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Status Of Toe, Interrupted By A Totally Unrelated Story About Musical Theater

October 13, 2005

Know how some people have those little text boxes on their websites, that tell you their mood and their latest book and what they are listening to, and other interesting information? I do not have such a thing, so tonight I shall improvise, for I am providing you with a status report, because naturally, you are wondering. Here is my report:

Toe: Icky
Shoes: Ugly
Comments Counter: Still broken
Mood: Hi!
Favorite color: Greenish

Does that help? It is kind of insightful. Hello!

First off, thank you all very much for your concern over my very debilitating and tragic injury that happened to my poor toe. I believe it is growing back nicely, except I will not look at it, for it grosses me out completely.

Indeed, I have no idea of what is going on down there. Something squishy. That is all I know. My toe could secede from the Union that is my body and I would probably not notice. The Toe may rise again! I am really trying not to think about it too much, and yet, clearly I am thinking about it too much.

Anyway, turns out, there is both a Good Side and a Bad Side to my recovery. I will share both with you, starting with the Bad, simply because I am one of those people who when you say, "Good news first or bad news first?" I always say, "Bad news first! BAD NEWS FIRST!" because apparently I cannot experience joy unless it is already ruined.

ANYWAY. So, here we have:

The Bad Side: Other than pain and general reverse-tiptoeing (try walking without putting any pressure on your toes. Seriously! Try it! You will look like an idiot duck), the Injury has forced me to wear very ugly shoes. And y'all, I am not an ugly shoe person.

I am currently wearing shoes with no heels, and huge, round toe areas, that allow for the bandages. The only shoes that I own that fit this description are a pair of kind-of-scary boots with wingtips, wingtips, people, and I do not know where they came from and also they look very weird and oddly like they belong in a stage production of Oliver Twist, and so I am trying to compensate by wearing long pants, only then I really look like an urchin attorney because long pants and only kind-of-visible wingtips are really not a recipe for Fashion Success.

I feel like walking up to people in my office and looking at them hungrily. And then I will ask, "Please, sir, can I have some more?" and they will hit me with a cane or something, and sing about it.

Actually, this is kind of unrelated, but for some reason I feel like sharing that the only play I have ever appeared in, in my whole entire life, was Oliver. And I was in the sixth grade, and I was Mrs. Bedwin.

Mrs. Bedwin is not exactly a major character. She is not Oliver, for example. No. She is Mrs. Bedwin.

As Mrs. Bedwin, I was matronly and had gray hair and a long black dress with an apron, and I spoke two lines. In my first line, I was to walk into the room, and announce, "There's someone at the door." I was then to walk out. This was not a very challenging role.

In my second line, Oliver was to sing a song to me, about loneliness and sadness and urchinness or whatever, and I was to put my arms about his small shoulders and gently announce, "I understand."

That was all. Because those are all of the lines Mrs. Bedwin has. Mrs. Bedwin is not some kind of super star, people. She is a senior citizen.

But this did not matter to me. The stage! The lights! The fame! It was clearly my calling.

So, I practiced. Oh, how I practiced, in my little sixth-grade world. I would sit in my room for hours, in front of my mirror, and whisper my lines to myself. "There's SOMEone at the door," I'd try. Then I'd mix it up a bit, I would feel out my character, with "There's someone at the DOOR."

"I understand," I would say. Then, with tears in my eyes: "I...I understand."

It is kind of like how Meryl Streep practices, I bet. That is the kind of devotion I had to my role: a Streep-like devotion. And so, when the night of the play came around, I was ready. I was ready for middle school stardom. Please go ahead and give me my Tony now, is what I was thinking, because I had that bitch down.

But...oh, you guys. There was a problem. And the problem, of course, was that in the sixth grade, I was madly, passionately in love with the "actor" (and let us use this term loosely) who played the Artful Dodger, and I believe his name was Keith, and I was pretty fucking sure that Keith and I were destined to be together, and that we would have a thousand babies, and that we would probably live in my parents' guest room and that I would bake pies and do the ironing. The problem with being in love with Keith, however, was twofold: with (1) being that Keith did not actually realize that I existed, seeing as he was a worldly eighth grader (and eighth graders had totally gone to second base by then and were listening to 2 Live Crew, duh) and I was a lowly sixth grader with braces and insane hair and skinny legs who was always dressed up like an old woman during play practice but whatever, that may have been surmountable except that I also had a tendency to (2) TOTALLY LOSE THE ABILITY TO SPEAK when the beloved and manly Keith was in my presence. So the fact that I was in a play, with actual lines, which involved speaking, in an out-loud fashion, while Keith was watching...well. This posed a bit of a problem.

