Jen Kehl. I hope you're ready for one helluva trip down memory lane ...
1. During the year that I lived in a small town in Sweden as an exchange student, I joined a lovely little dance school with one of my friends. Our class had just four students in it and just before the Easter holiday that year, the dance school put on a concert. Unfortunately, due to a number of exchange student outings and other commitments, I missed most of the rehearsals in the weeks leading up to this concert. The week just before the concert, I told the teacher I really didn't feel prepared to dance on the stage, but she expressed a lot of disappointment at this, saying my costume (a horrid orange tutu, if I remember correctly) was all ready for me and that the dance simply wouldn't be the same with only three dancers, rather than the four she had choreographed it for. She told me repeatedly that hardly anyone would come and watch anyway. I was so shocked that she would actually want me to participate and risk tarnishing the name of her dance school eternally that I was flattered and reluctantly agreed. The song we danced to was Ray Charles' Hit the Road, Jack.
I danced abominably; copying every move of the girl in front of me, a beat and a half behind all the other girls. I'm surprised the crowd didn't start singing along, inserting 'Lizzy' into the lyrics in place of poor old Jack. However, I reasoned that hidden under the 17 kilograms of make-up the teacher had applied to my face prior to going on stage, that no-one would have actually recognised me. WRONG! Oh so woefully, woefully wrong. The next day at school, I think every second person in the building came up and told me they had seen me dancing in the concert the night before. It appeared the entire town had turned out to see me hop around the stage like a nincompoop.
Note to self: never, ever, don an orange tutu and cavort around on a stage in front of town of innocent people ever again.
2. When I was at uni, I lived (briefly) at college. After about a week there, I was in my room one night (my own room - no room-mate). I'd met a few nice people during that first week, including a boy who I did sort of fancy. But that particular night, I decided to have an early night rather than socialise. I was trying a new remedy that I had read about to burn off blemishes from one's face by applying toothpaste to them and I was in my pyjamas, pottering around and listening to the radio with a polkadotty toothpaste face when Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles came on.
This was nearly two decades after this song came out, but this did not make me any less enthusiastic about its catchy tune. In high school, a friend and I had made up a bit of a dance to this little number and so, for old times' sake, I started to bust some very Egyptian-esque dance moves.
Unfortunately for me, the radio was turned up too loud for me to hear the knock on my door. That boy that I told you about had come up to see if I wanted a cup of tea (actually I think he came to see if I wanted a cigarette, but we'll write tea here in case my mum's reading). When I didn't open, he took the liberty (very presumptuously I might add) of opening the door for himself. When I turned around, mid sphinx pose, and saw him standing there looking three parts astonished and one part appalled, I think I did a little jump in the air and squealed at the same time. We never did end up having that
3. Let's return to Sweden again - poor, unassuming country that I inflicted myself upon all those years ago. Now if you have been to Sweden, you would have undoubtedly heard of snus. Snus is basically chewing tobacco, which is sold either loose or in pouches that resemble little teabags. Being not very old and not very wise, an Aussie friend and I decided one night at a party that in the spirit of When in Rome and Seize the Day and all that, we would try this snus that everybody seemed to be using. I shall cut a long story short by telling you that the only thing I was seizing that day was a bucket to stick my head into. This evil invention made my head spin around on its own axis for several hours while I was violently ill into said bucket.
Apparently not everybody has this kind of reaction. Well good for them. I still have an indent in my upper gum where my diabolical pouch of snus sat for what couldn't have been more than half an hour. Somewhere in the deepest darkest depths of my wardrobe at my parents' house, there is a photograph from that night which I'm quite certain that if I ever look at again, I will need that bucket all over again.
I'm sure that there was a whole lot of music playing at that party that night, but I'll be damned if I could remember any of it after that little adventure, so let's just whack the good old original Swedish version of Waterloo on here, shall we? It's the one that shot them to fame at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.
4. This one is still a little too close to home for comfort. A little under two years ago, the Athletics Carnival was held at the local high school where I had been teaching for a couple of months. The sports' staff played music from the loud speakers all day and every second song was Wild One by Flo Rider.
As is tradition, the final race of the day was the students versus teachers 4 x 100m relay. The whole school - students, teachers and parents - stop and turn their attention to this anticipated event. Having always been a pretty good athlete back in my own school days, I willing agreed to participate in this event. I blissfully assumed that once athletic, always athletic, and that I would successfully zoom down the track and lead our team to victory. I described the dismal reality of this assumption in this post. The short version of this story is that, if you do not run in any way, shape or form for a decade then you lose that ability. In my case, I lost it spectacularly and stumbled not once, but twice over that grand distance, both times barely saving myself from falling flat on my face. Needless to say, every time I've heard that song from that day since, I've considered digging a hole and burying myself in it.
5. And now for the the crème de la crème of the soundtrack of my red-faced moments.
Several years ago, I met a female colleague through the school I taught at at the time and we became close friends. We shared both a love of singing and sensibility and often, to relieve the stress of work, we would sing silly songs together in our office. One day, feeling particularly happy with a task she'd just completed, she broke into song with Alex Lloyd's Amazing, except she substituted the lines 'you were amazing/and we did amazing things' with 'I am amazing/and I do amazing things', which of course sent me into fits of giggles and ended up being something we would both sing at regular intervals from that point on.
One day, we were driving in her car with the windows down and the song came on the radio. Naturally, I felt the need to sing our adaptation of it as loud as possible. There would have been nothing the matter with that at all, except for the fact that just as the chorus came round for the second time, we pulled up at the traffic lights, but were enjoying ourselves so much that I didn't stop to think that maybe someone could hear us. You know, car stationary, windows down and all. And when the chorus was over, I turned my head to the side and there, a metre from me, sitting in the driver's seat of the car next to me with his window down too, was a despised ex-boyfriend of mine, whom I had not clapped eyes upon for a year and a half up until that point.
That one definitely tops the charts of my embarrassing moments ... eat your heart out, Bridget Jones!
Oh well, at least he knows he left me with no self esteem issues!!!!!
So how about you? Which songs would you put on your soundtrack of life's little mistakes?