Friday, October 24, 2008

May I Have the First Dance?

Junior High School was a big deal. Major changes occurred and not just with your body. I remember the horror stories in the 6th grade.

The last week of elementary school was filled with rumor and speculation about the terrors we would have to live through in Junior High. We were going to be FORCED to do exercise! XO One of the most important and most frightening events in Junior High was not just the showers in P.E. but the dances.

As a 10-11 year old kid you had a bunch of stupid questions in your head that you were to embarrassed to ask anyone else. Why admit that you don't already know these answers? Questions like the following were floating around my head.
  • Do you HAVE to dance?
  • Do you HAVE to ask a girl?
  • What do you do if she says no? Punch her?
  • Are you expected to kiss her?
  • Slow dance?
  • What do you wear?
7th grade was a challenge for me. I rode my bicycle to school so I would take off immediately to be home as soon as possible. I had P.E. 6th period which meant I could skip the showers and go straight home to shower there. I had to change one less time than everyone else and I didn't have to walk around with my thing hanging out.

8th grade was another story altogether. I had P.E. 4th period (before lunch) so I HAD to shower at school. I still loathed it and felt nervous EVERY SINGLE TIME, but I did it. I had to be clean because I had a girlfriend now. A girlfriend that I would stupidly hold hands and walk around in circles with down the hallways. So I had to smell nice.

I heard about the dances but I never gave it a second thought until she brought it up. "So are you going to ask me to the dance?" I believe I said something like, "Oh, you're going to want to go?"

So we go. It happens to be the last day of school before Christmas so when her, and by her choice "our," song comes on we dance.







If you don't know what that is, then search on YouTube for slow dance videos in the 80's.

So we are sitting on the sideline and she tells me lean over. I've never had a sister so my first response is a very suspicious, rude, brotherly "Why?" She insisted, so I did. She then put a gold chain around my neck and said, "Merry Christmas."

HOLY CRAP! I thought, I didn't even get her a card! I'm in Junior High, what the hell?!? So I proceed to tell her (lie) that I intended to bring her something AFTER the holidays since the time off was so far before Christmas Day.

I say thanks and then we go back out to the dance floor and I lumber around awkwardly in one of those stupid dancing circles for the rest of the night.

I walk home in the rain wondering what the hell I was supposed to do.

I had to beg and plead my parents for the money to get stuffed bear from JC Penny (I think.) Once my mother found out that I had a girlfriend and she gave me a gold necklace she demanded that I return it. Of course I didn't and we argued.

The most significant part of my first dance was the fact that I think it marked the first time I ever really stood up to either of my parents and won.

Do you remember your first dance? Do tell.


Docteur Glamour said...

Yes. I remember not going. LOL Never been to a dance. I'm in college, so it's kind of late, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I've still never had my "first official dance". I mean, I dance with my friends and boyfriend in a silly non-formal way all the time, but as far as an actual dance goes, I always avoided them throughout middle and high school. I even skipped my senior prom due to not having a date and being a little bit rebellious.
however, this is still a great post! Keep up the good work :)

Iris said...

Wow! This story is so cool! It's funny to think of you as a teen, feeling awkward. But your date certainly did make things awkward for you didn't she? Buying you that necklace and all.

It was nice of you to want to return the favor.

I don't really understand what your mom was trying to teach you by asking you to return the necklace. I mean I can understand if your genders were reveresed. I guess she would worry that you would grow up to expect men to buy you expensive gifts...

Maybe she thought her parents didn't know she gave you such an expensive present. Did you ever come up with an answer for that reasoning?

Anyway, about my first dance. I was a nerd who was nominated into the homecoming court. My parents never let me join any extra curricular activity let alone a dance. My counselor had to call my parents and convince them that this would be a good experience for me. My counselor was able to convince them and they let me participate.
I ended up being homecoming queen. My date was this nice guy in one of my classes. I didn't like him at all (as a BF type) but he was nice. He asked me in front of the whole class. He was the first guy who asked and, while I did feel obligated because I was put on the spot, he was a nice person so whatevah.
Well he ended up doing something jerky at the dance. He bought me flowers and told me that his older brother told HIM that if he bought me flowers then he'd BETTER get a kiss outta me.
So when I didn't want to kiss him, he tried to force me into him EWW! I was so grossed out by him for the rest of the night.
Anyway...yeah. First dances they can be good and they can be bad. :) I don't know too many good first dance stories though :)

Sarah Jane said...

