This is a snap of me and some of my boys from last Saturday night, NEWBIE SPIRIT NIGHT. This was our chance to celebrate making the team and also get to know everybody better. That guy to the right of me is Jason. He's my tryout buddy. We're both like super new to cheerleading so we would have extra practices together and kinda cheer each other on along the way. I'm SO happy we both made the team. We both would tell each other We can do this but secretly I wasn't always sure I could.
So, yeah, Newbie Spirit Night. When we were trying out for the team we were called “recruits” – kinda rad, right? – but now that we’ve made it we’re called “newbies”. I’m fine with that. I want to say first that I love this word “spirit”. Have been hearing it a lot lately. Spirit. Spirited. Spiritedness. There's this AMAZING Cheer New York video that explores "spirit fingers" right here.
What does it mean exactly? I could look it up in the dictionary and I probably will but I thought I’d try and tell you what it means to me, at least right now cuz it’s my new fave thing. Experienced cheerleaders might laugh at my interpretation but here's my thought process so far...
I guess before I'd always heard it as "school spirit". And growing up like in high school I think it’s accurate to say I did not have school spirit. What's to feel spirited about when people are making fun of you every single day? Not much. The term "spirit" here I definitely think is related to that, like for tryouts they’d tell us wear to wear the team colors of red and blue to "show your spirit", but what I’m getting is spirit is more like xfactor meets superexcited meets je ne sais quoi meets joie de vivre. I think it’s confidence. I think it’s exuberance. It’s joy. It’s happiness. God, I effing love being a cheerleader already.
Well, it’s different for everyone. Spirit looks different on everyone but you know it when you see it. And I’m looking for it lots right now.
Newbie Spirit Night was at this bar up the street from my house called GYM. Had never been there before. It’s like a gay sports bar? Has like lockers and trophies and big televisions playing the football game? I kinda don’t get it but people were into it. Some game was on and I swear like you’d be chatting with some member of the team and then he’d be SO excited cuz somebody made a goal or dropped a ball or whatever, no idea. Gays that are into sports is kinda new for me. I guess growing up it was those sporty types making fun of me. I dunno, it's weird. But SO rad to see everybody and hang out and everyone was SUPER nice. There are so many people I want you to meet.
You were supposed to wear red and blue so I wore jeans, a blue t-shirt, a red wristband, my red risky biz glasses with the lenses popped out and my red Dee&Ricky pixel heart pin. I was showing my spirit. Hadn’t worn those glasses in so long, forgot how crowd-pleasing they are. EVERYONE was complimenting me on my frames, so cute. This great guy LaMont borrowed them most of the evening. (He's up in this photo in the back on the right. You might also remember his hawt moves from this video.) He looked SO cute in them so I was like, You can have ‘em. Cuz I can get so many more.
But the sad thing is at the very end of the night I looked down and saw my Dee&Ricky pin was gone:( I totally lost it. SO bummed about that. I’ll have to get another one. I love that thing. It’s like a design classic to me, a real gem.
SO fun seeing everyone, saying congratulations, chatting, learning what people do outside of CHEER NEW YORK, buying people drinks. I love to buy people drinks. It's like this little thing that really makes people happy.
Later we moved to this little bar downstairs and were dancing around, everyone singing along to Jay-Z’s "Empire State of Mind". You might find it corny or maybe you’re sick of that song but I still find it EPIC. To be in a crowd of people in New York City proper and be singing along to this anthem of big dreams, There’s nothing you caaan’t do, doesn't get better than that.
I decided to go after that song. I always like to leave a party when I’m having the most fun, to glide out into the evening on a goodtimes cloud.
My newbie pal Jason and I left together and we grabbed a slice at Two Boots down near my house. Me. I’m up at midnight. SO exciting!! One thing I super like about Jason is he has a sweet tooth like me. We got chocolate chip cookies with our pizza and as he went back for another I sat there at our table just dreaming.
There was this couple seated in front of me and the woman had on the most beautiful engagement ring I’d ever seen. It sparkled rainbow prisms of such beautiful colors, like watery tears but the precise opposite, crystalline gorgeous glittery greens and blues twinkling into a dazzling kaleidoscope of peaches, cherries and pineapples. It was so perfect. I leaned in to their table, Did you recently get engaged? I asked. They both kinda smiled, Yeah. Congratulations!! I knew it, I said. That ring has the sparkle of a new engagement. All the best to you both.