Our Marching Band had earned the 10th place in State Competition, and now we were off to Nationals! We traveled by bus to Johnson City, Tennessee and spent two nights in the gymnasium of an elementary school.
In case you don't get it, picture this: The shortest person in our band was maybe 5 feet tall. The tallest, over six feet. The bathrooms? Scaled for a 4 foot and under person. Therefore, the toilets were ankle-height; the sinks at knee-height; and the mirrors? We girls were on our knees doing our hair every morning. (Yes, I'm exaggerating, but not by much!)
Sleeping arrangements: Boys on one side, girls on the other; chaperones in the center. But those couples serious about each other slept head to head, a few feet apart. A and I actually discussed doing this, but my girlfriends decided we'd put our sleeping bags over by the steps to the stage, where it wasn't so crowded.
The show: Thankfully, it was an indoor venue! After being reminded our ears might pop while entering the dome, we took the field for an awesome performance. When the scores came in, we'd scored high enough for the finals. We were ecstatic!
During finals, tensions were high. It was cold outside on the practice field, and since we girls performed a dance to the opening of Chicago's 'Break Away', that became our warm up routine (and yes, I can still do it today!). It got the blood flowing, and after going through it a few times, I actually welcomed the cool breeze.
We performed, then lined up on the field with the nine other bands. Again, we took first place in nearly every category: General Effect; Inspection; Drum Line; Brass, Drum Majors....but came in 10th over all. Still, not too shabby for a band who didn't even make State the year before!
On the way home, A and I ended up sitting right behind my mom. After arriving back in Indiana, Mom said to me, "I was proud of the way you and A conducted yourselves on the bus." Ummmm, Mom? Kinda hard not to behave when you're sitting right in front of me! LOL:) But seriously, rumors flew around that one girl had given several boys 'special treatment' at the back of one of the buses. And since I wasn't gonna do THAT until waaaaaayyyy off into the future (25 or 30? LOL!), it was a non-issue anyway.
And my best memory of that trip was the fact that A had woken me up (ungodly) early that morning. We shoved a tuba case in the doorway so we could get back in the building, and went outside in the chilly air. He hemmed and hawed for a second, then told me he enjoyed hanging out with me the past few months, and pulled me into his arms.
"Will you officially be my girlfriend?"
I hugged him tighter. "I thought I already was!"
He kissed me on the cheek, took my hand, then led me back inside before we were discovered missing.
The following Monday, we were able to watch the tape of our performance. There was a shot of me, tossing my flag in the air, and the next shot was all of us catching our flags in unison. Greg kept rewinding the tape and saying, 'Yes! That's how it's done!' And there was also a great shot of one of the rifles, dropping her rifle and the word 'Shit!' clearly on her lips. Greg rewound it a few times and teasing her 'And WHAT did you say again?'
Two weeks later, I headed for the Basic Youth Conflict seminar with several of my Youth Group members. To my utter surprise, I found myself the only girl who'd signed up. I hung out with about ten guys, including D, my 'Sunday Date' (see July's post). D knew I was seeing A, but after the intermission each night, he'd hold my hand. And when we arrived back at church, where our parents picked us up, he'd kiss my cheek.
On Friday, we'd planned to stay overnight. I discovered later the only reason two of our Youth Leaders' wives went along was so I'd have a chaperone in the motel room. I had a great time; I was with seven good-looking young men, aging 18 to 16. They ribbed me good-naturedly about my appetite (I was barely 100 pounds, but could out-eat them in pancakes and white chocolate!); and about D and I holding hands. On Saturday, one of the guys discovered he had a 'stalker', and enlisted my help in getting her to leave her alone. He pointed her out; I followed her to the bathroom and positioned myself at the sink beside her.
"That guy you're with is sooooooo good-looking," she commented.
"Which one? I'm here with seven."
Her jaw dropped. "You're here with seven guys?"
"Yes. They've worn me out this weekend." (Yes, I have a devilish streak in me!) When it was my turn, I did my business, washed my hands, and exited with her on my heels. I walked up to T, the object of her infatuation, and slipped my arm through his. "Where are we going for dinner tonight, honey?"
She left him-and all of us-alone the rest of the day! T kissed me on the cheek in thanks!
I found my workbook several years ago. Here I held hands with D, and scrawled 'M-L-A 4-Ever' all over the top of pages. I'm surprised D kept holding my hand, and surprised at myself for holding his, while professing my love for A! A 'what-the-hell-was-I-thinking moment.
Didn't write a blasted thing on my NaNo project yesterday, but spent several hours with Miss Alex, who can now say 'Ma-ma and Da-da':)
Come back tomorrow for the Autumn Blog Hop! I'll be giving away a copy of Balancing Act, and Kenzie will be offering up a copy of Teacher's Pet. Other prizes will be offered, so come join the fun!