Sweet Tweets

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dance like no one is watching...except they all are.

In celebration of the start of summer and in tribute to swimsuit bathing beauties everywhere, I think it's time to share the story of me and the jellyfish from last summer.

I've held onto this one, wondering how exactly I would share one of my more embarrassing moments while wearing a swimsuit. (note: this kind of thing is not all that unusual for me) To set the scene: I am down in Sandestin, FL for the North Point singles Labor Day Retreat, where over 1,000 Christian singles converge on the Hilton for fellowship, teaching, worship and time on one of the most beautiful beaches in America.

Though I'm working as staff, since I'm in charge of baptisms only, I have a bit more flexibility with my day than some others do. So I decide to participate in the Beach Olympics. And, if you haven't picked up on this, I get slightly competitive in team sport-ish situations. My team decides to go all out. We are determined to win...and to at least win the prize as the team with the best "spirit." So we decide to do a cheer that ends with all of us falling away onto the sand from the circle we are standing in, like a football team in the end zone. (The team huddles in the end zone after a touchdown and act like the football is a grenade. It’s thrown in the air and when it lands, everyone falls as if blown over.) Result? I get covered in sand from head to toe. And it is really stuck in my hair.

I should mention at this point that the water is thick, THICK, with jellyfish of all sizes and translucency.

I have managed to not get stung the entire time we stand in the water and play relay dizzy bat. And when we played keep away with wiffle balls. But by now my luck has run out. I enter the water and try to shake the sand out of my hair and bikini. You know what happens when you're underwater and trying to get sand out of your bikini bottoms? You leave room for a jellyfish to make his move. And he did. And at first, I was unaware of the hitchhiker in my pants. As I'm standing on the beach talking to the husbands of a couple of my best girlfriends, the stinging starts. And fires up with great intensity. At this point I start squirming and making really uncomfortable faces. The husbands start looking at me with concern. And then the burning, fire-pit of hell stings set in with full blast. I start doing the pain dance in earnest. It's all I can do to not remove my suit right there and then.

I believe the only thing that stopped me from ripping my suit off was the fact that I like my job. I really, really like my job. And a naked, single, female church staffer streaking the 1,000+ singles from the church that cuts my paycheck is not advisable behavior according to the employee handbook. Go figure.

So I garble some gibberish of an explanation to the husbands and dive back in the water, frantically trying to remove whatever it is that has taken up a rather angry residence in my suit. And mind you, the water is crystal CLEAR down at that beach. So I'm trying to not inadvertently expose myself while clawing at my suit. Not easy.

I limp out of the water and back to the confused and concerned husbands, offer up some weak explanation of burning and that makes them stop asking any more questions immediately. I venture up to the hotel's beach hut where they inform me to go sit in the hot tub and get vinegar to apply to the welts afterward. I gingerly scale the multiple stairways and lower myself into the nearest hot tub. After the burning increased temporarily, it seemed to lessen. And then I had to go through the humiliation of asking the hotel restaurant for straight vinegar. They offered to put it on a towel so I could apply it there. I had to explain that this would be better done behind several closed doors, and likely to be in the shower. I have never before showered with a condiment, but since it did relieve some of the swelling pain of the multiple welts, I would be willing to do it again if needed. Let me tell you, that jellyfish was one angry little invertebrate when he found himself inside my swimsuit.

Usually I love to dance. And dancing on the beach sounds even better. But, the next time I have an opportunity to do the jellyfish dance, you can bet that I'll sit that one out.

Listening to: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - I'm On Fire
via FoxyTunes

5 Remarks:

Lindsay Adams said...

Oh my gosh Melissa! That is hilarious! I can't believe you've withheld that story from me for so long. That's good stuff.

Luke said...

I got stung too that day! Left a huge bruise on my leg. I feel your pain!

Chris Mize said...

classic! thanks for sharing Melissa! hope you're well!

Julie Tiemann said...

Girlfriend, this story is HI-larious! I mean, I feel really bad it happened to you, but what a story!!!

Glad you're okay and you didn't have to lose your job because of some unintentional nudity. ;)

Patricia Neely-Dorsey said...

My name is Patricia Neely-Dorsey. I am from Tupelo,MS and the author of Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems.
I have been enjoying reading your blog and was wondering if you might possibly feature my book on your blog to introduce my book to your readers.

Patricia Neely Dorsey's Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems is "a true celebration of the south and things southern." The author states , "There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. In my book I try to show that there is much is more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives usually portrayed .I invite readers to Meet Mississippi (and the south) Through Poetry ,Prose and The Written Word."

If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I'll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees,
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;
Watermelons on the vine,
Strong majestic Georgia pines;
Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
Junebugs flying on a string;
Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue;
Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.
There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.
You'll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life that I adore.
Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems

BOOK AVAILABLE: www.reeds.ms/book.asp
or www.Amazon.com
AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.patricianeelydorsey.webs.com