Yep. And someone is accusing the poor sucker who bumped the post as being a DC shill.
For the record, I do not know or have anything to do with swgarasu. And the blog shows me where the traffic is coming from, so no, I don't just start talking about you guys after one of my paid goons bumps the post. Google Blogger tells all...
But since you are all wondering what turned me from average everyday struggling amateur to the super curmudgeon that I am today, I do figure it is time to share with you all one of the defining moments in my dressage career..
I like to call it "the day I went Sandra Dee on Dressage".
You remember Sandra Dee. From Grease. "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity" and so on. She did everything right, she tried to play by the rules, didn't drink, swear, or rat her hair.
Then one day, she got fed up with all that goody goody shit. It just wasn't paying off. I don't even remember what pushed her over the edge, but she put on some sleazy spandex pants, danced around with John Travolta at the carnival, then shot off into the sky in a convertible (presumably to have hot sex with him all night long, while drinking, swearing, and naturally ratting her hair on a pillow or backboard).
Yep, once you cross that line and just say "Fuck you all, I could care less if you hate me or think I am an obnoxious bitch, I have had enough of this whole gig" life gets to be a whole lot more fun. And I crossed that line, this summer at Palgrave. Due to the shorts incidence.
(Which also helped me to finally understand why Porky Pig has never, ever been seen scribing at a dressage show).
It started a few weeks before the actual incident. I was enjoying a totally fabulous afternoon in a sponsor's tent at a Pan Am Games qualifier, drinking wine and eating munchies with some equally fabulous dressage ladies, when I saw over at the next tent some of our local judges huddled and looking sort of gossipy and miserable. (Well, I didn't actually notice that they looked gossipy and miserable until I was too close to turn away and run - I was approaching them, wine in hand, with simply the good intention of saying hello).
Upon investigation - I discovered that they were miserable because they had been recruited to scribe for REAL Oh-Oh-OHHH judges at this Pan Am Games qualifier due to the lack of other competent volunteers available. Being good sports - who wanted to support the sport - they had played along, but I could feel the love was not there.
I felt kind of badly about this. I am a qualified scribe, and have spent many a weekend madly scribbling instead of actually having a life. I have shown most levels up to and including PSG, one of the actual Pan Am Games levels. I was not showing in 2011, and therefore would not have a time conflict. I should be doing my part to give back to Dressage Canada. Right?
Sooo... while Mr. Motard was off on his annual Motorcycle pilgrimage to somewhere with his Dad as he does every summer, I volunteered THREE days - all THREE - the whole show! - of my life to scribe at the next CDI qualifier in my area. This included not only my weekend, but also one of my precious personal work holidays.
This is what good dressage people do, right?
I planned a nice weekend around the event, which included spending my nights with Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeon and other friends who live more local to the Palgrave area than I do, so as not to have to commute all the way home each day (1.5 hour journey). I packed my overnight bag (key to the story) and off I went. Good times! La la la..
Things started off great. The weather was fabulous - and hot. And so, I wore...(whew, get ready for it. You may want to cover the eyes of young children)... I wore... SHORTS.
|Ahhh! My eyes! My eyes!!
My assigned judge was fabulous. I was working a lower level ring and therefore watched mind-numbingly boring lower level tests for all three days (I think 3rd was the highest, but mostly TL and 1st), but I was ok with that, we were having fun and good conversations, and there were some really nice horses and rides.
Good times, la la la.. ooooh.. what is for lunch! Lasagna! Mmmm.. la la la..
SCREEECCCHH - CRASH - WWWWHAAAAA - BANG (this is the sound of crashing, burning, wheels falling off of things...)
I made several errors at lunch.
1. Apparently, you do not sit at Judge OOOhhh's table without being invited. No worries, my assigned judge quickly and smoothly rectified this error by luring me over to her table with garlic toast or something. Whew, really dodged the bullet there. Imagine my gall, thinking that I could eat lasagna next to Judge OOOhhh! I have a lot of nerve, really.
2. When fleeing from Judge OOOhhs table as is expected from a lowly volunteer, you should not whack your plastic chair into hers. Even if you say "oh, sorry about that OOOhh", it is NOT ENOUGH. NOT NEARLY ENOUGH to make up for doing something so clearly and utterly awful and disrespectful. I didn't actually see the daggers come out of her eyes, but I heard about them from others in attendance.
