I said 'no' when she asked.
But then again, I said 'no' when my husband asked and that was 42 years ago.
So it was of no real surprise that I found myself up there singing a few 1940s commercials to an audience at the Redland museum recently.
The museum presented a set of radio plays to mark senior's week/month and my friend the director is that sort of friend/director that gets things happening. She's just not good with a 'no'.
So when she phoned and asked me if I could belt out a few small ditties, no trouble at all, I succombed, as she knew I would. Initially, I suggested a few people who could pop out more than a few of these commercial jingles with confidence and aplomb. But no, she said she wanted me and that only I would do.
Was it ego that prompted a mumbled affirmative response, or simply a lifelong affliction with wanting to please? I suggest that she stroked the first and stirred up the second in equal measure.
Of course, the way of the simple ditty morphed into more. There were in fact seven simple advertising ditties, and only three that I was familiar with. That required a little brain power, which doesn't seem much to some, but is a great deal to me.
And then, my fellow Rockette asked me what I was wearing.
I turned to her in surprise. I hadn't really given this any thought while she had been scanning op shops and other fashion outlets seeking the best the 1940s had to offer. She was hopeful we could match in some small way. I found one outfit in my wardrobe and decided I could make it work.
My co-singer said that everything would change once the outfit was dressed up with heels and whatnot. I turned to her again and said that I didn't do heels.
It wasn't the first time I turned to her, as it turned out, because the ditties came with a bit of choreography involving clicking and shoulder movement and lots of turns. The reluctant performer was also becoming a dance professional of sorts.
We momentarily took our segment on tour when we were invited onto the RPAC stage as a local act in a larger show. The lights were dazzling and the Rockettes shone in the surreal world where people don't say 'no'.