Wednesday, September 14, 2011


...there was a small school house with a few classrooms.  Each classroom was outfitted with desks for the students and a big desk where the teacher might be seated.   And a chalkboard.  Or is it now a whiteboard? Not too sure what is going on in the classrooms.  I’m guessing the chalk dust is a health hazard and those chalk boards may be a way of dating myself.  (Wait, I already dispensed with the age issue yesterday…)  Those poor Catholic school boys who had the job of cleaning the erasers by clapping them together sending chalk particles in the air are now being rounded up by some law firm to be part of a class action suit that I will soon see advertised on TV at 2:30AM when I am still lying awake.

My classroom is a very different classroom.  The students are all ribbons.  Every seat has a different color ribbon.  No two ribbons are the same.  I can barely see Mr. Clear Ribbon.  He’s the kid who no one ever paid any attention to, and guess what?  When HE grew up, he just began to Kick Ass.  He became a formidable opponent and extracted revenge on his peers, ALL of his peers.  It didn’t matter if it was a peer that snickered behind his back, or if it was someone who simply ignored him.  He even extracted revenge on a peer or two who may have gone out of their way to try to include Mr. Clear Ribbon and be nice to him.

The teal ribbon was stereotyped.  Every other ribbon had an opinion about the teal guy.  Today, I believe that is referred to as racial profiling.  Some believed he was a terrorist in training.  Most understood Teal was from a fine family and the family was well respected in the community.  Very few people had no opinion of Teal but some of the other ribbons were simply ambivalent toward him.  Teal got so sick and tired of the racial profiling, he showed up one day with a few extra colors painted on his ribbon so people would stop presuming he was a terrorist or pretending he didn’t exist.

As in every classroom in every school all over this country, there is The Queen Bee.  Miss Pink Ribbon had it all.   She was pretty and popular.  She had dates with all the hot guys.  She came from a fairly well to do family.  She was always in the latest and the greatest clothing and she was adorned with all the best accessories.  Designer handbags and a shiny new car which she drove right into the school parking lot on her 16th birthday with some of her pink ribbon friends from other classrooms.  In fact, her car was nicer than most of the teachers in the entire school.  It was definitely nicer than the principal’s car.

The ENTIRE school knew Miss Pink Ribbon.  All of the teachers loved her.  The clerical staff loved her.  As time went on, familiarity began to breed a bit of contempt.  There was a bit of a rift brewing between Miss Pink Ribbon and some of her pink ribbon friends.  Some of the guidance counselors saw what was going on and they began to align themselves with the disgruntled pink ribbon group.  The principal?  He still LOVED her despite the fact she was garnering far too much attention and he did have an ENTIRE student ribbon body for which he was responsible.   Like so many of the others, he was caught up in her aura.

Miss Pink Ribbon, deep down, had a little bit of loneliness and wasn’t always as confident as she forced herself to appear whenever she was out in public.  She barely acknowledged her own loneliness and occasional fear except for a handful of times she was all alone. (Perhaps on a private jet....... had to go ruin a perfectly innocent fairy tale with a sarcastic remark, when oh when will I learn)

When Miss Pink Ribbon won the school talent show, all the merchants on Main Street USA adorned their shops with Miss Pink Ribbon memorabilia.  Her rendition of “You are So F’ing Perfect” was, as they say in the music world, “pitch perfect” and was perfectly staged.  Big time production.   The merchants were all convinced she was going to Broadway and she was going to be a superstar one day.  Everyone wanted to jump on The Miss Pink Ribbon coattails.  Her notoriety spilled into some of the surrounding towns.  They were convinced she was going to be the next lead in Wicked.  (Really, AM, was THAT necessary now, too??)

Miss Pink Ribbon began taking too much for granted.  She never grew up and changed with the times.  Pink peaked.  Shortly after the talent show, she got a few bit parts on Broadway.  Some were successful, some flopped.  Her supporters from school stayed with her all the way.  Every show, good or bad, they were in attendance.  The principal.  Not only in attendance, he was constantly on that school PA system encouraging the new pink ribbons to go check out his Miss Pink Ribbon Superstar.  Over the years, the school expanded several times and there were many more classrooms than when Miss Pink Ribbon graced the building with her presence.

Some of the old crowd of pink ribbons disappeared, some died, some were weary because they felt like they were always sick, some were guilt-ridden because they felt helpless watching their friends.  Over the next thirty years, Mr. Star Struck Principal never had a ribbon quite like Miss Pink Ribbon.  He made sure all the new ribbons that passed through his doors knew about Miss Pink Ribbon.  Her accomplishments were prominently displayed behind one of those glass cases for all to see the minute they stepped into his school.

Most of the new pink ribbons still gravitated toward Miss Pink Ribbon.  Most followed the crowd.  A few, however, decided they would blaze their own trail.  And, they began to find one another.  As the world grew smaller and smaller and social media grew larger and more powerful, Miss Pink Ribbon and her flock of fans realized they made a big mistake.  They didn’t change with the times.  They were satisfied with mediocrity and comfortable (and a tad bit cocky) just shouting their praises over and over and over again.  And, this small group of “unfollowers” began a movement.  They were sick of watching other pink ribbons die.  They were sick of hearing about how important it was for everyone to know about Miss Pink Ribbon.

The group of unfollowers was all different shades of pink.  They were morphing with the changing times.  Miss Pink Ribbon and her adoring fans only acknowledged their shade of pink.  And, any fans who weren’t exactly the right shade were at their pink paint-dresser getting monthly touch ups.  Some were lucky enough to only require touch ups twice a year.  But, they remained loyal to Miss Pink Ribbon.  She is still The Queen Bee.   They are still hanging on to her every word. 

The thing is, those unfollowers began to gather some steam, their numbers grew and they got very noisy.   This was a diverse group of forward thinking pinkers.  Maybe, just maybe they can find a way to get Miss Pink Ribbon to slowly join forces with them.  And maybe, just maybe, we can all go to the same paint-dresser and have our ribbons completely redone in colors we haven’t even yet imagined.  And, we will all LIVE happily ever after.

The End.

The footnotes:

Clear Ribbon=lung

Teal, later added blue and pink/purple=thyroid (the good, the bad and the ugly)
And FYI-September? Also Thyroid Cancer Awareness.  

You’re So F’ing Perfect…… it seemed a no brainer that a “Pink” tune had to be included in this tall tale of nonsense and besides, the title fits.  (With NO disrespect to Pink or Pink fans... it was just poetic license on my part)



  1. Playing catch up on your blog again
    You write so well , I love reading it.
    Been crazy here...More Dr's appointments , tests and lies.
    I am so sick of the lies that were told to me.
    If this is just the beginning of this I just cant imagine how bad it's going to get.
    Bring on chemo brain..
    Maybe I'll just forget it all.
    Not that lucky you say? DARN ~!!!!
    They have now found spots on my lungs.
    I am so angry for them keeping things from me :(

  2. Wow, you tell quite the story! And it has a very important message doesn't it? I admire creative thinkers like you. Thank you!

    And Debbi, I'm sorry. Things should not be kept from you. That's just wrong.


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