Childhood Memories

Today, we rewind to 1989.

My favorite things in life were chocolate Hostess cupcakes, my blue sequined leotard with matching derby hat, the New Kids on the Block, and my Get In Shape Girl Ribbon.
If you don’t remember the Get in Shape Girl Ribbon, perhaps this will refresh your memory:

You see, I fancied myself a performer. And so, when I would dance around my room, waving my Get In Shape Girl Ribbon, I imagined I looked something like this…

…when in reality, I was a snaggle-toothed ten year old sporting a bad mullet and a leotard that was meant to be worn by a 6 year old. Oh, and the leg warmers. There were always leg warmers.

One afternoon, I had bedazzled myself with my favorite blue leotard, and had the New Kids cranked as loud as my boombox would go without breaking the mirrors. I’d been rehearsing a quite elaborate routine, to be performed after dinner, when I realized what my masterpiece was missing.

My Get in Shape Girl Ribbon! Of course!

I rummaged through my toy box, my closet, and my “dress-up” drawer, and finally unearthed the “coup de grace” for the ultimate performance. With somewhat dusty ribbon in hand, I began to alter my intricate choreography to include the gentle swirling and swishing of said ribbon.

Finally, after hours of practice, I had it down cold. Jazz hands were placed just so, facial expressions had been perfected in the bathroom mirror, and my finishing pose was standing ovation-worthy. I had just enough time to finish one last dress rehearsal before dinner. I rewound my New Kids cassette tape back to the beginning of “Step by Step,” hit play, and began my routine.

(The next few panels are a Photoshop reenactment of the events.)

I was SO on. Every move was polished perfection! I was thinking, “They’ll love the wink and kiss-blowing after the third bar…Man. This couldn’t GET any better!! I’ll be on tour in no time!” I leapt into the air, shot a haughty grin over my shoulder, and whipped my Get in Shape Girl ribbon in a huge and graceful arch over my head when suddenly…

As the smoke cleared, and the sparks subsided, it was clear I had made a grave error in judgement when choreographing my grand jete.

My Get in Shape Girl Ribbon  had become ensnared in the blades of my ceiling fan. And because I was 10, and in the midst of a huge rehearsal, I didn’t take the time to walk to the wall and switch off the fan before retrieving my ribbon.

The Show Must Go On!

So I yanked it.


And the ENTIRE FAN came out of the ceiling and crashed into a gazillion pieces on my bedroom floor.

I was frozen with terror. I had NEVER committed such a grievous act before. I was certain that I was going to be beaten with a whip   shipped off to a concentration camp   fed bread and water for dinner  grounded for 3 weeks. I couldn’t imagine my life without my music, without my New Kids videos, without my dress-up clothes!

As I heard my mother’s feet pounding up the stairs, I swore that I would think of a way to get out of this predicament.

I’d blame it on my brother. On one of the dogs. On my desperate desire to be famous.

My mother burst into the room and her eyes widened as she surveyed the damage: the busted remains of the ceiling fan, the dust and debris from the giant hole in the ceiling, the tangled and ripped bits of festive pink ribbon, and in the middle of it all, a weeping, sequin-covered child with a look of sheer terror on her face.

Mom took one look, threw back her head, and laughed.

And I knew I’d live on to perform another day.

10 thoughts on “Childhood Memories

  1. Crystal Raen

    LMAO. Aw, how horrifying for a 10 year old. How relieved your mother must have been that you were still in 1 piece. But still, yeah I would’ve cackled at ya a bit too.

  2. Katnip Lounge

    ha ha ha!!!!!

    Did you get a scar? I did something like that involving a book case and I got a cool scar on my head. Your Mom sounds like an Uber-Excellent one!
    I would have laughed, too.

  3. Stephanie

    Haha! That’s so funny! I always WANTED Get In Shape Girl, but we never had it. That and the Easy-Bake oven. My sister and I keep telling our mom how much she deprived us as kids.

  4. Jenna

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had the GISG Ribbon, leg warmers, wrist bands, head band, and cassette tape! I was SO destined to either be an Olympic gymnast or one of Paula Abdul’s back-up dancers. I’m not sure where I went wrong… What’s more, I also had a blue sequined leotard from a dance recital from when I was about four that I wore almost daily until I was about 8. Are you sure we’re not related?

  5. Walt

    WTG Mom!!! I probably wouldn’t have grounded you either but you and your Swirling Ribbon of Death would be banished to the backyard.

  6. Abby

    @Crystal: I’m sure she was relieved that the fan hadn’t outright landed on my head. I’m also sure that there was a moment when she had to decide: laugh or cry?

    @Tricia: No scars—I was totally unscathed. Suprisingly so.

    @Stephanie: Oh no! Did you have the Barbie corvette that you could actually sit in and drive? I always wanted one of those but never got one, so if you did, that would make us even.

    @Brian: Very diplomatic response, my love.

    @Jenna: I ponder this on a daily basis…and I will say that, while I dreamed of being a NKOTB dancer, Paula was my back-up.

    @Walt: Oh there was no more playing with the ribbon in the house after that, trust me.

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