Yesterday we attended the annual Teddy Bear Show.
I hoped I wouldn’t win anything. I’ve been on edge for a while. There was a bad weekend when I was tired and annoyed, and just as I was getting back on track, my spirits set off again on the downward spiral. Some days I’m at the end of my tether, but the doctor took my blood pressure this morning (it was her idea, not mine) and said it’s normal.
“So you can’t REALLY be at the end of your tether,” said Mum.
How can my blood pressure be normal?! I feel as though I’ve secretly got rabies.
Mum said “if you think you’re at the end of your tether now, wait till you’re my age.”
I suppose by the time you get to her age, you’ve gone through an extra 30 years of stress, fury and irritation.
In one way I couldn’t imagine NOT going to the bear show; in another way I didn’t feel ready for it. Mum was saying things like “maybe I’ll put THAT bear in the such and such class.” Instead of replying “yes, that’s a pretty bear,” I shrugged and said nothing. What that really meant was “it’s as good a bear as any other and I expect you’ll make up your own mind about it.” She said, “it doesn’t matter, you know – it’s just a bit of fun – it’s for a laugh.”
She went to the kitchen to get tea and I still didn’t speak, but I wasn’t sure why she felt it necessary to point it out. I don’t invest my hopes in winning at the bear show – I don’t feel that I have to uphold any particular beary standard. I enjoy choosing my bears and showing them off but I hate being in the limelight. The bears can be in the limelight, but leave me to lurk in the shadows, please!
Then it crossed my mind, maybe she was misinterpreting my downcast expression as “we’ve got to pick the RIGHT bear and that one isn’t it!” Or maybe she realized I was lacking in my usual enthusiasm and was trying to rally me round. Or maybe I was depressing her, and she was trying to rally herself! It can be so difficult to understand what someone else is trying to say (or why they’re saying it).
When we got to the show I was thinking “I shouldn’t show my best bears – I’m not in the mood to win!” But there they were by my side, looking forward with bright beady eyes to the oohs and aahs of the crowd – I couldn’t disappoint them.
Mum’s bears collected a 2nd and a 3rd (including in the bear poem class, which I didn’t enter – having seen her poem!) Big Sister turned up with one of her bears and put him in two classes. He’s so big he had to borrow her chair rather than sit on the table with the others, but he didn’t win anything.
To my horror, there were only three entrants for the Bear with Picture class, which meant I was assured of a placing. I won it. I seem to have a habit of winning that class with photos from the computer. I said to Mum I feel guilty, as it only took me two minutes to print out the photo that morning, and I should have sweated over it a bit more. On the other hand, I did the main work some time ago, and only three people entered the class at all.
The Judge’s Favourite Bear class was very popular, with 30-plus bears, all very beautiful and charming. I relaxed, thinking I was certain not to win this one, then my jaw dropped when she said “and the winner is… ” (and fished out a bear from the back of the crowd, which turned out to be a certain Eskimo Bear clutching baby penguin.
Aah. Won twice. Best in Show went to someone else, though.
The prizes left over by the end of the show (which was when I started winning) weren’t great – a scarlet felt bear made in Germany and a padded picture frame. My sister said I should put the frame in a raffle. Probably will. Though it goes quite well with my curtains! I like the bear, though it’s not one I would have bought. It has an uplifted snout and a cheerful expression, and I need a bit of cheer just now.
Quite a cheery day, when all is said and done. It could have been responsible for bringing down my blood pressure – which was never high, as far as I know, but feels as though it’s been trying to dig a hole in the ozone layer.
EDIT (Dec 2007):
When this was originally published on Blogigo, I got the following comment from Davecathy:
Sounds like you just woke up like a bear with a sore head, just a little grizzly. Still you bared your soul, picked the bear bones out of it and went on to be a clever little teddy and won. You deserve some honey for tea.
I hope he doesn’t mind me quoting it – I was unable to transfer any of my older comments across from Blogigo, but I liked that one.