An Artist at Play

Saturday was Shane’s Inspiration’s annual Women of Inspiration Tea. I was one of the honorees, along with Jerri Hemsworth. I was surprised when I received the phone call saying they wanted to honor me. Shane’s Inspiration is very near and dear to me. I’ve been participating in various fundraising activities for them since I was nine. Ironically, this year while shopping for a dress for their gala, I picked out a dress and said, “This would be nice to wear to a tea.”

It was a privilege to be honored. I was very excited when I found out they got my good friend Laura to present me with the award. Half of me was worried she would roast me, the other half believed that she would give a nice, heartfelt speech. Luckily, my latter half was correct. There will be plenty of other occasions to roast me. Right now, my birthday is the most popular. The tea presented me an opportunity to give a little back to Shane’s, since I haven’t had the time I once did. Writing the speech was easy, although I waited until the week before to do it, which was not the best to go over it for pronunciation. But I did a pretty good job. My speech therapist told me to stop eating before I gave my speech. My friend who was helping me was very confused by this, as was I. Apparently, I don’t move my muscles as gracefully when I chew as when I talk. You learn something every day. Had I known that, I would have eaten lunch beforehand. I had also told my speech therapist I was less concerned about giving the speech and more concerned about keeping my legs together in a not-super-short dress while giving the speech. Luckily, my legs didn’t spasm much that day and I felt fine but while I was giving the speech, I watched my speech therapist start to take her wrap off in case I needed to put it over my legs. That made me want to laugh, but I held it in. Being ladylike is not my strong suit.

Seeing my friends was the best part. I made sure to thank my mom in the speech so she got to play the proud mom role. She got really tired of that. There were wonderful spa stations set up all over the place, including massages, henna tattoos, manicures, and tarot card reading. I cut in line at almost every station. It’s the inspirational thing to do. I also got a giant trophy. Initially, when I saw it, I thought it was a vase. It’s beautiful, it’s just a lot bigger than anything I’ve ever imagined. I have a little shelf in my bedroom where I have some of the awards I’ve received over the years. There’s no way it will fit on there. After the tea, I went to a show where my former acting teacher received a lifetime achievement award and I wanted to yell, “My award is bigger than yours!” Size doesn’t matter.

I loved how everyone came up to me and told me I should get my nails done. People don’t realize having involuntary movements makes it really fucking hard to get your nails painted. I was too lazy to explain this to half the people there so I just smiled and said, “Not today.” All in all, it was a great day.


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