3. You should NEVER. EVER. EVER. wear shorts.
Well, I didn't know about rule three until after lunch. Just as things were wrapping up, the show organizer gave me the "ahem" with a "c'mere" finger curl and took me aside.
Apparently, one of the judges had complained about my attire.
Yes. It was not appropriate. I would have to go home and change. Do you mind?
You have to be kidding me. I drove 1.5 hours to get here. It is 27C out. I am sitting in a wooden box sweating my totally hidden nether regions off, for you, for three days, entirely for free. NO ONE can see my fucking legs, or any of my body under my boobs. I could be naked below the waist, wearing nothing but a sparkly barrette in my pubes, and no one WOULD EVEN KNOW.
I have an overnight bag full of shorts packed to get me through the next two and a half days. I am not going home to change... Or if I do - it is for good.
Again, I ask, are you fucking kidding me? Or can I wear these shorts.
Uuuhh... I could see the wheels turning - if we send her home, and she doesn't come back... who will do our free labour? As much as her legs offend us - we will be screwed.
Ok. You can wear the shorts today. But can you find pants tomorrow?
Well that was it for me and dressage. Seriously people..that is what matters? My shorts?
I took a lot of abuse along the way, from various people, and listened to a lot of bullshit from wannabes and fakers, froze my ass of at classical clinics, smiled and nodded while people lied to me about this, that, the other.. but something about a whiny Judge, who should have had 1,000,001 better things on her mind at a CDI event than my bare legs absolutely was the final straw.
I went Sandra Dee. Put a fork in me, I am done. Time to fire up the Blog.
For about 15 minutes, I struggled with the idea of just packing it in and going home. But then I thought of my fellow adult amateur dressage riders, left with no scribe, or one with horrid handwriting, or who made lots of errors - why should we all be punished for the fact that there was a petty bitch of a judge in attendance. I know how important that stupid slip of paper is to us, and how much they cost us, not just in terms of entries for the day, but in terms of the horrifying sum of every board bill, every lesson, every vet bill, every blacksmith bill that all add up towards those 5 minutes that go into creating that stupid slip of paper. I said I would do the job - I did the job. But I never, ever will again.
I think I cried secretly all afternoon as I wrote down 6 - more 4ward. 5 - not o. 6 more bend. 4 -disobed etc. etc. and didn't speak to my judge (who kept apologizing for the whole affair) until the next day. We have to kiss butt a bit, she explained. The OOOhhh judges expect it. Don't take it personally....
Well, maybe she does have to kiss butt, it is her job, perhaps she someday aspires to be an OOOHH-OOOhhh-OOOhhhh herself. Maybe she is practicing her OOOhhhh face right now. I don't know what drives her... but I am a volunteer, and frankly, although often it doesn't feel like it, a customer paying the bills that allow this whole sha-bang we call dressage to happen in the first place.. and as such, I could really care less about kissing old dressage judge butt.
Or should I say - I was.
To be fair, I still to this day don't know exactly which judge complained about my shorts. It may or may not have been Judge OOOhhh. I doubt it was the only male heterosexual judge in attendance, but then again I could be wrong, who knows. Bottom line is - I don't care. It was Mean Girls, Pretty in Breakfast and Square Pegs, all set to dressage.
And - also to be fair - not everyone was on my side. Mr. Curmudgeon, who is a hard core National golf rules official said he would have sent me home too.
(We like to support each other like this at Chez Curmudgeon).
On further inspection, there is actually a scribe dress code that does say - no shorts. Had I taken the initiative to research this on my own, I would have known it. Alternatively, the show organizer could have attached it to the "thanks for helping out, see you on the weekend" email she sent to make my life easier (and I had worn shorts often before, with no complaints, adding to my confusion). I suspect she didn't see this train wreck coming either, and while she was smiling and nodding to the complaining judge was probably secretly thinking "oh for fuck's sake, really? It is hard enough to get volunteers as it is... another one bites the dust"...
On Monday, I called up my coach to whine to him about the incident, and he was 100% fully supportive.
Curmudgeon, he said, I am sure your shorts were not inappropriate hoochy booty wear. That judge was totally out of line.
I got a little choked up and thanked him for his support, until he pointed out that the reason he knew this - for sure, without a doubt - was because I just don't have the booty for booty wear...it would have looked bad on me, and I am always well dressed.
Uh, thanks. I guess.