The Pretty Girl* Across the Dance Floor
[*Politically Correct Blog Title: The Über Attractive Person Across the Dance Floor]
Back when middle school was known as “junior high school,” many of us attended our first teenage dance. Do you remember? Close your eyes and think about it.
For me, the year was 1972 or so and the place was Pollard Junior High in Needham, MA. Now that a vision of the 13-year-old me has entered my head, I am certain to have nightmares tonight!
Regardless of whether you’re a male or female, you put a lot of thought into what to wear and effort into how you looked. “It’s just a stupid dance,” you told your parents. But you (and they) knew differently.
The night consisted of dorky boys mostly sitting on one side of the gym nervously cracking jokes and making wise-arsed comments and girls in gaggles standing on the other side, whispering to each other and clearly having a much better time. Or so we boys thought.
With the music blaring and the teachers standing off to the side talking to each other, the only kids who were dancing were the ones who were going steady. The evening crept on. It was, for all intents and purposes, the “Dance of the Living Dead” as Rodney Dangerfield would say, and “Stairway to Heaven” couldn’t come fast enough.
Then you saw her—the pretty girl across the dance floor—and everything changed.
In a scene right out of “Wayne’s World”—with Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” song playing in your head and the girl seeming like she was in the center of a kaleidoscope of colors that spun around her—it felt like every Monarch butterfly in North America had migrated to your stomach instead of Mexico. Or, perhaps it felt like too much Mexican food in your stomach after an “all you can eat” taco night.