Dance, dance, dance . . .

Do you remember those school dances in junior high and high school? First there was an absolute fear of being asked to dance, then came the complete devastation of not being asked to dance, followed by an hour in the bathroom crying over some zit-covered boy who was oblivious to your existence and who probably wanted to go home and play with his Atari anyway.

There is one night that sticks in my mind because it was the first time someone asked me to slow dance. I didn't want him to—but that's the problem I suppose. We never get asked by the people we want. I guess he was sort of cute, but ruining his looks was a horrible, snively way of speaking. He was a know-it-all. He followed my sister around like a lost dog every day at school. When he asked me to dance, I was completely taken off guard and said yes. It wasn't a problem—my sister liked someone else and was always trying to get rid of him, so it wouldn't have been an issue if I had liked him. But . . . I didn't. Not at all. His hands, draped over my shoulders, were hot and thick with sweat. His glasses were foggy with perspiration. I tried not to meet the eyes behind the clouded lenses because I could tell he was waiting for me to, and God knows what kind of urgent message he would try to pass between us. I remained evasive and quiet, shuffling my feet to the rhythm with an occasional mistep. After a while he muttered something about how I looked nice and I replied with a timid, "Thank you." 

The song ended and he tried to get me to dance again, but I told him my friends were waiting for me. "Who cares about your friends?" It rattled me. Why he was being so possessive when I knew that deep down he had a thing for my sister? Did he really want to dance again, or was he trying to make her jealous? If I danced with him again, that would make two on my experience chart. I'd almost be a pro by night's end. I thought about it real hard. He reached for me, but the minute I felt his wet palms, I jerked away. "Sorry, I can't."

I found those friends of mine. They stood in a dark corner, reveling in my sweaty, shoulder-stained glory. I had credentials, real credeantials. And friends have the cool air of life and freedom. It was good to be back.

Comments

  1. Wet palms, a snively voice and all the charm of an unmade bed. Amy I don't blame you diving for your friends one little bit.

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  2. Nothng was simple back then...nothing.

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  3. The things one doesn't miss about growing up -- the boys on one side of the room and the girls on the other. And then the 'wrong' boy asks you to dance ... Oh, bummer!

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  4. Yes, there's not much to miss, just a lot to remember.

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  5. I may be repeating myself here. Both Lady Magnon and myself went to single-sex schools. WE were never taught dancing, but Lady M was. As you can imagine, certain girls had to pretend to be the man during dancing lessons, and to this day (X years later) she still tries to play the man. It seems to be stuck in her head!

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    1. There's something so adorable and funny about that!

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  6. It was so intimidating asking a girl to dance back then, and when I thought it should have gotten easier as the years went by, asking for that first dance never did.

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    1. I'll bet that's true. I wonder if it's still the same way these days, or if more girls are asking the guys. It must have been hard to be a young man and have all that pressure.

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    2. I should say, to have been a boy. You're still a young man!

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  7. Oh, I can so relate to this! You're right: the ones we want to ask us never do!

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  8. Dear Amy, . . . this story rang so true to how I felt at dances way back in the 1950s! Only I was the one with the "zits"--a truly bad case of acne. And while the boys liked me well enough as a friend and as someone who could help them with algebra, chemistry, and Latin, they didn't choose to dance with me. I was, truly, the proverbial wall flower.

    So I congratulate you on getting your "credentials"!!!!

    And I thank you for visiting my blog during April and commenting. I so appreciate that.

    Peace.

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  9. Wow, what a story...you narrated it so wonderfully, it seemed I was reading an excerpt of a book, really!
    High school can be though : (

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Clara. And yes, it can be : )

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