I liked this blog. Brought back lots of memories.
Yes, I remember my first dance. It was in 6th grade. It was a casual dance and I didn't own a dress so I wore black stone-washed jeans and a black and blue collared button down shirt and black granny boots. Not the picture of style but at that time, it was at least trying.
My date was my best girlfriend, Kelly. We danced with other girls in those same circles, step-touching back and forth. I was asked to dance a few times at the end of the night when they played some slow songs and the guys figured it was now or never. One guy I danced with made a softly rude comment about how short I was and for some reason, I thought he deserved a slap to the face. So I slapped him and he was shocked and everyone around thought it was awesome. He didn't live it down the whole year. But now when I think of it, he of course didnt' deserve to be hit like that.

Iris said...

Sarha Jane-Your story made me giggle-The part about the slapping. I should have gone to school with you. Oh and I will be sure not to comment on your height ;)

Sarah Jane said...

Iris--I am very interested in stories from your childhood with your over-sheltering parents. You grew up VERY differently than I did and I want to know more!

Iris said...

Sarah-I should write some blogs about it for you ;)

HektikLyfe said...

>Docteur: Its never too late. But I would practice A LOT with friends first.

>Jessica: Welcome to the Podium! If it wasn't for girls I would never go to dances. I hated them. I thought they were dumb parading yourself around. I saw them as pitiful efforts of awkward teenagers in a feeble attempt to perform a stupidly ritualistic mating dance in ridiculous clothes soaked in cologne and perfume.

>Iris: I love that story. Not because it was sad for you but it was such a movie. From nerd to prom queen and the prom queen see's that life is not so glamorous.

>Sarah Jane: Yeah I remember short people in school were touchy about it. I wasn't. I found it strange that they were bothered by it. I really didn't care. I was skinny. It never stopped me from not gettin' busy.

ryanmortinson said...

your "gift" part reminded me of when i was in second grade... a girl who liked me gave me this big gift wrapped present (which was a sesame street book) and I was so embarrassed, I quickly stuffed it into my backpack without even opening it never talked to her again... ten years later, while attending a college communication class, a girl walked up to me and said, "do you remember me? i think we were a couple in second grade." yep, you guessed it... the sesame street book girl... i think i started laughing.

as far as my first dance... i avoided them in junior high... but in high school i would go occasionally (no date). I think the first time i went was with my buddies. eight of us went to our friend's house for dinner first(he was a mormon and had tons of ties for us to use... and he knew how to tie them). then we hopped in an SUV, sang "what the world needs now... is love, sweet love..." and made our way to the dance. on the way, another of our friends called us and asked if we could pick up his date for him... so eight guys showed up at this girl's house. her parents thought it was hilarious and took a million pictures. so eight guys... and a girl who wasn't our date, drove to the dance. i didn't know how to dance, but somebody said, "just do basketball moves." so i took my basketball out of my locker and started "dancing". pretty soon it caught on and people were asking to borrow my basketball.

much later in life, i learned how to do several ballroom dances including swing... just in case i didn't have access to a basketball :)

HektikLyfe said...

>Ryan: Great story as always. No wonder girls were always mad at us eh?

If I would take lessons it would probably be Salsa or Swing. Now if I could only do something about that sense of rhythm.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to any dance. Are they like ballroom dancing? Or does any genre of dance go?

HektikLyfe said...

>Farhan: Well school dances are mostly modern music. Its rare that they really keep up with the theme. Its usually a generic title with a cheap D.J. Only the rich neighborhoods get events like ballroom or swing dancing. The most different are of course the Prom and Sadie-Hawkins (where the girl asks the guy.) The prom is the same thing, you just dress a lot nicer and expect some form of sexual contact at the end.

Seriously. I didn't go but its a well known fact that this is what is "expected." Whether or not its done is up to the individual couples. As a guy you are either teased or insulted if nothing happens for you on prom night.

Yeah. I had a great education didn't I?