Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First Dance

-from the public landing, Onemo


Aside from not knowing how to dance, what I remember most about my first high school dance was the fact that I wore my mother's dress.

It was a blue polyester number that clung to my panty hose in all the wrong places. I had to wear one of her dresses because in the 9th grade my fashion style was more "tomboy meets burlap sack." I'd sooner wear bib overalls than put on a dress, which worked out well since we never went anywhere that would require a dress. Until that first dance.

Whether my mother knew it or not, an older guy had asked me to that dance. (She drove me there, dropped me off and picked me up afterwards; I just met him there. It was all very innocent except for the age difference.)

Steve was the much older brother of a classmate of mine. As a matter of fact, he was so old he was drawing social security was no longer in high school.

This whole quasi- date thing was nerve wracking enough, but when he asked me to actually dance that night, the flood gates of my sweat glands broke loose. Why couldn't we just linger on the sidelines and watch everyone else? Wasn't it good enough just to stand there and talk? Why dance? Why? Am I the only one who sees how ridiculous everyone looks? Just look at them! This is sillier than a Benny Hill episode, they're flailing around out there in fast forward mode, like they're in the midst of a seizure or something. Surely these people can't be serious.

But now here I was, sweating, wearing my mother's blue polyester dress which was in a full-out, static-cling war with my panty hose, and I was supposed to walk in these ridiculous high heels out into the middle of that dance floor, among all those silly looking people and dance? With Steve, who probably hadn't been inside a high school auditorium for seventeen seven years?

Thanks to post traumatic stress syndrome a survival mechanism known as fainting which blocks out bad memories, I do not recall anything else about that first dance, but I do know that I didn't see Steve more than once or twice after that. I blame the polyester dress and the static cling. The profuse sweating, the deer in the headlights look, and whatever feeble attempts at dancing I made while fending off a stroke panic attack surely had nothing to do with it.

Now, fast forward to this century today, when Chesapeake Bay Son has not only attended some school-sanctioned dances before entering high school, but he won a contest in sixth or seventh grade. In sixth or seventh grade. I think I was watching the Mickey Mouse Club reruns after school in sixth grade, how is it possible that he knew enough about dancing to win a contest? Dancing was on my television screen not my radar screen.

(Lawrence Welk, anyone? My grandmother forced us to watch it. This may explain a whole lot, including my fear of singing, dresses, saxophones, clarinets, side burns, leisure suits and Dippity Do hair dos.)

To this day dancing is not something I enjoy unless it's at Blog Fest, and then of course the wine breaks down those walls of inhibition, and I attribute my deep-rooted fear to that first foray into the dance scene in high school. And also that polyester dress.

Now it's your turn. Feel free to tell us about your first dance or just fill in the blanks below:

Aside from _____________, what I remember most about my first school dance is ____________.


15 comments:

Annie said...

Aside from being invited by the school captain, I didn't enjoy it. Too shy. Far too shy. I sympathize with you!!!

I don't even remember what I wore. I am not even game enough to go back and look at the photo. I worry too much what it will look like.

wv: fortiogg...my age , very roughly.

Pueblo girl said...

That brought back memories! My mother made me an ankle length purple polyester gown for my first school dance, bless her. It was a nice dress as far as it goes, and I was pleased with it at the time, but...eeww. And CLING, boy did it cling. I gave everyone who touched me electric shocks.

Ann Marie said...

Aside from, dressing like a boy because I would NEVER wear a dress EVER not even TODAY, what I remember most about my first high school dance is, I cried. I got in a fight with some boy who I liked (keep in mind this is 7th grade NOT high school) and he made me cry. When one of my good friends saw me he grabbed me and said.. DON'T MOVE.. NOT AN INCH.. I stammered w w w why through the tears and he said .. CAUSE YOU NEVER CRY.. i need to find something to keep one of those tears in!

It made me laugh..

I still try not to cry .. unless of course it is after the 4th bottle of middle sister and then you could scream WHO POOTED and I would still just cry.

Jill said...

EXCUSE ME.. what the heck are you talking about... ALL THE VOGEL GIRLS could dance.. including you.. kinda.

Don't be messing with the family name there Janice.. I can not help it that you wore polyester.. you still had some moves.

Now take it back.
Jill

Mental P Mama said...

Oh I was a sweat-bomb, too! And I had an older date. A year older. I just got a little queasy remembering this. You hussy, you.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Aside from HAVING BRACES FITTED THAT VERY DAY, what I most remember about my first school dance is BEING AT LEAST A FOOT TALLER THAN EVERY BOY.

Yep, I had reached my adult height by age thirteen. 5'10" amongst all those little spotty boys. I am grateful (mostly) for my height now, but back then? Mortifying.

Daryl said...

I dont think I ever went to a dance ... seriously. When I went to Frat parties (as a senior in high school I would go to parties at NYU's frat houses .. mostly it was slow dancing when there was dancing ... no polyester or pantyhose were involved ... we wore bell bottom jeans

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Aside from the complete mortification I experienced when a much taller Doug leaned over to embrace me during a slow dance, sticking his butt out in a hideous manner, causing everyone else to stop and point and laugh at us...

Oh, sorry, I lost myself there.

Goodness but I could write a book about high school dances. There was the awkwardness when a slow dance song turned fast (think Behind Blue Eyes, Stairway to Heaven, Come Sail Away). Do you still dance slow-dance style, or break apart and boogie? There was the time when my date Donnie turned all Denny Terrio on me. Everyone was gathered around him as he got all Saturday Night Fever on his bad-ass self. Alone. There was the hoping your crush would ask you to the dance, but settling for the less-cute boy who actually did ask you, within 24 hours of the event.

GAH. High school was so freakin' traumatic. (I smell a blog post.)

Oh, funny! My WV is satin! Should we talk about my prom dress now?

Breezeway said...

Glad someone mentioned Stairway to Heaven! That song....ahhhghh! Always the last dance at EVERY Gloucester High event. Definately one you had to plan ahead for, cuz 13 min dancing with a less than desirable partner can ruin any night! And seriously, what was UP with that tempo change? There is no way to handle that gracefully! I LOVEEEEDDD dances. Still do, even though I never could and still don't dance worth a crap!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I am not very good at filling in the blanks questionaires. I do however remember the horrors of static cling and unruly hair!
<><

deborah said...

Aside from going to a dance with my best girlfriend, I remember those stupid panty hose...I was either tugging them up to keep them from pooling around my ankles or tugging them down a bit so I could still have circulation around my waist. Does this date me or what? I made my dress, I'm sure it was polyester and ugly.
I still hate wearing a dress
word verification: datizedl

foolery said...

Well, whether you mean the school dances in the gym after a Friday night football/basketball game, or the two junior proms or one senior ball I went to, the one memory that sticks out is the same:

my classmate Larry pogo-ing around the dance floor by himself, happy as a clam and oblivious to the bewilderment he caused.

big hair envy said...

Aside from the fact that I was high on Aqua Net fumes, what I remember most about my first high school dance is that I loved my dress, hated my hair, and came to the realization that I should never dance in public.

Country Girl said...

Aside from the liquor, what I remember most about my first school dance is when my father came to pick us all up and me driving home in the middle of the back seat so that he didn't know I was drunk. And he never found out.
God, I was only 14.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thank you all for commenting - I love reading these! Love it. Ankle length purple polyester gowns and all!

Jill, I have a goose I'd like to introduce you to, his name is Gustav and he needs an ally. Baby Sis could/can dance but the rest of us need some remedial training and actually it may be too late for most of us...