09 August 2013


I first forayed into blogging (wow, what a pathetically dorky phrase) when I was in high school. Coming off a rather tragic year as far as family matters were concerned, I decided to inspire some laughter and share lighthearted (usually incredibly embarrassing) personal anecdotes with my friends and family on a site called Like, Really. Despite a pretty impressive readership and about two years of fun, I deleted Like, Really in a bout of impulsivity (which I am quite prone to) that I regret to this day. I recently found one of the few posts that I had saved and just had to share it. This was a real crowd favorite, let me tell you. Prayer circle that I'll stumble across another one! Without further ado....

For reasons that I have yet to discover, I am a member of the Camellia Ball. For those of you who aren't up on all things Montgomery, being in Camellia Ball is liken to being a debutante -- fun if you are cute and rich and well-liked, but not fun if you are me. Each year there is a dance held in which the members of Camellia Ball have a "coming out" (I know you just giggled at that phrase, you homophobe) that consists of the members' walking through a balloon arch in front of a bunch of our friends in the local activity center. I'm not really too close with many of the other girls because they don't like that I usually weigh more than my date does. But alas, I go to the dance every year.

My first Camellia Ball was poised to be a winner. I couldn't drive. I heavily underestimated my dress size. And my bangs were at that wonderfully clumsy mid-pupil length. I was ready to party. My date and I got to the dance and were herded into the lead-out line like cattle, which actually worked nicely considering I looked a lot like a heifer. Because my last name begins with a W, I was the last in line.

Couple after couple, prompted by the announcement of their names by a disembodied microphoned voice, moved through that gleaming balloon arch and into the ballroom.

"Presenting John Smith III, escorting Jane Doe."

I soon realized that the announcer's voice sounded familiar. Very familiar.

Oh, man. How had my father gotten a hold of the microphone?
I walked morosely toward my fate as the lead-out line dwindled. I pondered the possible speeches or jokes my father, milking the power of the mic for all it was worth, would make to the crowd of high schoolers that only knew me as That Girl Who Looks Like Harry Potter.

The moment finally arrived. I stepped into the archway.

"Presenting Benjamin Mangum, escorting THE INCOMPARABLE ALEXANDRA WOLF!"

The room was silent for a full minute as the crowd tried to figure out who this Alexandra Wolf was.

Finally, it struck them.

Oh, Harry Potter. Gotcha.

I distinctly remember hoping that there was a firing squad or a group of terrorists waiting to kidnap me at the end of the lead-out carpet. But there wasn't. And eventually scattered applause and hollers broke out to divert everyone's attention from the boy wizard standing in the archway. I hurried from the front of the room and allowed the Journey cover band and a lot of spiked punch to drown my embarrassment for the rest of the night.

Hey, at least my dad is proud of me.


  1. While I wasn't there I do believe the four of you stopped at my house on the way for Mary to change her clothes. Later learned about daddy being the emcee! Oh well, like really!

  2. Well I'm not sure how I ended up here at your blog... I was just reading the FBC devotional email and now I am nearly crying I laughed so hard at your post. You just took me back in time 20 years! I'm sure I can dig up some Camellia Ball photos at MCC - or maybe not. I don't think I want to see that dress again! Good to know the balloon arch coming out is alive and well in Montgomery.