I loved dances when I was a teenager. I loved deciding what to wear to the dance. I loved contemplating who I hoped might ask me to dance. I always got my hopes up that a certain someone was going to be there and sometimes my expectations were met and sometimes they were not. The opportunities for socializing at a dance was enough to make me giddy. I NEVER once contemplated missing a dance. I could not wait for my kids to turn 14 so they could go to dances. But stangely none of the Baird kids have loved dances as much I did growing up. I wonder if there is anyone on the planet who could have loved dances as much as I did ? :)
Everywhere we have lived throughout the years there have been church dances at least every other month. I could always count on that. Even before my kids were old enough to attend dances I often drove car loads of kids to them and then stayed to chaperon. If you ever want to go to a dance and can't get a ride I am definitely your woman. When we moved to Massachusetts we were faced with the strangest thing...no dances in our area. Honestly I think there have been two dances in our area since we moved here. The chances for socialization and dancing with an under an hour drive are very small around here. Oh, I have driven kids to Hartford, Connecticut to dance. I have driven kids to New Hampshire to dance. And I think I even drove kids to New Haven, Connecticut to dance. But no dancing in Springfield, Massachusetts or Ludlow, Massachusetts. Well my kids have missed the opportunity to build friendships with kids who live around here.
So now that you have all the background on the frequency of dances occurring in Western Massachusetts it surely won't surprise you to know that Miriam planned a dance for our area for New Years Eve this year as a project. If you have ever seen the movie Footloose parts of our planning seemed to go just like that movie....(no not the part where Kevin Bacon and "what's her guts" are doing some serious kissing :) There was a lot of very well meaning opposition to her plans. She faltered a few times in her desire and felt as if she could not go on but I am so happy that she kept at it. And on New years Eve we had a really amazing party. We had prepared ourselves mentally for it not being well attended and when it snowed a few inches that morning it just seemed to seal our fate. But by 9:00 pm that evening we counted 50 people either dancing or hanging out in the game room we provided.....and if you are in Western Massachusetts on New Years Eve that is not too shabby.
I won't go into all the details of this particular dance but I do want to chat about dancing. You would probably think with all my proclaimed love of dances that I am a good dancer and love to dance.......ummm no. I was always very into the, "gazing into a cute boys eyes slow dancing thing" but not so much the "look like a fool fast dancing thing." I am social but very self conscious...figure that out :) I have always cared what I might look like out there on the dance floor. There are always those people, you know them, sitting in chairs around the perimeter of the dance floor chatting and laughing and you are SO sure they are chatting and laughing about your particular dance moves. Those nameless people really ruined any chance I had of letting loose on the dance floor. I always admired people who could dance with wild abandon. It looked so fun.
Well I have no idea what happened but when I was 41 years old and it was the last 4 hours of 2009 I decided it was finally time to dance. I had the best time ever. Did I dance with my husband...no, he would rather die first. Back when I was a kid I never could have just danced and danced without a partner. So even though it is still strange to me I am very grateful that the times have changed and anyone can just go out on the dance floor and dance...with a partner or without. Oh, I was not by myself I, thankfully, had plenty of willing friends. When the evening was all done and I was driving home with the teenagers in my car I had the sudden realization that I must have embarrassed the crud out of them and everyone at the dance and I told them I was sorry. And strangely they were not embarrassed of me. One of the weird benefits of being under 5 feet tall is that people think everything you do is cute. It is VERY bizarre. Sometimes I like this benefit and sometimes I can not deny I wish the word cute had never been invented. But it saved me from embarrassing my kids so I will take it. I am not sure about my friends though :)
It has been almost 48 hours since the New years Eve dance and can I just tell you how my body is protesting the three, almost solid, hours of dancing I did. But in the same breath can I tell you how awesome it felt to just do what I wanted to do without worrying what anyone thought about me. My kids even declared I was a good dancer...very bizarre...and don't you dare tell anyone I told you that. I mean if you see the way kids dance these days that really may not be a compliment at all :) So, don't worry, I am not signing up for any dancing reality TV show but I must say as I grow older and try new things that I have always been afraid to try I have been nothing but pleasantly surprised at the out come.