My intermediate years of 4th through 6th grade were marked by avoiding the horned beasts opposite gender as they eked cooties. The one exception to this rule was Jolene (aka the Purple Girl) who played trombone (the BEST instrument as you could bing folks in the back of the head without getting caught!) and had purple eyeglasses, purple braces, and a sweet purple dinosaur on her trombone (give me a break, this was pre-Barney!!).
Years later when I was a freshman (or was it eighth grade?) in high school, I attended my first school dance with my mother. Yep. I took my mom to a school dance…what I can I say, she had a drivers license and we lived a half hour from the school.
This dance marked a turning point in my life as it was the first time I really loosed up and begin to be myself at school. Prior to this dance, I was the outcast of the school (ok, that fact really didn’t change) – attracting unwanted attention by jocks and others in the ‘in’ crowd. This made me retreat into myself (I could go through an entire day without saying 3 words – an act of God to anyone who knows me now) while outside of school I was talkative and friendly.
Unfortunately, my self-doubt kicked in as soon as someone commented about my dancing skills (the one and only time my dancing prompted a positive remark). The wall came back up and that was it….
A short time later I had the pleasure of re-inventing myself when we moved to a different state and I started a new school. Since no one knew my prior history, I set out to be a totally different person – someone who acted the same both during and after school. I did not want to be on the outside anymore – I wanted to be part of the crowd that did stuff; the crowd that everyone liked (I won’t say the ‘in’ crowed as my band geekness overruled my football/tennis skills).
However I must say that school dances remained scary despite the re-invention. The awkward “where-do-I-put-my-hands-do-I-just-move-the-top-part-of-my-body” jitters still continued – which meant many long hours of standing against the wall chatting to all the other “girls-are-still-scary-but-slightly-less-so-oh-did-I-mention-that-they-are-pretty” guys.
All of which makes me wonder why I volunteered to DJ this school dance Friday…hmm…at least I get to play with a sound system and pick the music. 🙂