On the night of the show, I sat in the green room and did breathing exercises that our music teacher (and underpaid, miserable director) had taught us. I got into my character. I considered my motivation. And I pretty much held my breath for an hour before the stage hand came to collect me. Then the door opened -- "You're on," he stage whispered.

And, oh! The excitement! I remember standing up briskly and straightening my apron, looking at him, and nodding confidently. I was born to perform, I thought to myself. I should probably just live on a stage somewhere. I am very likely a theatrical prodigy, with my two lines. The world...the world is not ready for the degree of talent that I am about to unleash onto this Middle School auditorium.

Grandly, I walked onto the stage for my first line. And I was feeling very cool and collected, and I was just supposed to walk into the room and announce that there was someone at the door. There's someone at the door! That...is an easy line! Many people say that without falling down or vomiting on themselves.

Except! When I went out there, and I saw all of those people in the audience, and I saw the lights and the other actors, I kind of...froze. I froze. And I turned to my right, and THAT is when I saw Keith, talking to the eighth grade WHORE who played Nancy, and he was NOT caring about the fact that I existed, even though I was a sixth grader with needs, KISSING NEEDS, and as a result of this total betrayal of my Life Dream, I completely and totally balked.

I stood there, silently. Approximately nine million eyes were trained on my little gray head.

And so I tried to collect myself.

"There's SOMEone at the door," I thought, furiously. "There's someone at the DOOR."

"I understand!" I announced, to the room at large.

The "actors" looked at me, confused. Nobody, who ranged in age from eleven to thirteen, knew what to do. Ad-libbing was simply too much to ask of our collective experience. Finally, the guy who played...someone, finally let loose with the clever, "Well, bring them in!" which would make sense, HAD I ANNOUNCED that someone was at the door, WHICH WAS IN FACT my line. However! When that statement follows up the pronouncement, apopros of nothing, that I UNDERSTAND whatever it is that is happening in the room at large, then...not so much sense! More "senseless" than "senseful."

So: I ran. Zoom! I hiked up my apron and skirt, and bolted off of the stage, and not into the arms of Keith, who should have fucking COMFORTED me, seeing as he was supposed to be The One, but he was busy nibbling on the ear that belonged to the girl who played Nancy, and PEOPLE, at that moment, my sixth grade heart turned black as coal, and maybe that is why I am cynical and mean to this very day.

But the evening was not over. Oh, no. I still had one more appearance. I was to comfort Oliver, and put my arms about his shoulders, and tell him that I understood the pain and misery and whatever else about his fragile emotional state. And all of this was to happen after he sang to me.

And so the two of us walked out onto the stage for the song (Where is Love? if I recall correctly, which of course I do), and he lifted his small chin to begin singing, and we waited, together, for our cue, and this is what we heard:

"[silence]"

Because somehow, the music was...not working. OF COURSE IT WAS NOT WORKING! The P.A. system had gone out, because GOOD TIMING, and so all of the wondrous canned karaoke-style music that we were supposed to sing along with had spontaneously died, and now we were standing there like IDIOTS on stage, me and Oliver, ALL ALONE, and he was unnaturally short for a sixth grader and I was stragely tall and he was looking at me in horror, because he was NOT ABOUT TO DO THIS A CAPELLA, NO, and all I could think to do was announce my line ("I understand!" "I understand!") and so I said, with total conviction:

"There's SOMEone at the DOOR."

And then we both bolted. We fucking ran off of that stage. And the play...uh, ended. And the music teacher did not speak to me for a week, and THAT, PEOPLE, is why I did not go into musical theater as a career. If you were wondering.

Not that any of that really has any bearing on my foot. But it's nice to remember the most embarrassing moments of your life sometimes! And it is nice to hope that Keith the Artful Fuckhead eventually got run over by a bus.

Sigh. No, not really.

Well...maybe.

No, definitely not. That is Hateful.

(But maybe a very...light bus, that only held, like, feathers and...balloons?)

