The first time I heard Lionel Ritchie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” was when I was a nobody in junior high in a small town of about 500 people. It was playing on a jukebox in “the arcade,” infamously known as the hangout of choice for the “bad” and “cool” kids. You know, like the ones who smoked, sat so close to their boyfriends in pickup trucks you’d have thought there was piss in the passenger seat, were skinny, and went to bush parties and laughed about getting their shoes caught on fire and puking on themselves.

I was so unpopular that nobody even looked at me. I got no attention. I recall one time being asked to stand outside in the smoking area just to hold someone’s purse while she lit up. I hesitated. She said, “Well you don’t wanna do it because you’re, you’re, uhhm, uhhh, uhhh I dunno, what is the word, uhhh, SQUARE?” I was THAT invisible that the popular kids didn’t even have a name for me. And after that the name “square” didn’t even stick.


Aside from having no friends, I do have some interesting memories. Like meandering, the way a scared kitten would, into the arcade for the first and only time, and hearing “Dancing on the Ceiling” playing. I really, really loved it. So I first got a record. Like those tiny little vinyl records, that just have the single on them. Then, I got my very first cassette tape and player! Well, this was the highlight of my life. And man, I played that damned thing until it wore out. And yes, you can play it enough times so that it will wear out in places.

After a couple of hours of searching for a picture of the rare tape player in the wee hours of the morning (I still have no friends lol), I finally found an image of the exact tape player I owned! I hope to purchase it soon as it brings back warm fuzzies. Apparently, it is RARE.



There were no funny school stories. Around the same time that I discovered Lionel Ritchie and cassette tapes, I had developed a rapport with some of my teachers. My mother had decided to invite two of them over for supper. She went to great lengths to prepare some sort of stuffed roast and barbecued potatoes. Everything was prepared ahead of time and had lots of seasoning.

The day before my teachers came over, our family sat down and had a bit of the roast and potatoes. My dad bit into the potatoes first and announced “This tastes like dirt.” Everyone else took one or two bites and found that something, unlike pepper or salt, was crushing between our teeth.

Aghast, I looked at mom and said: “Which pepper shaker did you use?” Mom pointed to the chef-shaped pepper shaker as pictured in the featured image above. My face went white.

I remember my mother telling my sister and I stories when we were MUCH younger describing two little girls going around pulling pranks on everyone. One of those stories included substituting sand for pepper in the pepper shaker. And, of course, silly me, I decided that I’d pick one of the shakers nobody used, and do it. Four years earlier. Well, mom thought it was funny right…?

As it turned out, four years later, mom decided to use that particular shaker. The shaker that everyone, including me, had forgotten about. Mom had to throw out the food. The dog wouldn’t even eat it.

We laugh about it now.

Speaking of the past, here is a trip down memory lane, circa 1986. Enjoy!