I went to camp between ninth and tenth grade - not a real camp, for we did not sing songs around a campfire or stay up late in the cabin listening to the rain hitting the soft wooden roof - but camp nonetheless. The cabin was replaced by a tiny fourth floor dorm room and the listening to rain by the playing of round after round of Texas Hold 'em until one-thirty in the morning.
I was in a play at the camp, but the week before we actually started the play we played acting games. During one of the games, for one reason or another, I jumped. I didn't jump high or in any particular manner, but I guess I did something weird, for as soon as I lifted off everyone laughed.
By an unfortunate twist of fate I had actually been making a joke at the same time I had been jumping, so I naturally assumed people were laughing at the joke (I thought quite highly of myself between ninth and tenth grade). Later, though, a girl who saw me jump asked me to do it again. I did, and she laughed again. I felt a little sheepish.
I dunno, just something about the way you jump. It looks really enthusiastic. Or possibly girly. Like a very enthusiastic girl!
It's not a bad thing.
For the rest of the camp the kids that did the play with me tried to get me to jump, even going as far as to try to get the director to force me to jump during the production of the play (I was a monkey).
This is not meant to be a story about my sad, sad, childhood that was filled with kids making fun of me, and if I could change my jump I wouldn't. I'm glad that the other campers thought it was funny. I really liked camp - don't get me wrong on this count. Up until this point in my life, however, I had always figured that if you really commit to something you wouldn't look funny doing it. Taking my shirt off, dancing to the victory cadence, hugging strangers - I thought all of these things only looked silly because I looked (and felt) so uncomfortable doing them. And yet there I was, jumping with all of my might and without caring about what others would think of me, and there they were, laughing.