So, belly dancing.  I am noticing that I tend to lose my poise when it is most expected of me, mostly because the idea of poise becomes ridiculously fragile in those moments, and must be called out for the shame of controlled facial expressions that it is.  Back the the belly dancing.  I really really like it.  It makes my proportions use their allotted space.  However, the teacher of the class demands a very sultry demeanor, which I think I could pull off if I actually knew how to dance (since I am a newbie, it seems garish to try a come hither look while jerking and flopping each muscle into its possible routine).  And then I laugh or shake out my legs, and I get a look that says “you are not honoring yourself enough” from the teacher, and want to grimace back “the hell I’m not! I’m dancing with scarves! Hallelujah!”  But, facial expressions are too hard, and I hip jut up and down, and wait for us to get to the next move that will at least be something new.

Which, in a navel-gazing moment, led me to thinking about how we celebrate ourselves.  One of my reoccurring faux-pas is to overcelebrate myself in the few allotted moments in a lifetime where that appears okay (professional achievement, wedding, birthdays (these are more forgiving, though)).  I think these events where it seems honest to admit that some of the hoohaa is about the ego are good times to let loose and not worry about the ego.  And then, right when I think I am for once behaving correctly in the world like all the lucky people (I imagine Kate Winslet, for example,behaving like this every day), I subtlety get hit over the head by reactions that I was out of line. And then I realize that my expectations, on all sides, are distorted. It is a strange pickle.  I can hear Mark from Peep Show’s pouting complaint as he agrees with me in some situation where he lands in this same predicament.   Do you think it’s possible to publicly self celebrate? Do you successfully do it all the time?

Miss Millicent, I hope you are well.  I hope you are spending your time cutting paper doilies in preparation for December.  I imagine you skipping past Thanksgiving, considering it a holiday for the weak: one meal, no parties.   I also imagine you, in your Millicent form, to be a great crafter that sends close friends and strangers dreamcatchers made of peppermint patty wrappers, and gingerbread houses that have turrets and servant stairs.

Let’s both drink some rum this holiday season at an appointed time, and think of each other fondly,