have ever known.

  3. SO sorry to hear about your situation and will pray for your recovery because back pain is the worst pain there is. Sorry you won’t be coming to the RF in CT this year–looked forward to seeing you again. You told me your life story in Danbury during a thunderstorm that lasted all afternoon two years ago and I sent one of your books to my sister the artist and she so wanted to meet you. Be well and heal.


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