Friday, December 9, 2011

Jingle Bell Rockin' it in Tap Shoes

On my commute home from work the other night I finally gave in and tuned to the station playing Christmas music 24 hours a day. They started on Black Friday, but I couldn’t bring myself to listen to any rendition of “Frosty the Snowman” that early – even if I do think that Burl Ives made a really cute snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with his little plaid vest and umbrella.

I haven’t joined the whole Sirius radio revolution, so I’m still listening to only about three local radio stations in my car. So trust me, it’s not easy to avoid the 24-hour a day Christmas music radio station. I mean, even when I listened to the morning show for a few minutes to hear their “Celebrity Dirt” or “I Didn’t Know That Fun Fact of the Day” segments, I immediately switched to one of the other two stations right after they finished.
But, since the Christmas season seems to be truly upon us, I decided to test the waters and see if Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” was enjoyable or got on my nerves.

Fortunately, the first song I heard was “Jingle Bell Rock.” Not the Home Alone version by Brenda Lee, but the one by the man. (Okay, I have a computer and I can look stuff up. Yeah…hold on… Okay, I’m talking about the one by Bobby Helms.)

Anyway, when I heard that song, I was instantly transported back to the third grade.

I know – weird, right?

But in the third grade, I – along with several other third grade girls – did a little tap dance to Jingle Bell Rock for what I assume was a Christmas show the school staged for parents and other adoring family members. As I recall, our tap dance sort of morphed into a Rockettes kind of thing with all of us linking arms and high kicking as Bobby sang “…dance the night awayyyy!”

Since I went to Catholic grade school, I can’t imagine how they managed to coordinate our annual recreation of the whole Baby Jesus being born in Bethlehem with angels and wise men and the whole nine yards scene with a bunch of little girls high kicking to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

It’s weird the things you can remember, isn’t it? I mean, I have no other memory of that evening other than the snippet where I was tap dancing and kicking.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Because my tap-dancer teacher was a nun. Her name was Sr. Lucy. And this – mind you – was back in the day when nuns wore the long black habits with three foot long rosary beads attached to their waist and wimples on their heads so that they rather resembled penguins.

I sort of remember taking tap dance classes in the janitor’s room because it was the only place in the school with cement floors and evidently we really needed to hear the taps on our shoes as we fumbled along learning the difference between a brush and a shuffle.

I remember being most shocked when Sr. Lucy lifted up her habit so we could watch her feet as she showed us the steps. Seeing a nun’s ankles was a big shock to an 8-year-old, who was a little na├»ve and didn’t think nuns had the same parts as the rest of us. I mean, we’d only ever seen a small portion of their faces and their hands.

Of course, it wasn’t like seeing anything, really. I mean, nuns wore heavy woolen stockings and clunky black shoes.

And, while I don’t really remember what Sr. Lucy’s tap dance shoes looked like, she was one of my favorites and I’d like to think they were shiny black patent with wide grosgrain ribbon ties.

Ah well. Since I can’t remember how to tap dance anymore, I assume that my lessons were short-lived. But hearing “Jingle Bell Rock” on the radio sure brought back some fond memories.

So I guess maybe it is time for the 24-hour Christmas music station.

Except that I reserve the right to change the station the very first time I hear “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”

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  1. AnonymousMay 02, 2013

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