The most popular song of 2008 was Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain. I know this because I am forcing myself to write, and in order to do that I have enlisted the internet’s help for advice. Writer Ashley Ford says that one way to get the creative juices flowing (ew) is to take a trip down memory lane and invoke any of your five senses. Her recommendation: find the most popular song from when you were thirteen and write about how it makes you feel.
Right away, I feel nauseous.
Thirteen was not a good year for me. I did not know it at the time because I had not yet developed any sort of self awareness, but friends: I was not thriving! For one thing, I was absolutely addicted to bermuda shorts. They cut off right above my knees and made me look short and squat, like a tropical gnome. Also, if memory serves me right, this was around the time that my constant abuse of my hair finally caught up to me, leaving me with a palm-sized bald spot on the center of my head. So, in short, I was balding, chubby and dressed like a middle aged dad. But! I had great skin! Okay…I had alright skin.
Anyway, I don’t think that when Mr.Rida penned his famous club banger he envisioned me awkwardly writhing to it in a Minnesota gym class, and yet…life takes us on unexpected journeys.
I’m pretty sure that every middle school student in the Midwest had that gym unit where they learned to do group dances with their peers. In theory, very useful! We all have to go to weddings and the cha-chas must be slid! But in practice we were a group of socially awkward children who, if given the choice, would have picked death over touching a classmate’s hand for even one solitary second. So when I was told that our next assignment would be to create our own choreography to Low by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain, I was understandably shaken.
Gym is best faced with a good group of friends, but I wasn’t very close with any of the kids in my class. I had formed a tenuous alliance with three other girls, but I wasn’t sure it was strong enough to get us through this assignment. Two of the girls were nimble and acrobatic; they suggested we flip, twirl and bend our way through the choreography. The other girl was, like me, just…bad at moving her body in general. We stared blankly while our partners tried to coax us into doing a back bend that would have almost certainly decimated our spines. It was a futile mission, doomed from the start. I can see that clearly now as a wise young woman of twenty six years. But, like I said, I had no self awareness back then so some sick, ill advised part of me thought we could pull it off.
We obviously did not pull it off. It was, say it with me folks: a true nightmare that haunts my dreams to this day! There are few experiences more humbling than attempting (HEAVY emphasis on the word attempting) to do a body roll in front of your peers, the squeaks of your sneakers echoing throughout the otherwise silent gymnasium. Well, actually, not silent at all. I did have Flo Rida to keep me company. Him, and the soft cracking of my already decrepit body.
And that’s what I think about when I hear Low by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain. And now maybe that is what you will think about when you hear Low by Flo Rida ft. T-Pain…but I do not wish that for you.
I’m not quite sure how to end this–I did not really learn a life lesson or grow in any lasting way from that experience. I just kept living and kept not having any body awareness. It is a fun story to tell at parties, though. And really, what more can you ask for?