Serving in many leadership capacities throughout my life, I’ve learned the value of dependable people. For this reason, when I’m not the leader I try very hard to be a dependable minion because I know the frustration of dealing with flakes.
Most of the time I’m a good soldier, but occasionally a troublesome alter-ego slacker possesses my being. When this happens, I wish I turned into a big, buff, bright green hulk so nobody would recognize me when I run amok. Unfortunately, Delinquent Kari looks exactly like Dependable-If-A-Tad-Late Kari.
Delinquent Kari recently reared her ugly non-green head.
A friend called who was in charge of the cast party after the local elementary school play. A misinformed person had given her my name as someone who knew western line dancing and could use these perceived skills to teach kids at the party (the play was a western). Dependable Kari said, “Yes! I can western line dance! I’ll be there Saturday night with boots on!” I hung up the phone and turned on some honky tonk tunes intending to practice a Boot Scootin’ Boogie.
I quickly realized I didn’t know how to western line dance.
I don’t know where the misinformed person got her information, or why she passed the misinformation onto another person, or why I believed that person’s misinformation about myself and agreed to teach youngsters a dance I didn’t know. But, wanting to uphold the delusions others have about me, I found a tutorial on YouTube and went to work.
Long story short, I remembered I had a daughter who already had western line dancing skills and she agreed to teach the kids. With the assignment covered, Dependable Kari made a Saturday night date with her sweetie.
A few hours before the party, my daughter called to ask if I would go teach the dance because her work shift went late and she had a test to finish that night. Being a YouTube dropout I was inept, but I told her I’d figure it out. I called several competent dancers I knew to cover, but none could. Feeling frustrated and stuck, I called the friend in charge and explained the predicament hoping she’d just let me off the hook. She told me to still come and she’d help me fake through it for the kids.
Cue Delinquent Kari: What’s the point? I don’t even have a kid in the play! I don’t even have a kid in elementary school anymore! Why did they even ask me? Certainly there’s another mom who’d already be there who could fake teach the dance as well as I could at this point.
And I had a date.
I sent a text to my friend saying as much. She replied with a deserved rebuke for leaving her in the lurch.
Shame on me.
I despise flakiness, yet here I was fit to be stuffed with cherries and baked. Determined now to follow through, I called my daughter and begged. I said I’d take her college test, and pay for her to retake the class when she flunked. She taught the dance for me, and completed and aced her test. The kids had a blast dancing and I managed to save face, though I’m not sure which one it was.