Dancing (& Eating) in the Dark

Love can make you swing!

I can’t quite remember where everyone else went that night – ice skating? a slumber party? the mall? What I do remember is that on the night of my eighth grade Valentine’s dance, a bunch of my classmates had a scheduling conflict and chose to attend the not-a-dance. I don’t recall where they went or why I didn’t go with them. But I do remember the dance.

I remember going with my friend Chrissy; I probably spent the night at her house afterwards. And I remember Garth Brooks – a given in a small rural town in the 90s. But the two most important things I remember about that night are close dancing with a boy and winning a giant Hershey’s KISS.

Are you surprised by this? That dancing and eating hold equally important places in my junior high memories? Right.

Because most of the other girls in my class weren’t at the dance, that meant the boy I liked had to resort to the second string for his dance partners. Now, don’t worry, I didn’t see myself as second string. I knew full and well that I’d been his friend well before he lost his geeky glasses and braces. I liked him before he got all cute and everything. Obviously I was the clear choice for his love of a lifetime [cue the Firehouse now, please]. Sadly, he didn’t see it that way.

But that didn’t matter. Because on that fateful night, the other girls weren’t there and I was. Luckily my school dances didn’t include chaperones monitoring our personal space with rulers or balloons. So I got to middle school slow dance (you know, hugging in rhythm) all night long.

It was very romantic, and I’m pretty sure we looked something like this:

[Side note: Did you know that Boy Meets World is coming back? DID YOU KNOW?]

As you may have seen coming, our love connection didn’t last to Monday morning, and that crush just became one more in a line of cute boys who liked me as a friend. You know what else didn’t last long? THE GIANT HERSHEY’S KISS I WON IN A RAFFLE AT THE DANCE.

I have no idea what the other prizes were that night, but I remember feeling like I won the middle school dance jackpot when they announced my name and I laid eyes on that ginormous piece of chocolate goodness. I hid that puppy in my room when I got home and, bite by bite, I ate it like a champ that weekend. A lovesick champ on a sugar high, sure. But a champ.

I’m pretty sure if I pulled out my diary from that angsty season of life, we’d find that I journaled about the boy and the chocolate with equal amounts of intensity. I love the chocolate, and a giant kiss – well, let’s just say it was a decent consolation for the other kind of kiss I did NOT win that night.

I still love Hershey’s KISSES [and I haven't seen that boy since the summer after we graduated high school]. As a matter of fact, I’m headed to the grocery store as soon as I finish this post to buy some Hershey’s KISSES for Valentine bags we’re giving to Annalyn’s teachers.

But, more exciting for you (yes, even more exciting than reading about my middle school memories!), are the FOUR BAGS of Hershey’s KISSES I’m giving away this week. That means four lucky readers will win a bag of chocolates – and nobody will judge you if you want to hide it in your room and/or eat them all in one weekend. Happy Valentine’s Day TO YOU!!

Check out this infographic and then check out the giveaway details below.

To enter the giveaway for a bag of Hershey’s KISSES, leave a comment telling us about your favorite or sweetest memory involving Hershey’s KISSES. This giveaway will close at midnight (CST) next Monday, February 18.

This post is sponsored by The Motherhood and Hershey. Yes, I was compensated partly in chocolate. All opinions, however, are my own – including those about country music, teenage crushes, raffles and preschool teacher gifts.

[Side note #2: Does anyone else watch Cougar Town? Did you catch it the other week when Courtney Cox's character mentioned "Dancing in the Dark" as her favorite song? You know, the song whose video she got her big break from? That cracked me up.]

Crossing the Line

UPDATE: All right, friends. I promised you my story, so here it is.

I grew earlier than most of the kids in my class. Including, most notably, the boys. But also the girls. And that height gave me an advantage when it came to the sport of basketball.

Enough of an advantage, for a couple years, to make up for chubby legs and a painfully slow run. And, oh yeah, my asthma.

But by the time I entered high school, I still had chubby slow legs and an inhaler on hand at all time. But I wasn’t necessarily the tallest girl on the team.

[I know, Smitty. I was never taller than you. But for a while I was one of the tallest girls. And then I wasn’t. But I still loved wearing your size 9 tall jeans in 8th grade. That one time? Remember? Yeah. I loved those jeans.]

Anyway, I played on the freshman basketball team, even though, like my height, my skills had really peaked about two years earlier. Our coach was a mean, mean man. And I didn’t like him much (if you couldn’t tell).

Well, one night we were in a neighboring small town, getting our adolescent butts kicked on the court. I have memories of our coach practically screaming at us at away games; I’m not sure if that happened on this certain night or not. But either way, tensions were running high.

So when I was running my darnedest down the court – behind everyone else, remember, I was slooow – and flat out tripped over my own two feet, I shouldn’t have been surprised when my so-called friends and teammates laughed hysterically.

Picture this: There I was, chubby and wheezing, trying so hard to make it from one end of that court to the other. Trying to be good. (Oh, how I tried.) And somehow, I just tripped over my Nike high tops. Falling FLAT ON MY FACE.

Oh, you know what? That’s not true. First my knees slammed into the floor. Then I fell flat on my face.

Apparently, as legend goes, I tripped near one of the many painted lines on the court. This coincidence, of course, prompted my evil coach to yell – for the whole world (and the boys team) to hear: “Watch out for that line!”

Cue the hysterical laughter. Cue the years of teasing from so-called best friends. Cue the mysterious title of today’s post.

Ah, high school. Bruised knees and a bruised ego. Memories. Glorious memories.

Whose idea was it, anyway, to dredge up these things?!

Right. Right. Well, anyway, that was the last year I played basketball. And that was most definitely one of my most embarrassing moments.

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A co-worker and I were discussing how weird it is that a common ice-breaker is to have each person in a newly formed group share his or her most embarrassing moment.

That’s weird, right?

So how about we share ours today? Because we’re not a new group here . . . c’mon! We’re more like family here on this blog!

I promise – if you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.

Actually, that’s not true. I’m going to tell you my most embarrassing moment no matter what. As soon as I get more time this afternoon. But it sure would be less painful if you shared yours, too . . . I’m just saying!

This Mama’s Baby Drama

In 2007, Mark and I experienced several true, literal, not-exaggerating miracles. First, we got pregnant. And then it was a healthy pregnancy. And then it wasn’t. But somehow, The Kiddo and I were okay. No, better than okay; we were great (eventually).

And did I mention that in the middle of the whole mess, I lost my job?

But we were still quite okay. Thanks to a mighty, merciful God who knows the plans He makes for us* and works all things together for good**.

Here’s my story.