I was talking to some friends about breaking bones when I remembered something that happened to me when I was a way-cool teenager...
The year was 1992 and the hair was big. I went to our high-school's basketball game, not because I was the least bit interested in the sport, but because I was hoping to see Mark. Rumor had it that he and his girlfriend were breaking up and I wasn't about to let him slip by again.
To give you a little background, we had been "seeing" each other off and on since jr. high, but I had broken it off right at the end of the previous year. I ended up going to Michigan to spend a good part of the summer with my friend, and it was there that I completely realized that Mr. Mark W. was definitely the one for me.
I had it all planned out in my 16 year old mind: I would come back home and hook up with him at our local fair (we were country folks), and there, we would run off into the sunshine together. That was a perfect plan and all, but there happened to be a third person in my little dream-turned-nightmare, and she was holding my beau's hand right beside the funnel cake booth (play the record scratching sound in your mind).
I was as emotionally devastated as any self-absorbed 16 year old girl could possibly be at the thought that her beloved didn't stick around and wait for her to finally make up her mind.
It didn't help matters that his new little cheerleader girlfriend knew our history so she wasn't exactly nice to me about their new relationship. She took GREAT pleasure, once the school year started, (and I was subjected to having to see them together at every change of class)....anyway, she took GREAT pleasure in displaying her affection for Mark in my presence. She would grab his hand or peck him on the cheek any time I was around and then glance at me and smirk wickedly.
This went on for their whole time together (about 4 months), but it took me all of about 5 minutes of that before I pulled up my boot straps (or were they leg-warmers?) and got my resolve on. She was goin' down.
Around Christmas, on a Friday night there was a school dance. That day, during school, some of my well-informed sources disclosed the info that there was trouble in Cheerleader Paradise, so there was NO WAY Gayle was going to be anywhere else on earth than at that dance. And as fate, luck (not that I believe in those things) or whatever the heck would have it, Mark was there and he was alone. Oh, how the angels singing drowned out M.C. Hammer on that chilly December night!
The details are a little sketchy here because I was in such a state of euphoria (or was it a high from the Aqua Net? No one will ever know.), but I think one of our friends got us together for one of the final slow-dances of the evening. Not much was said, but we walked out together only to run into his hyper-crazed, not-so-perky-at-that-moment girlfriend who quickly demanded that he get into her car. And before I knew it he was gone.
***Good grief, this is getting long. I really meant to just tell you an embarassing story about me, but I went beserk with the details. I need to hurry up because the kidlets are about to break out in full-scale revolt here since they haven't had their breakfast.***
Ok, anyway. A few days later I went to the aforementioned basketball game where I sat on the bleachers opposite court of my cheerleader nemesis. She was cheering her little black heart out and watching me like a hawk. Soon I was being poked by one of Mark's friends saying that he was off to the side of the bleachers and that he wanted to talk to me.
My heart began to thump like a nutcase and I willed myself to keep the cold sweat to a minimum because "now is not the time for my make-up to start melting off my face so that I look like something out of a horror movie". I cooly descended the bleachers, because one would be totally un-cool to appear over-anxious, you know, and it was there that all of my teenaged dreams came true. He wanted to get back together and he gave me his senior picture (which was the completely stupid thing that everyone in our area did back then when you were dating...hee-hee, can you say CHEESY?).
So I took my prized possession (the picture) and headed back up to the almost top of the bleachers where my friends were. It would have been all good except that I *had* to get cocky. When I got about halfway to my seat, I turned around to look at my seething cheerleader nemesis who was boring a hole in my back with her eyes, and I gave her a wink and a smirk. That would prove to be my fatal moment because, even then, God decided to snatch me up in my pride. I turned back around and promptly lost my footing causing me to take a nose-dive right into the crotch of one of the cutest boys in the whole school.
It wouldn't have been half as heinous if I would have been able to GET UP, but all of a sudden, I had the most wicked pain searing through my twisted up and caught foot that you could ever imagine. I finally became...ahem...untangled, and had to be carried out of the gym by my sweet brother. Oh the horror. I didn't even care about my ever-swelling foot, I was so mortified.
The next day, I wound up going to the hospital where it was decided that I had sprained my foot pretty badly or cracked a bone...I can't remember, but I did have to be on crutches for several weeks with this crazy half-cast thing that looked distinctively like a box on my foot.
In the end, I did get my man (obviously), but I did learn one VERY important lesson quite literally: "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling." Proverbs 16:18