For some reason, it looks like my head is four inches away from my neck. Must be the hair. Oh, sweet, sweet hair...

Yup. I Was a Cheerleader. Damned Proud of It. (Well...)

Christ, at least they could have found a better picture. But, yup, I was indeed a cheerleader at Thomas Jefferson High School, only the photo that appears here isn't technically a cheerleading photo. Actually, that photo comes from my senior yearbook (the one I edited, incidentally) and my "Most Spirited" award photo shoot. (Also was voted something like "Most Punctual," "Most Self-Aggrandizing," "Most Ineffectual," "Most Likely to Waste Time Moderating Comments on a Blog," "Most Jewish" and "Donnie Most.") And, sadly, I was but a lowly JV cheerleader during my junior year, when the stunning Elizabeth Robillard asked me to help her try out, which meant I'd get to spend every free afternoon lifting the girl of my dreams over my head.

So I did, and we made the squad. And then Elizabeth promptly left TJ to go to Hockaday. And then she went on a New Year's Eve date with my best friend, Michael Thum, who, every so often to this very day, asks me if I ever hear from Elizabeth. Sadly, Michael, no.

And, yeah, I could have quit the ol' JV squad, but it was either that or I go back to early-morning and late-afternoon swim team practices or hang out all day lifting a bunch of girls. And it was worth it, even when my so-called friends showed up to JV games loaded up on Boone's Farm to taunt me about what they felt was an unwise decision on my part. Then they would go home and pump each other, while I lifted girls over my head.

So, there ya go. I was a cheerleader. I'll try to find an actual photo from my cheerleading days, if anyone's terribly interested in all that. I think my 1985 Document is at my folks' house. Speaking of, I will never forget what the old man said to me the day I phoned with the news that, yeah, I was now a cheerleader.

"Just don't bring those fucking pom-poms home."

Which is just one more reason why my dad is much prouder of my brother Michael, who, yesterday, appeared on Georgia TV in his capacity as a major in the United States Marine Corps. --Robert Wilonsky

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