April 13, 2015

Today Was 1987 All Over Again Except Better

The 1987 prom court was lined up in the hallway leading to the gym: gangly teenaged boys in rental tuxedos and girls whose heads and arms were adrift in seas of poofy frilly antebellum dresses. None of us knew who would be the first, second, third, fourth attendant or king or queen until it was announced on a stage in front of parents and other well-wishers.

One by one, names were called and people disappeared through the sunlit hallway into a pitch black gymnasium where they’d ascend the stage and fidget nervously in a spotlight as woots, hollers and cameras clicked away.

My nerves glitched up as each name was called.
I don’t get it. This is only for the pretty people. I'm not pretty. I’m awkward, overweight and nerdy.

Then another name.
This is totally bad news...

Then the last attendant's name was called, and it wasn't mine. I knew that meant the next name announced would be the person who was prom queen.

I whispered to the only person left in that lonely hallway - a teacher coordinator -- that “I think there's been a mistake." I was ready to burst into the gym and put a stop to this potential embarrassment but.

Next thing I knew, my name was called, I was ascending the stage steps, a tiara was being perched on my noggin and...there was no bucket of pig’s blood rigged to dump on my head just as I “took the throne” or anything remotely from the movie Carrie as I had expected.

May 25, 1987
Today I discovered I didn't leave that day in 1987 far behind.

Facebook alerted me that my friend had tagged me in a post. I clicked to find wonderful congratulatory words over my selection as one of BlogHer’s Voices of The Year.
What? Oh no. I think there’s been a mistake.

I reread my friend's post and thought about how to tactfully and thankfully correct her for obviously confusing me with someone else, once I verified it was indeed a mistake.

I went to BlogHer and found the Voices of The Year Announcement.
Welp. At least I can see the name of the person for whom my friend had mistaken me and we can all have a good laugh about it.

The familiar glitching came back as I read the roster for people being honored for Short Form Videos, Long Form, Eye Candy, Photos, and Impact: Nope. Nope and Nope. Not one name that could be confused with mine. Then finally, Blogs and...I saw my name. MY name. It was among all these other FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC writers who were also being honored.

With vision blurred by tears and shaking hands because the nervous glitches were back with a happy vengeance, I could barely post an error-free thank you to my dear Facebook friend.

It all took me right back to prom 1987, only this time, it's not a popularity contest to nudge an awkward teen’s self-esteem. It’s a grown-up validation that sometimes, the things I write are heard and that they resonate. Hopefully that also means I'm helping make my little corner of the world better in some small way.

And that beats a tiara any day of the week.

Thank you for the honor, BlogHer.

This is the post that's being recognized. A tiny part of me still can't believe it.


  1. Oh my heart this is just such a beautiful post!!! How I love your heart... and your humility. I find most of the gifted people of this world have that. Heart and humility. And oh my friend... your words matter. You are an absolute VOICE to be heard, whether on Blogher or your corner of the world. ..a well crafted voice full of purpose, will 'speak to people', it will 'resonate'.

    And we are all better for having you in this world. Keep sharing your gift!

    " the things I write are heard and that they resonate. Hopefully that also means I'm helping make my little corner of the world better in some small way."

    1. Christine, thank YOU so much for being such an encourager and for shedding light on so many things through YOUR writing and just for being a light.

      I love that you were -- and are -- "my dear Facebook friend."


  2. In a world where so many people feel entitled to every measure of acknowledgment and acclaim, I get the feels reading how much better reality is than your humble perception. I choose to believe that this is not a coincidence.

    1. I get the feels just reading that you get the feels.
      Nothing is a given. Everything's a gift.

      Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Hi Rochelle, I'm Lindsey! I have a question and would love to speak with you. Could you please email me when you have a chance? Thanks so much, I look forward to hearing from you :) lindseyDOTcaldwellATrecallcenterDOTcom