Monday, April 6, 2009

I Am THAT Cool

Facebook simply does NOT get it at all.

A few weeks ago, I logged on to Facebook because I needed to be reminded how old and completely unhip I am, and no one does that quite as well as Facebook. And there, bold as brass, was the following statement:

"38 people think DeNae is narcissistic. Do you think DeNae is narcissistic, too? Sign up here!"

I am totally and completely not kidding. That's what it said. To me. About me. And evidently it was starting a freakin' CLUB in honor of the whole thing!

So, naturally, I picked up one of the mirrors I keep around me at all times, and I said, "Do YOU think I'm narcissistic? It's OK, you can tell me. We're friends."

And the mirror said, "Of course not. Don't be silly. Is it YOUR fault you are without a doubt the coolest person in this conversation? No. So don't you worry your pretty, nay, GORGEOUS head about it any more."

Well, with an honest assessment of the facts like that, there was nothing for it but to have one of those dreamy flashback sequences where the screen goes all wavy while a picture of me gazing thoughtfully upward faaaades awaaaayyyy...

And there I was, being cool in High School.

With my madrigal group, singing and dancing in the -- again, not kidding -- "Rendezvous Lounge" of the SS Azure Seas, aboard which we little Utah yokels were cruising all the way from Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico, which I now suspect is actually just a suburb of L.A.

Did we care that the ship stayed so close to land we could have hopped overboard and walked to San Diego? Nope. Did it matter that the only people watching our performance in the "Rendezvous Lounge" were a couple who, near as we could tell, had arrived plastered and were closing in on catatonic, and therefore met the required elements for fan-hood of the GHS Madrigal-slash-Lounge Singers? Not a bit.

We. Had. Arrived.

New York had that groovy High School for the Performing Arts, where, according to the wildly popular TV series "Fame", students were full-on flunked if they didn't dance on the lunch tables at least once per semester. And Salt Lake City had us.

Wavy screen, dreamy fade-out....

And now, here I was, being cool in college.

While visiting my mentor and choir director in his office as Music Department Chair, a call came in from the minions who do all the pre-concert work for the rock group Foreigner. It seemed the band required back-up singers for the song "I Wanna Know What Love Is", which was later hijacked by Wynona in what could arguably be called an act of war.

Anyway, Dr. Thompson took the call, and assured the head minion that he could put together a contingent of extremely hip music majors and have them down at the Salt Palace by 4:00 that afternoon.

He's so cute when he lies like that. There is no such thing as a "hip" music major.

But a bunch of us regular music majors headed over to the Salt Palace, got all trained-up by a truly hip woman (so gorgeous, so totally put together, such a fabulous singer, we all had to secretly conclude she picks her nose when no one's looking, just so we could stand to be in the same room with her), donned our choir robes, and, eventually, several, you know, hours later, waltzed out onto that stage and BACKED UP FOREIGNER!!

And then the screen got all wavy....

...and there I was, last Saturday, having lunch and accidentally blowing off the afternoon session of conference with my darling little sister, beautiful-even-when-having-a-bad-hair-day Sher, and the ever mysterious, ever exotic Motherboard.

That's right, folks. I am THAT cool.

Can I just say, it was the funnest, awesomest, most hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable reunion from the pre-existence I've ever had? That lunch knocked Foreigner and the Rendezvous Lounge AND the time Robert Redford came backstage during a Utah Symphony (and Chorus) performance because he wanted to meet the singers doing the off-stage angel parts -- and I was one of them! -- right off the list.

Of course, I recognized Motherboard immediately. She was the only two-dimensional, purple-on-purple customer in the place. Plus the host said something about that lady over there waiting for three other ladies to join her.

MB and I were roomies back at the Pre-Ex dorms. I have no doubt of that. And we were the ones running up and down the halls, knocking on doors and blowing air horns and ditching the RA's and then peeing ourselves laughing, hiding in our jammies behind the bicycle racks.

One of the more interesting and little-known facts about her is that her name really is Motherboard. It's right there, on her driver's license: "Board comma Mother." So there's one mystery solved. You're welcome.

And as can only happen in real life because no one would believe it in fiction, it turns out her BFF is a dear friend of mine from college. I mean, REALLY good friend. Christmas letter exchanging, praying for her when she scares us all with cancer, meeting her dad for dinner whenever he's in Vegas kind of good friend.

And how funny is this? She (the friend) was one of those be-choir-robed singers back in the Foreigner gig! So she's very cool, too.

Everyone who meets Sherrie Shepherd and then talks about her starts with how beautiful she is, which she is, and which was the first thing I told her. But she is also such a kick, such a story-telling, belly-laughing doll that it doesn't take long to realize -- that skin-deep thing has got NOTHIN' on the beauty inside this lovely woman.

As soon as she pulled out her hip flask and offered me a hit, I knew I had found a soul mate. It also helped to know that she shared my abhorrence of all-things Pepsi. (Although that didn't keep us from drinking, between us, 17 gallons of the stuff over the four, count 'em, FOUR hours we 'lunched' together!)

My sister Amber is the funniest person I know. When MB pulled out a camera that looked like something they'd mount on the Hubble Telescope, Amber exclaimed, "Geez, why didn't you bring the BIG one??" She's smart and wry and quick and clever, and she never met a soul who didn't instantly covet the position of "Amber's Best Friend For All Time".

She's a two-time cancer survivor who talks frankly and openly about everything those words mean, and yet somehow manages to convey the feeling that, hey, everything works out OK in the end, so why fuss?

