Carrying the Watermelon

Posted on | April 2, 2014 | No Comments


It’s possible that my favorite part of Dirty Dancing is not that “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” but is, instead, the moment when Baby meets Johnny for the first time and happily announces “I carried a watermelon!” only to then visibly think “Dear God. Did I just say that to this hot guy?” I love it for many reasons, not the least of which is the look on her face when she realizes what just came out of her mouth. It’s both awesomely honest and awkwardly awful at the same time.

But what I really love about that moment is that no one really minds what Baby says except, you know, Baby. Because in life, there are all different types of people. There are the smoking hot dancers, the geeky cousins who everyone sends to collect the food or whatever else they need, and there are the douche bags who only want to talk about how many hotels they own. And yes, there are the tag-alongs. The ones who sit in the corner, either by choice or by design, and take it all in… helping where needed but never really getting the glory of the rest of the world. There are those, like myself, who just… carry the watermelon.

It’s taken me a long time to realize my place in the world, an even longer time to embrace it. For a long time I wanted to be the big shot… I wanted to be the one in the center of the room, dancing my legs off like Penny. I wanted to be the best looking, the smartest, the most talented in any and everything. When I became a lawyer, I had grand visions of being a partner at a big firm, bringing in the big bucks and having my name on the top of everyone’s list. I’d be first in line for judge, of course, first on the list of people to run for office, first on the list of people to invite to every party.

But lately, I’ve realized that’s not my role in this movie. I’m not Penny. I’m not Johnny. I’m not Lisa or Dr. Houseman or even a Kellerman. I don’t make things happen in a big way. I’m not the one who flashes first and burns brightest.

I am a watermelon carrier.

I am the one behind the scenes, making sure the food arrives on time, making sure there’s enough to go around. It’s not glamorous. I’m not the crafty Pinterest mom or the Junior League chair. I’m not the fancy chef or the photographic guru who wows the internet with glamorous photos. I’m not the best writer, the fanciest lawyer, the dressiest woman. I don’t make waves… not really… not the way I thought I would.

But everyone has to eat, right?

And me? I carry the watermelon.  Every day. Because someone has to, you know.

And ultimately, I’ve come to embrace that there’s no shame in being the one bringing food to an awesome party (especially one where Patrick Swayze is dancing).


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