Friday, May 4, 2012
The school gym was hot and very crowded. I spent the evening hugging the wall, hoping I wouldn’t be asked to dance and hoping I would. I cannot recall if I danced or not – mostly likely it was with a pal. I do remember studying all the fashions that were swinging and twisting across the dance floor before me though. The striped dresses with chain belts, the lace blouses tucked into dirndl skirts, even a few pairs of white go-go boots. The girls, I noticed, looked like they were models right out of the latest Seventeen magazine tossed on the floor beside my bed. I could see the Yardley Slicker-ed lips, the frosted eye shadows, I even think I detected Wind Song, most likely pilfered from an older sister’s dresser. As I stood observing, I made a plan to ask my grandmother for more upbeat clothes in the future and knowing how she loved me, a trickle of guilt infused my fashion reverie.
It’s funny, I had dinner recently with an old school friend I haven’t seen in over 30 years. We both recall being at that same dance and yet we never noticed each other. He spent the night leaning up against a massive throbbing speaker grooving to “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, a song I abhorred. His primary memory is that he walked home completely deaf in one ear. Our recollections made us laugh, my first experience as a wall flower and my determination for more exciting clothes, his favorite song and his strange and muffled toddle home.
The next morning, my friend telephoned to say he enjoyed my company. “I couldn’t stop thinking about something though”, he said. And then..softly, “The white dress with the blue satin sash. It kept me awake”.
Great spring dance scenes can be found in these films:
Mrs. Miniver, American President, Houseboat, Since You Went Away, To Sir with Love