Grease is the word.

On Friday morning, I got up, rolled my hair, put on a poodle skirt, a button-down, and a cardigan, tied a scarf around my ponytail, and went to school. Not because that’s what I normally do on Fridays, but because Mike’s school was having a sock hop that night, and I decided it was more fun to wear the skirt to my own school for no reason. And, indeed, it was a great amount of fun. I would pass people in the hall and they would look at me so strangely. I have never been checked out more in my whole life, I don’t think. Eyes on my face, eyes on my skirt, confused look, eyes on my face. People would try to have normal conversations with me while having the most awkward looks on their faces. Normally when I walk down the hall, kids don’t see me (I am not so much taller than they are, after all), but yesterday, every time I walked down the hall, a sea of kids parted as I came through. It was basically awesome. I had a lot of conversations that went like this:

OTHER PERSON: Why are you wearing that?

KARI: Wearing what? I always dress like this. Gosh.

To be fair, I think a lot of people didn’t say anything because the book fair is going on in the media center, and they thought that maybe it had something to do with that. Also, some of them probably just think that I am strange. Which is true.

The best conversation, however, was definitely this one:

GIRL: I like your outfit. What is it from, like, the 80s?

BOY: No, it’s the 70s!

KARI: No, actually, it’s from the 50s.


But, seriously, you guys. With her leggings and all, SHE was dressed kind of 80s. It’s hilarious that she didn’t know that, until you realize that, well, she was born in the mid-90s, so to her the 80s are ancient history. Which is why I lit myself on fire. And then told our principal that maybe we needed to do some work on the decades at our school.

I should mention that, just as I predicted, the artsy kids loved my outfit. They were like, “Your poodle skirt is AWESOME! I want to get one of those.” I was filming an art teacher for National Boards, and the artsy fartsy kids (as identified by their pink hair) were very excited to see me.

When I was in middle school, my school had a sock hop. To prepare for this, my mom and my grandma made me a poodle skirt. In purple, my favorite color. I don’t remember much about the sock hop itself . . . my “friends” were mad at me because there was this boy I had been talking to who was going to come to the dance, but then I told him I didn’t want to go out and they were mad at me for hurting his feelings because he really liked me. Or something like that. That guy didn’t even go to our school. Also, he “dated” pretty much every girl in my class. But I digress. The one main thing I remember about the sock hop is the hula hoop contest. I don’t know if you know this, but I am quite good at hula hooping. I can hula hoop for a long period of time. But I came in second. There was a girl behind me who was still going. This pains me to this day.

So. When Mike said that his school was having a sock hop, we dug out the poodle skirt (it still fits. Do you hate me?), I practiced my hula hooping skills (he bought me a hula hoop a few years ago for Christmas, which is one of the reasons I love him), and I was ready. I vowed to take the hula hooping crown this time. Eternal glory, people. Eternal glory. I even talked about it in our Sunday School class, because one of the girls in our class goes to Mike’s school. Apparently she told her mom that she was so excited that I was going to be in the hula hoop contest. And you know what that meant: I really had to do this thing, because I couldn’t let her down.

Now, when you think about a hula hooping contest, what do you think? Because I? I think longevity. Longest hula hooping wins. And that is where my strength lies. I practiced on Thursday night and again on Friday morning while wearing the skirt. That is some serious dedication, people.

However. Our story here takes a rather sad turn, because that is NOT how Mike’s school does their hula hooping contest. They battle it out by adding hula hoops every ten seconds. I had not known this, so all my big talk was for naught, because volume hooping is not my skill. This, as you might imagine, was devastating news. I did great on the first round, but the second round I was given two different sized hula hoops, which IS NOT FAIR. (No adults made it past the second round. One kid, however, had 11 hula hoops.) I think I might have been a contender with two hoops of the same size, but two different sizes? FAIL. The guy who won had two hoops of the same size. That’s all I’m saying. Mike keeps asking me why I didn’t say, “Wait, I need two of the same size!” It is very simple. I didn’t want to appear as if it was the most important thing in my life. Even though it obviously kind of is. hehe. (I was ROBBED.)

Look at these skills!


Anyway, it was very fun to see some of Mike’s students and kids from our church dressed up, and it was fun to twist and watch all the kids. And it was especially fun to be reminded of what elementary school students are like, the enthusiasm they still have before they get to us.


And you’d better believe that, if Mike gets a job at this school, I am going to make him buy me a bunch of hula hoops so I can practice. Next year. I will have my revenge.

Here I am with some of the girls from our church. They are sisters. The younger sister walked in and said, “You go to our church!” and gave me a big hug. Freaking adorable.



After the sock hop, we went to our favorite restaurant for a late dinner. The owner said, “Where have you guys been? Why are you dressed like that?” As I had all day, I said, “What do you mean? We always dress like this!” He said, “You have been coming here long enough for me to know better than that.” You guys! We are regulars! Hooray! (This eases the sting of the hula hoop defeat somewhat.)


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