08 March 2010

Sea World: the story you haven't heard.

I'm telling you right now, this story may make you view me in a different light. 

And, I'm okay with that. 

I just felt compelled to tell you the tale that is probably singularly responsible for teaching me, by real life example, that the Ten Commandments are truly rules to live by.  That, and the fact that there is a reason they were written to include the particulars that they do. Imagine that.

Okay, so, the year is 1993.  I was freshmeat at Lindbergh High School, but already sittin' pretty.  I was a member of the ever-so elite Lindbergh Flyerettes Pom Squad.  The dance team that many a girl would dream about nabbing a coveted position.  I was livin' that dream.

I was a fool. 

I shouldn't say it was all bad.  Those girls gave me lots of great memories.  Good times.  During those years I had buns of steel and abs you could bounce a quarter off of.  Maybe it was just youth, or maybe it was the daily practices (sometimes twice daily) complete with 300-500 high kicks a session and intense percision dance drills.  Whatever the reason, it was hard work.  Rewarding, I suppose.

Anywho, every year the squad made it's way down to Orlando, Florida to compete in Universal Dance Associations National Competition.  It was big time.  Sea World.  ESPN.  BIG.  TIME.

It was several days full of performances, fun, getting to romp around Sea World and Disney.  Fun stuff.

One fateful night, the freshmen learned of the upperclassmen 'helping' themselves to various items from the Sea World gift shops.  You know, the five finger discount.  Bikinis, costume jewelry, t-shirts, you name it.  They had quite a haul. 

Then, I don't know what happened.  I guess our wheels started turnin' because the following day we gave it a go.  There wasn't any peer pressure.  Just the self-induced variety.  The worst kind in my opinion.

I was one of the girls that used the 100% off coupon.  $60 worth of Sea World branded pencils, erasers, friendship bracelets.  Sooooo stupid.  I wasn't thinking.  At all.

So, guess what?  One of the older girls got caught.  Walked out of one of the stores wearing a pair of 'hot' earrings.  Bold to say the least.

She ratted people out.  The Sea World Police were brought in.  It was a nightmare.

They asked individuals to turn themselves in.  They knew who we were, but now was our chance to get off a bit easier.  I was one of the first to raise her hand.  Followed by the rest of the freshmen who participated.  Many more hands went up.  12-15 in all?  It was so horrible.  I thought our coach was just going to die.

We had to give them the inventory of what we took, and pay for it.  I didn't have that much cash on me (it was all at the hotel), which meant I had to 'borrow' it from a chaperone parent.  It was humiliating.

We almost got disqualified.  Considering we always made the top 3 or so, it was an awful feeling to possibly have to punish the rest of the girls for something they had no part in.

Needless to say, we were able to stay in the competition.  If memory serves me correctly, we place 3rd in the prop category, and 4th in the high kick.  But, for me, that wasn't important.  It was the feeling I had inside.  The ramifications of what was to come at home.

Once home, everyone involved was suspended for 3 days.  The scandal was in the school paper, local paper, on the news.  It was the worst.  I was grounded forever.  I was given looooooong lists of chores to do on my 3 days 'off'.  And, I still had that sinking hole in my gut.   Let me tell you, it was there for what seemed like an eternity.  The real low point of my high school career.

I've heard people say that God plucks your conscience from you during your teenage years and returns it to you sometime in your twenties.  I can't say this is true for all teens I've met, but it certainly applies to the majority.  For learning purposes, I guess.  Boy, did I learn a lot. 

Rules to live by for sure.

I guess Sea World has seen it all.

Oh, and...


My, how you've changed all of our lives.
You certainly know how to make me smile!


  1. Wow, I remember this so clearly - never knew the whole story - only what was in the papers and what people said at school, etc...
    Interesting the choices we make as children and teens. I think it's "bad/wrong" choices when we're younger that help us to learn not to make big bad horrible choices when we're adults - most of the time, anyway... Some people will never learn, I guess. Glad you learned - glad to read the reminder of the 10 Commandments too. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

  2. what the heck made you post that! GOD I remember all that DRAMA! You were the talk of school! You Forgot to mention that you were not allowed to go to the Sweet Heart Dance....... my heart was broken! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SWEET LITTLE ROSIE!!!! - Mrs. Lewis

  3. I was stalking your blog and just saw this.

    The "confession" meeting was TERRIBLE!!! So terrible--and then certain people were called out, "It was just a pencil! I only took one pencil!" It was AGONIZING. I will never forget that meeting.
    I know they wanted to send a strong message--but I thought it was unfair that everyone was given the exact same punishment--certain people definitely took it to another level. I never knew that she walked out wearing the earrings. Nice move.
    I agree with Erica's comment about doing little dumb things when we're young to avoid big dumb things later. With every mistake, we learn...


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