Dad called me Twinkle Toes because I was clumsy as a child and my toes did not twinkle. Calamity Jane was applied occasionally--for variety.
Sometimes I am sure that I've left that part of my identity behind. I try; but then, when I least expect it Twinkle Toes pops out.
The most recent episode was at our writers group work night. We always pack the bags of giveaways for an annual conference in June. Writers send in bookmarks advertising their books, chapter books, pens, notepads--and some lucky years, even chocolate.
We were almost finished for the evening and I was sitting down relaxing for a moment. One item we had packed was a torpedo-like, bright yellow pen that had a yellow highlighter at one end. There were a bunch left over and because they were so cool, I handed one of them to each to each of our hardworking helpers. I still had mine in my hand when Melody asked her fateful question.
"Is that out there in the garden a butterfly bush?"
I know butterfly bushes as they are prolific in England. I even know the Latin name: buddleia.
Excited by my ability to offer an expert opinion, I rose from my seat and set out to see the bush she was asking about. I replay the moment now, in slow motion. The music from Chariots of Fire is playing in the background softly...
I floated across the living room, past boxes of packed bags, towards the kitchen and the sliding door to the backyard. I opened the door and stepped forward--and...
That was when I bounced back, my momentum halted by a screen covering that wasn't open. I felt foolish enough at that, but I simultaneously felt something in my hand pierce the mesh screen like a dart. To my horror I realized that I was still holding the yellow torpedo pen in my hand, aiming forward. Twinkle Toes had struck again.
I confessed to our hosts right away, mortified. They were gracious and told me not to worry. Apparently you can buy magnetic angels to cover holes in screens.
And I'm trying hard to stuff Twinkle Toes back in the box.