When my mother-in-law was a young girl, a traveling ballet troupe came to her small town in Georgia. Sitting in the hard seats of the auditorium, she and her friends marveled at the grace and the beauty of the dancers. In Newnan, Georgia in the 1950s, a ballet dancer was as exotic as a gazelle or an elephant. The women moved like angels. The men, so strong and lithe, were a revelation.
In an especially moving pas de deux, a male dancer took a ballerina in his arms and lifted her right up off the floor and turned around, slowly, slowly. As he turned his back to the audience, a huge mole asserted itself through the seat of his white tights, straining against the stretchy fabric as if it wanted to get out and walk amongst the audience. The way my mother-in-law remembers it, it was about the size of a halved new potato. The little girls spent the rest of the performance watching for the mole to rotate back into view, and stifling their laughter when it did.

That was nearly sixty years ago. My mother-in-law still remembers that first ballet she ever saw. But mostly she remembers the mole. There’s more than one way to get exposed to culture.

  • Jodi
    5:12 PM, 8 September 2010

    It took me a minute or so to realize you’re talking about the skin condition “mole” and not the animal. You are, right?

    • Jonathan Rogers
      5:20 PM, 8 September 2010

      Yes. It was a skin condition. And a serious one, apparently.

  • js
    12:19 AM, 9 September 2010

    Dying laughing..a halved new potato with guts??? Are they sure it wasn’t a hemorrhoid? yuck-o! Well at least you made the mole famous!

  • Aaron Roughton
    2:16 PM, 9 September 2010

    This is awesomely and disgustingly funny.

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