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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Young and Sweet, Only 17...

That was kind of how I felt last night,  at a church youth dance.  J and I chaperoned at what was the first youth dance I've been to in, say, over 15 years.  The music was blaring, groups of girls flocked together shrieking, a few free spirits danced, completely uninhibited--just the way I remember.  Oh. so. fun.  The groups gathered, no one really dancing at first.  Everyone a little too anxious over what everyone else was doing. 

Lucky for me, a couple fun girlfriends of mine were also chaperones, and we had no problem getting our groove on.  I guess someone has to teach these kids how to have fun at dances (and we figured that if we were going to be spending 3 hours there, we might as well burn some calories). I wanted to tell these kids that now is the time to figure out how to dance, how to talk to someone of the opposite sex, how to interact with people.  Do it now, before you go to college!  Figure out who you are!  Be confident in who you are! 

Probably the highlight of the night was when I got asked to dance.  Seriously.  Cute young man came up and asked me if I'd like to dance.  My face registered flattered surprise while I searched for the right words (thinking that "Dude, I'm married" wasn't going to be it). My friend Vanessa explained kindly, "She's a leader."  Oh, he was mortified.  I felt sooooo bad for him, he was so embarrassed!  I wanted to say, "But good for you for being so brave to ask someone to dance!  And if I were 15 years younger, not married with four kids, I would totally dance with you!"  I even offered to help him look for someone else (probably should have just left it alone); he declined.

So interesting, though, to see a dance from this perspective.  Because, while 33 is still totally young and hip, some wisdom of years cast a new light on ...people's characters, I guess.  There was the pretty girl in black lace and 4" heels that said no (in the rudest way) to the dance invitation of a really brave, nice guy.  There were the guys that were actually way too cool to be there, but showed up anyway--just to show a little disdain, I think.  There was the guy who sat on the side with headphones on and refused every invitation.  But then, there were the girls that were confident enough in themselves to dance their funky dances without caring that no one else was.  The guy who wore knee pads to the dance because he knew he'd be breaking it down on the dance floor, even if no one else watched.  The big, slightly awkward guy who had a genuine smile on his face the whole night and took every opportunity to dance.  And the young man who, after being dismissed by black lace girl, just went and asked another girl to dance.  She said yes.  These are the kids who are setting themselves up for success.

And despite the slight despair I've been feeling over the state of the world and mankind, I watched these kids...and felt hope.

7 love notes:

Jessica said...

I thought when you said you got asked to dance by a young guy you were setting it up to bring husband into the story. ha! Sounds like a fun night! Wish I could have seen it all in action :)

Things' Mommy said...

Jess, it was a fun night. And, speaking of J, I asked him to dance on a slow song. He said, "No, we shouldn't. We're the chaperones." I teased him and said that if HE wasn't going to dance with me, I had other options. :)

Amy said...

I can almost smell the sweaty gym at the end of the dance.

Aubrey said...

You've still got it! That sounds fun, kind of. I miss you guys! Is spring springing there? It's so beautiful there in the spring. We should come and see the tulips, I wonder when they'll be out. We've been trying to think of something to do during spring break, that would be fun...hmmm. Love you!

Kate Nelson said...

Do you remember the O'Fallon Valentines Dances? Young Couples dancing their heart out to the
80's and 90's. My ward in Utah also has a Valentines Dance and Paul and I properly dressed in jeans and sneakers only to discover everyone else dressed in formal attire (the band name should have clued me in 'The Hot Flashes'). I tried to dance cool to 'Twist and Shout' and other
50's music. But in the end, Paul and I escorted outselves to the refreshment table to talk and laugh. I totally know how those insecure teenagers feel. All praise to the brave ones who dance their own dance and let the other's sheepishly watch.

Things' Mommy said...

Amy, such a short comment--such a huge smell. :) PS: Move to WA.

Aubs, I'll let you know wjen tulip season is--we'd love to see you.

Kate, how we miss you! Everytime we drive to Utah on one of our whirlwind trips, we think of you guys and how one of these days we need to take more time and visit our Utah friends on the way down!

Peterson Pack of Wild Dogs said...

When you have good genes, you just can't help but get hit on by much younger men. If only...