Alias: Thea Williamson

I felt a lot like Sydney Bristow this weekend (first season, clearly), changing roles, costumes, and personalities every 12 hours. It’s definitely 10:00 on a Sunday night, and I have not yet finished the midterm exams which were due on Friday, nor have I planned lessons for some of my classes, or graded anything. There was a theft on Thursday, and the subsequent investigation of my missing key drive kicked off the secret agent fest this weekend. No leads as of yet, and I’m pretty dubious that it will ever be returned, but whatever, I’ll try.

Friday, after being a teacher and a coach, I rushed home to shower and transform myself into “Thea, the Social Teacher.” There was a holiday party for all the teachers and administration at this uber-sketch hotel in North Miami. The three white women that everyone thinks are the same person piled into Virginia’s car and headed out to be friendly. The Knechtel-Rubinson-Williamson unit arrived to a rather bleak scene: two tables partially full, a sorry buffet of crudites and chicken wings, and bass pumping out of speakers larger than my bookshelves at home. Needless to say, nobody was dancing at 8:30 pm. We noshed, sat with the assistant prinicpals, and felt generally awkward and racially segregated. Awkwardness solved when Ms. Knechtel and I got up to dance with some of the other ESE teachers; the Macarena: bridging gaps all over the world. Warms my heart, really it does. Had fun times with the boys’ coach Mr. Nehmi, including bonding over the ’94 World Cup. He was a referee there, I was 13. Ha.

Immediately after playing the part of the jovial educator, I transitioned into “Thea, Domestic Goddess.” Mary and I put on some music and scoured the apartment after the cookie dough was finished. Swept the floors, took out the trash, rearranged the living room, washed the floor, cleaned my room, hung lights, erased the lines from the new M. F. K. Fisher quote on the kitchen wall, and finshed up the evening with a little party planning. I was amazed that we stayed up till 1:30 on a Friday night. I NEVER stay up that late on Fridays. Don’t know what came over me, really.

Up early, early to segue into “Thea, Party Planner” while running errands all over Aventura. Target for accessories to match the $8 thrift store gem that I’d purchased the week before, decor for the apartment, and cookie supplies for Mary.

Party Planner time spilled into “Thea, Graduate Student” time, making us late for our group paper meeting way out in BFE (at FIU). Worked like the devil on the last 5 pages of our paper on the 6th floor of the FIU library, with a gorgeous view of suburban South Florida. 80 degrees and clear, you could see for miles…

…miles away, another of the Party trio was hard at work getting things ready for our soiree. We joined Virginia in the late afternoon, icing gingerbread, screwing up a batch of berlinkranzer, hanging cookies, baking more cookies, cleaning up the mess from cookies, and then finally making the transition from Domestic Goddesses to Fashion Plates.

Vintage 1980’s poufy dress, “jet” necklace, heels by Steve, and hair by Thea. I’d been craving a nice dinner out, and this time Teach for America came through. They rented out a thai restaurant on South Beach, and the ’03-’04 Corps were out en force. It was nice to see people and talk about other things than school. Everyone looked nice, and a great deal of people mentioned that I looked nice too [vain smirk]. Oh, give me a break: I deserve one. Gemma mentioned that the ensemble reminded her of Holly Golightly, circa ’58. Hot. Hot. [grin]

“Thea, Party Guest” transformed into “Thea, Party Co-Hostess” with a click of shiny black heels over Washington Avenue back into the Jetta, racing home with the rest of the 266 crew to get ready. A bunch of people came over, and we had a great party. Soft music, 2 living rooms, tastefully decorated, copious amounts of eggnog and red wine, gourmet cookies, and classy hostesses. Plus, as an added bonus, we had 6 (count them) SIX non-TFA people there, a veritable coup d’etat for party hosting in our social circle. Mingling winded down around 1:30 or 2, and we let the cat out of the, uh, bedroom. With tabby in arms, crinoline crinkling, and hair in a casual upsweep, I believe the Audrey vibes were radiating quite strongly. The stalker cat from the backyard was let in for a little while, c/o Mary’s boyfriend, so there was a bit of a cat fight in our kitchen. No literally, the cats fought.

Anyway, it came time eventually to step out of my glamorous garb and become simply “Thea, Exhausted Human Being,” sleeping all the way until a scandalous 12:45. Then, there came a series of roles to play: Thea, Laundress; Thea, Editor; Thea, Procrastinator; Thea, Personal Shopper; Thea, Time-Waster-On-The-Internet-Posting-On-Blogs. Now, the time comes to make one last switch, back to “Thea, High School Teacher”

I suppose the midterms are just going to have to be one more day late, the lesson plans will be thrown together in the morning, and I’ll just be a bad teacher for a few more hours. The weather is changing, and my attitude is changing as well, inversely proportional to the outside temperature. As we strutted down the streets of South Beach in our party getup, it had dropped to a frosty 63, and tonight it’s even cooler. It’s refreshing to feel a little bit of a chill, and it helps make the holiday season feel a little more real.

As those days approach, I’m still a mediocre teacher, but at least I think I’ve managed this weekend to be a reasonably happy Person, in all of my other aliases. Thanksgiving is fading into the distant past, thankfully [ha, i’m funny]; all I’ve got to do now is complete my assigned tasks with the bare minimum of effor required for me to reach next Friday. God, I sound like a student. Well, I guess I am one sometimes, so that’s okay.


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