Thursday, May 10, 2012

Saloon Singer or Secretary

Music was always a part of my life.  Not a lot to do on the farm when it gets dark, so our family sang.  "Daddy sang bass, momma sang tenor..."  Then when I got in high school, my brother bought a guitar.  After lots of practice the two of us and a friend became Nebraska's version of Peter, Paul and Mary.  We sang for anybody that wanted music.  We loved it.  Being on stage filled our bucket.  We  found our place in the world, on stage, harmonizing, making people happy.

One Spring, while in college, I read a flier.  Auditions were being held for a Dance Hall Girl in a Wild West Saloon at a tourist "Old Town."   My heart leaped.  "That's for me!"  I imagined red can cans and leg kicking for the joy of the vacationer. Perfect Summer job!  Some might think it a fate worse than death, but me, I still smile and visualize that old wooden stage and the applause in the smokey room, the laughter, the songs. 

I was offered the job.  I was ecstatic.  The job was offered me because they were looking for someone who could be raspy and gravely with their voice, sort of growl while you sing.  That was suppose to be sexy and be most authentic.  Dance hall girls were a bit rough, you know.  Well I could do that.  I was in.  The perfect summer job was mine. 

But I had a boyfriend.  His summer job was on the other side of the state and he wanted me there.  Now, I was young, about 19, and  I was in love.  He wanted me there.  It was the 60's.  A young girl went with her man.  So I gave up my dream to follow another.  I went through an employment agency to find a job and lied about how I so wanted to be a receptionist/secretary.  All summer long while I struggled to type and be pleasant on the phone, I dreamed of leg kicking and red can cans.

 It took me lots of years to realize that the boyfriend, whom I married and had a very respectable life with, didn't love the saloon girl.  He loved  the sectretary.  The one who behaved well and organized his world.  Sectretary I was not.  It was a struggle to be organized, to type, to take memos.  It was not free.  I was not free.  I worked very hard at being who he wanted me to be, but the dance hall girl was always there screaming, "let me out." 

So now, some 40 years later, I still dream about that old wooden stage, the laughter and the freedom.  I turned my back on freedom.  I imprisoned myself into a life that I had to work at rather that love.    Now, I tell people to follow their dream.  If you want to be a secretary, go for it and be the best secretary that you can be.  You will be happy.  But, if you want to throw your skirts from side to side, kick you legs high and sing with your raspy voice, then do that.  Do that, and whatever or whoever is waiting for you will be there when you're finished.  You will be more complete. 

See, I believe that God made us perfect.  If we're made to be a secretary we will know it.  If we're made to dance and sing in a saloon we will know that too.  We spend lots of time doing things that don't make us feel free.  We all recognize freedom.  Our whole selves are elevated.  And, when you meet someone who loves the person that you know is inside, pay attention to them.  They just might be a life time partener.  

No comments:

Post a Comment