I Still Hate You, Band

By Stacey

I love Saturdays. It is the only day of the week I get to sleep in. I can’t sleep in on Sunday because I have an important territorial commitment Sunday mornings – specifically, some motherf-er will steal my Sunday paper if I don’t go out there early enough to claim it. However, I decided to actually wake up early one Saturday so I could go get myself some Sunrize doughnuts (my favorite doughnuts on earth). It had literally been about 10 years since I had done this, so this was a pretty big deal – I never do anything productive Saturday mornings. But I decided this particular Saturday I would finally do it – I would finally exert enough energy to treat myself.

I roll out of bed and don’t bother doing a single thing to improve my appearance – at 7am, who cares who sees me and runs screaming the other way. I exit my apartment with no makeup, hair going in 14 different directions, and my pjs.

Getting closer to Sunrize, I’m getting ridiculously excited. I could feel this was going to be a great Saturday. I pull into the Hy-Vee parking lot which is right next store to little Sunrize Doughnuts – and immediately see it. The f-ing Millard West Marching Band. For some reason that I assumed only the producers of the prank show secretly filming me knew, 100+ high school kids and their instruments now stood between me and my once a decade-doughnut run. I literally scream “WHY!!!!!!” in my car and think about aborting the mission. But then angry overtakes me. No, I wasn’t leaving – the 5 minute drive was too much effort to waste. I aggressively park my car and slam my door. With a mean scowl, I begin my walk through the band as they begin playing their warm-ups –there was literally no way around – I had to go right through. I snake my way through the open gaps and I can feel eyes on me. After what seemed like 2 hours later, I finally break through the ranks to Sunrize’s heavenly door.

I order 6 doughnuts (3 more than usual because I figured I earned it). When I walk back out the door, all band eyes are on me again. It’s quiet too. I shoot a dirty look to the drum major (who was also staring) and begin the walk back. Do I shout “BAND SUCKS” and run with my middle finger in the air back to my car? I considered it, and if I was cooler, I would have done it. However instead, I slowly inch my way back to my car and quickly become overcome by memories of being in this very band I was forced to join years ago – and the hate was still there and as strong as ever. I remembered the dumb uniforms (hats with dumbass feathers called “plumes” sticking out from the top. Mind you, they have no purpose, they are just an add-on to make sure other people know you are a dork as if the high-rise pants and suspenders aren’t proof enough), the annoying band trips (where my best friend ditched me almost every time to sit with the tuba players in the back of the bus), and of course, the stupid clarinet (that I never spent one minute practicing).

As I got closer to the final rows in the band arch, I waited for one of the kids to comment on my clothes or hair – both of which I would have deserved crap for. Plus these were, after all, high school kids – the meanest kind. But no one said anything. If one of them was cooler, they would have done it, but they were band dorks after all.

I guess I realized that a Saturday morning doughnut run that could make me so overcome with joy may have meant I still hadn’t graduated out of the dork-ranks myself.

Thanks for the forever branded shame, band – I still hate your guts.

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