NO. That is Wrong. BESIDES.

Now it is time for The Good Part of chopping off your toe pad thingy (remember when that was the subject of this entry, lo those many paragraphs ago?), which is:

I have been placed on the disabled list in my building, and no longer do I have to participate in the annual fire drill, or, as it is commonly called, "The Annual Having To Walk Down Twenty-Four Flights Of Stairs In High Heels And Then Spending The Afternoon Waiting For Your Turn To Go Back Up The Elevator So That, I Don't Know, You Can Get Something Accomplished Today That Vaguely Resembles The Practice Of Law And Not An Adult Obstacle Course."

Y'all! Because I am on the disabled list, I get to ride the serivce elevator! O, happy day! Yay, missing toe! Thank you for this silver lining.

And, that is about it. The toe remains unseen and secret and squishy. The service elevator awaits my call. And Keith is probably living happily somewhere in the midwest, selling insurance and not -- absolutely not -- participating in musical theater.

Posted by doxie in General Whining | permalink

33 Comments

Are you ever NOT funny?

Posted by: S. Faolan Wolf | October 14, 2005 12:03 AM

I know the theater. I can see you running off-stage. I'm sure no one laughed then but it was a good chuckle this time. I'm glad your toe is healing. Could have been worse. You could have torn the "top" of your toe off. I did that once. No pedicures on that toe for well over 6 mos.
Thank goodness the nail grew back.
Be healed and go forth to amuse again. (Just be more careful)

Posted by: Mackmomma | October 14, 2005 01:09 AM

That's pretty funny, Miss Doxie. I hate firedrills too - complete waste of time. Like when an actual fire happens, everyone in the office who has their J.D.s and B.A.s will suddenly forget how to Walk Quickly and Orderly Down the Stairs. Not likely.

I'm so sorry to hear about your musical theater debut. I had a Keith, too, only his name was Nathan and he liked Guns N Roses.

Posted by: Peyton | October 14, 2005 08:36 AM

Oh man, you made my day with this. Thank you for always making me laugh!

Posted by: Lucy | October 14, 2005 08:51 AM

My personal favorite? The bus full of feathers and balloons. That? That is classic. Thank you, Miss Doxie.

Posted by: Laziza | October 14, 2005 09:46 AM

That was awesome. AND I am sure very embarrassing, but awesome nonetheless.

Posted by: Morgan | October 14, 2005 10:03 AM

Miss Doxie - that was too funny.

I bet if Keith saw you now, he'd regret not giving you attention in 6th grade!

Posted by: Foxy | October 14, 2005 11:57 AM

I just almost fell off my chair! My son came over and said, "Mama? You alright?" That's how hard I was laughing.

Thank you so much!

Posted by: Brandy | October 14, 2005 12:19 PM

Someday I will tell you my embarrassing story about the modern dance class. And we can laugh, and there will be wine.

Posted by: Em | October 14, 2005 12:50 PM

When I was a sophomore in high school, we did "No, No, Nanette," because the music nun loved the naughty '20s or something. I was Pauline the maid, the comedic relief, the first in what seemed to be a long line of dramatic productions in which my heaving bosom belied me and I was cast as the comedic relief.

Anyway, at one point, I was to say a line while walking across the stage to where the door was offstage. Everything was going well in rehearsal and the first two nights.

Then came the matinee. My crew friend offered me a Spree candy, and I was sucking on it while in the footlights. Suddenly, I realized my line was coming up! I had nowhere to put the Spree! I decided to tuck it in my cheek and hold it there while I delivered the line and walked across the stage.

I bet you can guess what happened. I opened my mouth, my cheek hold betrayed me, and as I said the line, a white Spree remnant flew OUT OF MY MOUTH and onto the floor. Err, stage. Even better, it landed on its side, so it rolled offstage behind me. The audience thought I'd lost a tooth. A circular one, apparently.

The drama teacher was furious with me, and I never lived down the humiliation of that moment. Even now when I perform, I have to stop eating 5 minutes beforehand, so that there are no flying food bits.

Posted by: Coleen | October 14, 2005 12:56 PM

I apologize for what seems to be the LONGEST COMMENT in HISTORY.

