As part of a social experiment in 8th grade, our political science class had a general election. As a result I, along with other classmates heavy on charm and short on real action, was voted into office.
Whereupon we were promptly moved to better living quarters.
There, at the front of the class, we lolled about on extra-large desks. Members of the high school football team peeled organic pomegranates for us, and we were carefully talcum-ed before exertion, lest we chafe.
We were, of course, thoroughly convinced that we, the elite, were deserving of these things.
Meanwhile, our constituents were forced toward the back of the room, their desks pushed together in overly friendly and possibly unhygienic groupings. Cries of “heeeeey, no fair” went unheard; teeth were bared in boisterous and vicious acts of aggression; and correct penmanship was disrespected in wanton, territorial displays against the left-handed.
My campaign promises, whatever they had been, were quickly forgotten, not only because I was an eighth grade twit but because those of us on “Mount Olympus”, as our neighborhood was called, quickly came to political differences with those on “Cannery Row”.
Arguments ensued. Friendships were forever altered, but for crying out loud, couldn’t the people in the back of the room see that we deserved all that extra space?
It was a far cry from yesterday’s yoga class.
There I was. Wedged between Amy and The Guy What Smells Like Cheetohs, mere inches from six people, while the row ahead of the row ahead of me had full range-of-motion rights.
Look at them, up there! Why do they get special privileges? How come the sweat around their mats is from them only? Look at them, with their breathable air and their smiley yoga faces!
It is part of the practice, of course, to set aside petty annoyances, to tune out that which does not serve us in pursuit of serenity and a good stretch.
I close my eyes, do my best to ignore Stinky and Fuzzy and Sweaty and the other yoga dwarves crowding my mat.
And then I remembered Social Studies.
I had this coming to me.
Wendy, wherever you are, I’m sorry that I didn’t work harder to make more room for the desks. I’m sorry that I suggested that if you worked harder that you, too, could get elected and move to Mount Olympus.
And I’m sorry we traded that one time and I kept your painters pants.
It’s been 30 years, but I finally see the error of my ways.
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