My posts during April form part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Jazz and I've selected a variety of classics from across the board. I've mixed up the performers a bit though ...
I'd moved to a small town in commuter-belt Surrey and was feeling right out of my depth. Coming, as I do, from a small town in Devon, I felt right green as grass and totally lacking in confidence. All the girls I worked with seemed to just know - how to dress and how to behave - which made me feel even more of an outsider. Bemoaning my lot to the family during the weekend's phone call, my brother made a suggestion: "Have you checked out where the nearest ladies rugby club is? You're a prop and you know rugby teams always need props." He passed the phone back to my Mum who chimed in with: "That's actually a good idea, you're more likely to meet other girls like you - you know, less lipstick, manicured finger nails and high heels and more - well down-to-earth, like you are my lovely."
As it happened, my brother's suggestion was the best ever. There's a ladies team not far from me, who even play against some sides down in the west country, so there'd be an excuse to pop home from time-to-time. I rang and arranged to meet up with the Club Secretary at the next home game - of the men's side - when she promised I'd get to meet a number of the ladies during the afternoon. "Oh you're a prop?" I got asked a lot and was invited to join the next training session and then to try out for the squad. With a fairly full fixture list, I was soon playing regularly and making new friends. I was even learning how to build a wardrobe which was a good compromise between my previously scruffy rural look and the out-and-out girly frilly look I loathed.
Feeling I'd found my style, I started to attend a lot more of the social functions and let's face it, there's a lot of those in a rugby club! I was even persuaded to sign up to the Ladies team table at the Ladies lunch, the type of occasion I'd usually avoid like the plague - one that was intended to thank and placate the wives and girlfriends of players. The Ladies captain had a chat about the dress code. making it clear that we were to dress up - not bling - but stylish and smart. We'd be competing with a lot of well-dressed ladies and she wanted us to be able to hold our heads up. Luckily I'd just gone shopping for a family wedding and had bought myself one of those wrap dresses - the sort that make the most of your boobs and hips and skim over your tummy. I knew I looked good and the addition of my new black leather riding-style boots meant I'd be comfortable outdoors watching the game too.
At half-time, I heard the club captain approach: "Susan, can I introduce you to a friend of mine? Bruce, have you meet Miss Jones ... our new prop forward?"
© 2017 Debra Carey
Written by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart - genuine songwriting royalty - it was published in 1937 and subsequently recorded by everyone who was anyone, including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald.
But I've chosen a modern version, performed by Robbie Williams of boyband Take That fame. Here he is at the Royal Albert Hall demonstrating a natural affinity for swing. His recording of the song reached even greater popularity when included in the soundtrack to "Bridget Jones".
Comments welcomed! Does this song inspire you to write? Do share your your story in the comments here, either in full, or with a link back to your site.