Posted by: Coleen | October 14, 2005 12:57 PM

Oh, oh, oh! My first (and only) play was Oliver Twist, too! I was the old lady who knew that there was a locket that came with Oliver when he was left at the orphanage. Which was a really, really important part of the story (not). But I ended up throwing up off-stage instead. So all those people who came to see the Hastlingfield Elementary School version of Oliver Twist will be forever confused because they didn't understand about the locket! I'm so very sorry for them all.

Posted by: not-that-Andrea | October 14, 2005 01:58 PM

Losing toe make you funny. Big time! So, do you know what happens know? There is nothing for it but that you chop off your toe, Big Lebowski-wise (not the same toe; I mean additional toe or toes). To make you funny. You know, for your ART.

Furthermore: Call me an asshole, but I can't decide whether chopping off your toe is more or less tragic than being prevented from wearing cute shoes. Get well soon, though.

Posted by: Gretchen C. | October 14, 2005 02:40 PM

Ack. I meant NOW, not KNOW, but I am too tired to think. As you see.

Posted by: Gretchen C. | October 14, 2005 02:41 PM

Here it the answer to youre shoe dilemma: Wear one oh so pretty shoe and one big sock. :)

I know of what I speak as I am always falling down and breaking my toes.

Posted by: amy | October 14, 2005 02:52 PM

I bet Keith is now fat, bald, and has killer halitosis.
And, because I can't help myself- practise spelling , you may not really need the practice, but practise anyway...
Love to the poor,poor toe.

Posted by: fifi | October 14, 2005 03:27 PM

Aaaah yes, improv is so tricky at those times. We have the Sound System Possessed by Minor Demonic Minions, apparently, and are always having to cover for cues that don't start or people who flub their lines. I'll have to try "There's Someone at the Door" next time instead of grabbing a puppet and stuffing electrical cords in his mouth and sticking him out the set and making a cackling noise.

My awfullest improv moment was when my character was supposed to say "I had to get ready; brush my teeth, brush my hair,..." and so forth. I never knew why "...pick my nose" came out of my mouth, but the call I got from my boss put me in my place. Seems a little boy, when asked by his momma what they learned that day answered "We talked about BOOGERS."

I am still living this down.

Get better, and don't feel so bad about the thwarted stage career. It isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Posted by: MissFish | October 14, 2005 03:31 PM

I am going to refer to each and everyone one of my ex-boyfriends as _______ the Artful Fuckhead from now on. Whether they ever appeared in Oliver or not.

Posted by: Mir | October 14, 2005 03:33 PM

That's just fantastic. I, too, loved the "light" but thing.

But I think I liked the bit about remembering what the subject was way back up at the top. :)

I ramble as well. It's wonderful.

Posted by: SWSNBN | October 14, 2005 07:13 PM

You kill me, Doxie. My husband thinks I'm an idiot because I sit here staring at my computer screen laughing like a hyena.

Sorry about the shoes.

I, too, appeared in a gradeschool play with a boy I liked very well. His name was Rusty. Rusty 'cause he had red hair. He was Santa in the Christmas play, and I was the only girl in 5th grade not TALLER than Rusty, so I got to portray Mrs. Claus (she of the mysterious lack of a first name -- anyone know Mrs. Claus's first name?) I don't really remember much about it, other than the fact that all the 5th grade girls were jealous of me because I got to stand very near Rusty onstage and pretend to be his wife.

Oh, the glory.

Posted by: Jen | October 14, 2005 11:29 PM

I have counted your comments. There are eighty jillion. Having to do with toes, albeit not specifically yours, although I hope it gets better and is not squishy forever: my husband's best friend got his toe chopped off via a (heavy) shower door landing upon it, and as a result, has been called "Toe" by EVERYBODY, including MY mother, who met him ONCE at my WEDDING, and isn't that horrible? And now his wife is having a child, and we are trying kind of hard not to refer to said unborn child as "Little Toe" or "Pinky Toe," or what have you. The moral of the story is, do not let your friends and family call you "Toe," or one day when you're the maid of honor in one of your friends' wedding, her mother will assume that that is your real name. And that is the Very Bad News. Other than this comment being the longest I have ever written. Have a lovely day!

Posted by: Blue Meany | October 14, 2005 11:39 PM

Hahaha, I love your blog! At the very least you can be avenged by the knowledge that Keith the Artful Fuckhead is not a big shot blogger like you. Hope your toe recuperates soon.

