Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feliz Has Been Robbed From My Navidad

My high school experience can pretty much be described as, A Tale of Two Personalities. I was the funny fat kid who made friends easily, was quick with a self deprecating joke and masterful at diffusing tension with clever banter and wit. On the flip side, I was completely content to blend into the background. Eager to please, but happy to not be noticed. I have always been more of a spectator than a participant. A vocal, clever spectator, but a spectator nonetheless. My sister was the cheerleader, I was the stat girl.  That might explain why, to this day, I could put name to face of about  90% of the students that I graduated with. I'm a freaking Rainman with names and faces.I don't know what the percentage would be in reverse. But considering how many times I have had to explain who I am to people that I have known for years, I doubt that it would be very high. 

All of that nonsense is mostly just a tangent...on with the story!

Every year during Christmas, my high school Spanish teacher would drag us around to various classrooms and offices while caroling en español. This drummed up some very conflicting emotions in my angst ridden high school heart. On the one hand, I would rather die than make a fool of myself shakin' it like a white girl, singing stupid songs in a language that I didn't understand and certainly didn't speak very well.  On the other hand, I was all about participating enough to ensure that I held onto my spot as Ms Rocca's favorite student. (Did I mention that I was a huge nerd?)

Like the true geek that I am, I scoured our 'set list' and devised a plan to participate my little corazón out, and still manage to save some face with my peers.  It was obvious that the most requested and best preformed song in our repertoire would be, José Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad."  All I had to do was convince Ms Rocca to let me shake the maracas and belt out the standard mariachi band "AAAhhhhhaaaa." If I could lock down the parts that are meant to be funny, I was off the hook for any naturally occurring teenage humiliation.  I don't want to pat myself on the back or anything, but this plan was nothing short of a stroke of genius. And since I really was her favorite student (of all time) it wasn't that hard to convince her that I was BORN for those two parts.

We practiced our canciones all month long and totally rocked it. I shook the hell out of my maracas, literally, and timed my "AAAhhhaaaaa" just perfectly.

(1:17 that was ALL ME!)
It's been seventeen a few years since freshman Spanish, but every Christmas when I hear that familiar refrain, I get a little excited. I shake my imaginary maracas and shout out my "AAAhhhhaaaa" like I am the long lost blue eyed member of Los Lobos.

But this year....something bad happened. I was driving home from work listening to the radio, and after just two or three notes, I knew what was coming. I bopped and hummed along, waiting for my big part. AND. IT. NEVER. CAME. Sure the maracas were there, but what good are maracas without a little "AAAhhhhhhaaa!"

I don't know what Spanish speaking Scrooge thought that it was okay to rip out the hear and soul of a classic Christmas cancion.....but I am certain that my heart has shrunk at least two sizes. And I bet Ms Rocca will be pissed when she hears about this!


Mona said...

I can totally picture you in high school. Love it. I'm pretty sure we would have been friends then, too.

Quite honestly, I can't stand "Feliz Navidad." Can never get the damn thing out of my head.

Jillian said...

The trick is to ignore the rest of the song and wait for your cue to AAhhhhaaaaa. The rest of it is just noise.

And I hate to admit it, but the reason you can so easily picture the 'high school' me.....is because the 31 year old me isn't all that much different. I've got nicer boobs and go on better vacations....but other than that....pretty much the same gal.

J&J Priest said...

Know how it feels. :)

Sparklebot said...

High school was a delicate balance for many of us, it seems. I think you handled it better than I. I am very clumsy in actuality and in metaphors.

Maursupial said...

Well, you're the AAAAhhhhhaaaaa in my Navidad.

mexicarol said...

First of all, where the H did you find that music video?! Secondly, you make me proud. You must have the soul of a true Mexican to be able to belt out a respectable "AAAhhhhhaaa."

Why is it that fat girls and short guys hide behind that facade of shining personality and humor? I think it was the trauma of those formative years that now have me in therapy.