Sunday, September 26, 2010

The School Dance

There’s only one event in my life I’ll never forgive my mother for. The only school dance I ever had any interest in happened when I was in 7th grade at Nipher Junior High School in Kirkwood. A skinny, cross eyed little girl named Becky Herman told her best friend to let me know she hoped to see me there. I was chubby, awkward and totally smitten.

It was a formal affair and no one could get in without a jacket. I didn’t have one and was in total despair until my mom’s friend Lamar offered to lend me one. He said it was green, checked and shark skin. I didn’t know what any of that meant. It probably looked like a clown’s jacket but it would get me in.

The dance went from 7:00pm until 10:00pm. That night I paced frantically waiting for my mom to get home from work with the jacket. 7:00 came and no sign of my mom. 8:00 came and I was beside myself. I had no way to contact my mother. 9:00 came and went. Where could she be? At 9:45 she pulled into the driveway. I don’t think she even remembered the jacket. All I remember her saying was she didn’t think it was that important to me. That was probably the moment I totally gave up on any kind of social life at school. I’m 52 now and I still can’t get it out of my system.

Last night my daughter Chloe went to her high school Homecoming dance. Unlike me Chloe is very popular. She was asked to go by several boys. In fact she had such a large assortment of young men to choose from she ended up regretting her first choice. I have to give my ex Kim credit for making Chloe stick to her promise.

The young man went the whole nine yards. He spent a small fortune on the tickets, a corsage and dinner. It was a big deal to his whole family. We met them at the Homecoming football game. Chloe is in the marching band and they put on a spectacular half time show.

It’s strange to see the effect my daughter has on young men. Her date was very nervous.

One of her friends’ fathers owns a limo and took all the kids to the restaurant. When it arrived, the boy she wanted to go with jumped out and pinned a corsage on Chloe. Kim stood in horror in front of both kids’ parents. Chloe was so upset her chest broke out in a rash. Kim watched as Chloe drove away with two dates. Chloe insists she told the boy she had a date.

It’s still early and I have yet to get the details from Chloe herself. I guess physical beauty has its responsibilities.

My son, on the other hand boycotted the dance along with his buddies. This is probably more in line with my approach when you have to face the fact that the girls just aren’t clamoring for your attention.

Chloe in the Banana Bike Brigade at the Hispanic Parade and Dylan camping.


Anonymous said...

Of all the miserable times we experienced while you and your brother were growing up, this is the one that haunts us both.

I don't remember if I couldn't get the jacket in time or what. I do remember getting it. It was basically white with multi-colors creating the plaid. Red, blue, green, but definitely basically white. Maybe even seersucker fabric. Ugly! But I think I just wasn't able to get it in time. I will regret this for the rest of my life. I know how fragile we are at that age. I'm sorry, Babe.

Your Mom

Tracy said...

wow I remember those Nipher dances, not that I ever went to one, I was still too afraid.

David, I'm sure its no consolation but at least you were brave enough to go even if you were not able to.

They were called "fortnightlys"

Anonymous said...

Though I love hearing stories from your life, this one was always my least favorite because the first part made me feel bad when I heard it. Though I don't know him, ever since I heard the story of Chloe, I felt terrible for her first date. Also, thanks for the vote of confidence haha.