Posted by: karenology | October 15, 2005 09:32 PM

Most heartfelt toe condolences. I once broke my own toe GETTING INTO BED! due to a stupid habit of sitting down on the edge of said bed with one leg under myself. One toe on the underneath leg got entangled in sheets as butt was descending and could not extricate itself (in its panic) thus was squashed and broken by said descending butt. A little hard to explain in polite company? Uh - yeah.

Posted by: daffythedachshund | October 16, 2005 11:21 AM

hey, freakily enough i broke my toe the same day you cut off part of yours and i have been hobbling around on my heel and wearing ugly shoes as well!

and the disabled benefits? definitely a silver lining. but i'd still like the use of the toe back. hope your toe heals/grows back quick.

and your 'detour' story was fantastically funny :)

Posted by: jen | October 16, 2005 02:51 PM

please, i beg of you, never mention the toe and it's squishyness again. or i will not come back. i cannot read of it once more. it makes me squirmy and near passing out.

Posted by: honestyrain | October 17, 2005 09:00 AM

Oh, how I am familiar with the terrifying moment of unbearable shame while onstage situation. Except somehow, I had not just two lines, but I landed a part in Midsummer Nights Dream, a big one, with a freaking soliloque, Miss Doxie, and I don't think that's how you spell it but whatever, I had a full 2 minute speech, and there was uncomfortable silence as I turned and stared out into the audience willing the words to fly back into my brain as quickly as they had flown out, which most, but not all of them finally did, and it is because of that horrifying moment that I never stepped onstage with a speaking part again, and became queen of the backstage managing process instead. Oh well.

Posted by: Jenny | October 17, 2005 11:41 AM

good lord. I just now ran across this place, and there are so many comments I can't possibly read them all!

I personally know exactly your toe woes, but in different ways. I have lost the toenail on my big toe THREE TIMES in the last 10 years, first and second by playing Co-Ed hockey in PE as a Senior (I also broke my cute little strappy Victoria's Secret Undies that day) and the latest last week while miving furniture barefoot. (duh, I know) and just about 5 months ago, I happened to BREAK three toes while walking into a door jam. Totally unrelated. However my issue was that I could barely WEAR shoes, and I work in healthcare, so the biggest rule here is NO OPEN TOED SHOES and I have pretty toes (despite all the damage I have done) and I love to show them off and adorn them with toe rings. So with my broken toes, I got to wear Sandals and everyone in my hospital was extremely jealous and angry and they tried to take me out, until they saw the awful discoloration of broken toes and then they shut up. Finally. Except probably behind my back they said I did it on purpose to get to wear cute shows when no one else could. So anyway, totally off topic. I enjoyed your website and your blog. I have a blog, and two dogs, a beagle and a coonhound. They are also on my website. Feel free to Visit, I would be pleased- www.dazed81.com

Thanks and have a FAB day.

Posted by: dazed | October 17, 2005 03:08 PM

I just foun someone that reminds me of you, especially this entry http://law-dawg.blogspot.com/2005/10/and-now-lesson-in-dont-ask-question-if.html

Posted by: Summer Gale | October 18, 2005 11:54 AM

You are the funniest person -- in writing. If you speak the way you write, I have no idea how you breathe.

Posted by: CLD | October 18, 2005 12:47 PM

Hey Doxie!

Yes, it's a little over the top wishing Keith the Artful whatever be run over by a bus, however light. However, it's prefectly acceptable to wish that he now be DRIVING the bus from here until the end of his slutty pathetic life. And yes, we always knew you went for the bad boy types...

Posted by: mramunds | October 18, 2005 04:39 PM

I just found your blog and this story was hysterical! I hope that your toe is better soon, because amputations, even when they are accidental and involve meditations on whether or not your dogs would eat your toe bits (OMG), are actually not so hysterical...

Posted by: allison | October 18, 2005 05:39 PM

I check and I check and I check...but no update. I'm pouting now.

Posted by: theresa | October 22, 2005 11:51 AM

So, you could say that you had a coup de toe?

I used to half-jokingly tell my ex husband that I hoped he would die and get hit by a bus (in that order). I LOVE hoping that people will be hit by busses!

Posted by: Mandy | November 20, 2005 04:25 PM

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