“I Carried a Watermelon” Moments

“I Carried a Watermelon” Moments


One of my favorite movies is “Dirty Dancing” and as one of those people who can glean a life lesson from even the most random places, I turn to one of my favorite scenes from the movie.

In this earth-shattering scene towards the beginning of the movie, Baby Houseman spots Jonny Castle dancing at a staff party and it’s pretty clear that she’s developing a crush on him. A few moments later, he walks over to ask his cousin about why she’s there, since she isn’t on staff. This is her big moment. Impress the crush! Sound confident but breezy!

Instead, she flatly proclaims, “I carried a watermelon”.

Let’s just say it didn’t rank high in the we-should-get-to-know-each-other invitation department.

After he walks away, she looks down and repeats to herself, “I CARRIED A WATERMELON??” Almost as if to say, Seriously??? That was your opening line to the guy you’re interested in??? You just blew it.

The truth is, we all have “I carried a watermelon” moments.

Whether it’s in a relationship context, a professional setting, or just casual conversation, we have moments where we get nervous, say things we didn’t mean to say, we try too hard— all hallmarks of being human– and then we get hit with self-doubt and insecurity about what just happened.

Sure, we have moments in life where making that impression really counts. But it’s important to have a compassionate and understanding relationship with ourselves; the ability to take stock of what happened and not be too hard on ourselves for not being perfect. But for what it’s worth, Baby does end up with Jonny at the end…so maybe the whole watermelon line was a good thing? Either way, it’s helpful to look at how we treat ourselves, our inner self-talk, and how we move forward from perceived errors.