Oh, my. We gabbed and yakked and gabbed some more. And we discussed real things, things that mattered to us, things that really showed who we were. And we ran to the potty multiple times on account of our drinking so much Pepsi and whatever that magic stuff was that was in Sher's hip flask, and our post-partum bladders just couldn't take all the laughing.

Such a good time.

And with those wavy lines bringing us back to now, I can honestly say that Facebook is just clueless. I am really only as cool as the experiences and associations and relationships in my life permit. I am humble enough to admit that without all those things, I'm as dull as dirt. I'm just a boring old housewife living a boring old life and occasionally writing about it on my boring old blog.

But, after Saturday, well, I am left with no choice but to narcissistically declare:

I am as COOL as they come.


MommyJ said...

I cannot get past the fact that facebook called you narcissistic. Really? Did you unfriend the 38 people that agreed with master facebook?

I think you are as cool as they come. Your sister's comment about the camera made me laugh out loud.

But... I think Pepsi is awesome. Actually prefer it to coke when I'm drinking it with meals. When it's a singular treat though, my soda of choice is cherry coke. Because nothing tastes better than cherry coke.

The fact that I have a preference about what kind of soda should be drunk at different occasions makes me think that I drink too much soda...

AND........ now I'm done.

Kristina P. said...

I had no idea that Amber is a cancer survivor! And as I said on Board, Mother's blog, Amber is much funnier and super sarcastic in person than she lets on on her blog.

And next time, you are here, I am coming for you.

Sher said...

You ARE most definitely THE COOLEST person I've ever met. Seriously. Forget about Facebook. They don't know just how cool your really are.
And call me cuckoo, but your post made me emotional. Maybe it was you bring up the fact that we had to have known each other in the pre-existence, or that I'm insanely jealous that you sang back up for Foreigner!??!

And I'm jealous that your HS choir got to sing in Mexico. We only got Disneyland.

Shawn said...

I don't really know you, but after reading about your exciting life and since you have so many followers, I have to declare that you are the COOLEST!

Lara said...

You definitely are THAT cool.

I am so jealous of your lunch.

And, I've done some pretty cool things musically, but I don't think any of them beat backing up Foreigner. You are too cool for me!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, man, I can't wait til I get to Utah and get to meet so many of my blog friends (maybe even Sher!)

Lucy said...

I just cannot get into Facebook. Kudos to those than can. I look at it and think....why do I care about those one-liners everybody puts it. I don't know. Maybe I'm too old for it although I know lots of people who are older that I am into it. I'd rather blog. I understand it better. Maybe I just don't want to know how many relatives I have that I don't know.

SO said...

I have to say with each read about this blunch I get more and more green. It sounds like an awesome time. And now I have another reason to envy were a back up singer for Foreigner on their best ever song!!! Ignore FaceBook. You have coolness all locked up.

Melanie J said...

FB is stupid. I don't know why I go there 27 times a day.

Oh, right. It's because as a SAHM, it's one of the things that passes for adult interaction around here. Sad.

But you ARE cool. I want to hang out with you.

AS Amber said...

I wish I would have known you in high school! I only have memories of these things because I've heard you talk about them. Although knowing you as an adult is probably a lot more fun!
And ya...that lunch will go down in the top 5 best times I've ever had. Ever.

NatureGirl said...

I THOUGHT my brother was the coolest because he once saw Three Dog Night at a Denny's after the concert, but HE never sang back up for Foreigner! You ARE the coolest!

Motherboard said...

Oh my word. You were a back up singer for Foreigner?


I bow to my Sensei.

You are all the things I hope to be.

You said everything I was feeling and thinking only better!

(I can't wait to tease LC about this at choir this week! oh sweet mother of Mary, this is gonna be good!)

Motherboard said...

Oh. And I'm a little verklempt over here in Crazyland! Our lunch really was that good!

word ver: reptaing. That's what happens when you sing with Foreigner... your rep - taings. Forever and ever.

Jen said...

Once again……tooooo funny! Thanks to you and Amber it’s official, I’m now a blogger! (I don't even know if that's how you spell it!) I will NEVER be as funny as the two of you, but seriously, who can??? :)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

As if I needed this post to know you were cool! And would you like me to start a facebook group called "DeNae is cooler than you,"? Because I will. And even though I must scorn you for choosing Coke products over general conference, I'm jealous that your get together was so far away (because I obviously would have been invited if it were closer . . . right?). :)

Karen said...

You are definitely cool!

I wish I could be as narcissistic as you are! My mirror just laughs at me!

Lisa Loo said...

Wow--this proves that you are too cool for me--does this mean I have to take you off my blogroll? Sad day...sigh...

jenimur said...

You ARE hilarious! You are the dose of humor I need. Thanks for lightening my day! You have had me laughing out loud at my computer wishing I could be just as funny!

Kristina P. said...

I just ran over here to tell you that I can't believe you used "butt" in your profile on MMB.

Wow, I'm surprised you haven't been banned from Mormonism yet.

Jennifer Boston Mendenhall said...

Just came over from Mormon Mommy Blogs.

"post-partum bladders" LOL (don't make me LOL while I'm at work - very bad)

Shewinn8 said...

I knew a Sheri Shepherd growing up too....there seem to be a lot of them. It's as if your last name was Shepherd and you had a baby girl it seemed like the only name that fit. Enjoyed the blog but have to let you know that you are NOT the oldest blogger out there. Sorry that title might just belong to me. Enjoyed the Peru piece too. My son who is in Guatemala has a best friend in Peru right now.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I think you are as cool as they come too and you write so funny. It's a joy to read your posts. That Facebook, what do those people know?