Every year our high school hosts a fun-loving, silly competition: Mr. (insert name of our high school). 10 contestants compete for bragging rights and a coveted sash. Tank was nominated by his classmates.
The competition was on March 27th. A few days before homecoming. Tank was also nominated for homecoming court. It was a lot to prepare for simultaneously - a strange occurrence due to homecoming being rescheduled from the fall.
It was hard to keep track of which event Tank was focusing on.
Tank: I have to pick a song.
Also Tank: I need to come up with a funny blurb for my introduction.
Me (scratching my head): Wait, didn't we already pick a song?
Tank: No, that was for homecoming. I need a song to memorize for the Don't-forget-the-lyrics part of the Mr. HS Contest.
Around the SAME time, his applications for all of the college scholarships were due. I became Tank's official proofreader, suggestion maker, direction giver when it came to writing essays for these scholarships. He'd decided to apply to SEVERAL . . . so I also became his unpaid secretary.
Tank came home from school one day and announced that he'd decided to end his retirement. He was going to Irish dance for the talent component of the Mr. competition. *He danced from the time he was 6 years old till he was in 6th grade. This does not imply that he danced WELL* And he wanted to wear a kilt.
Shock or not: we ARE Irish, but we don't own a kilt.
Enter Facebook marketplace. I shopped and shopped. Fun fact: many 2nd hand kilts were once worn by men with a waistline twice the size of Tank's 33 inch waist. He wanted the real deal. It had to look impressive.
I reached out to a woman in St. Louis selling 3 jackets. I asked about sizing and explained that I was also in need of a kilt. Well, her uncle (who I assume had passed away) had a kilt. She dug it out for me.
My kids tease me for oversharing/becoming familiar with strangers. This woman's first name is my middle name. Her last name? My grandma's maiden name. I shared this 'connection' with her. I described Tank's mission to Irish dance in the Mr. HS Competition. When I wondered about sizing, she admitted that her uncle was 'not a very big man.' Tank was offended when I said this sounded like Tank. Then I showed him a photo of a kilt made for a BIG man and he understood. She thought the jacket was a 42 and since Coach's sport coat is a 44 and too big for Tank, I thought it would be perfect. It wasn't - but the show must go on.
She sold us the whole outfit for a VERY reduced rate. $65. Plus I paid shipping. She said her uncle would be thrilled.
Me to my kids: SEE, it helps to get to know people. (My I'll-talk-to-anyone self-promotion earned me some serious eye-rolls)
I considered paying a place to alter the snug jacket. Instead, I added to the sleeve length and moved the buttons. It worked.
|In all the excitement, I failed to take any photos the night of the competition. This is at home, trying on the outfit before I extended the sleeves. Oh, and he had a terrible cold - his nose is bright red.|
Shoes: Tank wears a size men's 15. Irish dance shoes are not made that big. I ordered men's tap shoes on Amazon. I shopped for other shoes, in case those didn't work. I sent Curly to the studio to dig out Ed's old hard shoes (that are in the for sale bin) just in case they'd work. Um, only if we were going to duct tape them to his feet. When an enormous pair of men's ballet shoes arrived from Amazon, I stopped in my tracks.
Me to Tank (holding up the ballet shoes): We've crossed a line here. I don't even remember ordering these. This is out of hand.
Coach wondered if he'd ever come home from work and NOT hear us debating what to include in Tank's witty intro, or hear Tank schedule a time for Curly to teach him an amazing dance. The dancing lessons in the basement were something to behold. I was doubled over.
Curly (frustrated that Tank still couldn't learn the dance after she 'dumbed' it down): I already changed it to a slide, whip. Just do it three times in a row. How can you not remember that? It's so easy.
Tank: You're gonna have to go up on stage with me. I can never remember all of this.
After much convincing, Tank agreed to perform the St. Patrick's Day Set - a basic dance that every dancer learns at a young age and can never forget, because it is engrained in them. We explained to him that to the audience it wouldn't look like a baby step.
Every night for weeks when I went to bed, I'd hear Tank in the basement memorizing/practicing the song he chose for don't forget the lyrics.
Show time: Curly and I went to the show. Two tickets per competitor. Coach was at work. Mini was selling tickets at the door, since this competition was raising funds for the Global Humanitarian group the kids run. She was able to watch from the doorway of the auditorium. Her BFF who was selling tickets too, commented on Tank's dancing talent. Mini doubled over: HE'S NOT GOOD, AND HE TOTALLY MESSED UP, BUT THAT'S OK.
When Tank walked on stage for the 'formal wear' dressed in his kilt ensemble, the place went wild. (another kid wore a Teletubby costume). When he came out to dance in the talent portion, I assume that people expected him to fake dance. When he ACTUALLY danced, well - I was watching one of the three judges (teachers at the school). His hands went up to the top of his head in disbelief. To be a tad over-the-top-ish, I created a slideshow of Tank and his siblings in their Irish dancing endeavors to play in the background. It's a little washed out from the stage lights, but you get the idea.
Bottom line: It was hilarious and entertaining. It was also great to be at an event and to see all these high school kids show their personalities and act goofy. Another positive to the pandemic limitations, the show was taped and shared in a link. I was able to send the link to anyone who wanted to see Tank in action. *I am providing the link here, but no pressure - this is lengthy and it is high school boys trying to outdo each other's goofy antics. Not for everyone. I 've included a cheat sheet below the link in case you want to jump to a specific part. And yes, I realize you might hear my name and his name, etc. I trust you all NOT to share with Mary Ann.
To tune in and watch Tank specifically (the formal wear and talent parts are two best highlights/quick snippets):
* formal wear is 7:30 minutes into the show.* talent (he dances twice in his kilt) is at 38:30* don't forget the lyrics (had to continue to sing a song once they turn off the music) is at 1:14:10* announce top 3 finalists 1:36:45 -note:* interview questions is at 1:40:15* all 10 contestants perform a choreographed dance is at 1:45:00* announcing the winner and Tank's speech where he thanks Curly for teaching/reminding him of his dance moves is at 1:47:00
The envelope please: The other contestants had told Tank backstage that they all agreed to do the show for fun, but they all knew he'd win. To them there was no question. But of course, one never knows.
Curly and I went nuts when Tank was announced the winner.
It was so awesome.
The guys chanted: speech, speech.
Tank's speech (included): Is Curly in the house? Stand up, Curly. Everyone clap for my little sister who re-taught me how to Irish dance just for this show.
My next post only a few paragraphs. I'm seeking your advice about a color for our house. Get ready to weigh in. First I show you my kid's actual face, share our real name, and then I show you my house - look at us just getting all familiar.