Last night was a special night in my daughter's world. She attended her 8th grade dance. I guess these days, a big gala like the one she attended is pretty commonplace. Since I've been on vacation this last week, due to the beautiful climate I live in, I was able to spend much time on catching up on "The Waltons" reruns (It appears May is a great time to run Waltons marathons since two channels were doing so). And, as I'm sure many others agree, if you start watching the Waltons, you just can't stop till all episodes are run. One of the episodes was about JohnBoy attending a school dance. It was held in a library, cost a quarter to attend, had chaperones where not one could have been less than 80 years old, and served lemonade. All the girls were on one side and all the boys were on the other. Once in a while, a young man would approach a young lady and ask her to dance, in which case, she would either accept or decline(usually accept), and the two would proceed to the dance floor where they were closely monitored to make sure the appropriate distance was kept between "body parts",In other words, only hands could touch. The girls were all dressed in what was probably the one dress they had, the one for church. And the boys, well, they wore the one suit coat they had that they wore to church, over their blue jeans and suspenders. Ahhhhh, a much simpler time.
I remember the one dance I attended in grade school. It was held in a classmates unfinished basement. There was no charge to attend, lemonade and/or soft drinks were served as well as, I'm sure, chips and the sort. The dress code, I believe, was casual: Jeans and T-shirt. And, if I remember right, all the girls were on one side of the basement, while the boys found an old motorbike in the garage, and were all trying to figure out how to get it to run. Chaperones? I think the host parents got out when they could because I don't remember any on the premise. Good times, good times.
These days, it's a little different. As being the parent of a 14 year old girl I have learned, there is much to do before the big night. First, shop. Yes, you must have that brand new dress, shoes, and other accoutrements. Then, get the nails done. What done is I'm not really sure, but they must be done. Then, hair. Cutting, styling, coloring, curling. Whatever getting your hair done means, once again, I'm not sure. But, it does entail the above. And, of course, you have the pre-dance get together at a girlfriends house. While this was supposed to involve no parents, besides the host parents, after much discussion, I was given special dispensation to at least get a few pictures. Yes, I felt special.
The theme of the dance was "Hollywood". A full fledged red carpet event complete with limo parked out front so the attendees could get a picture of themselves exiting the limo for the grand event. Inside the dance venue(my daughters school), you felt like you were walking into an after party for the Oscars. Red carpet, taffeta up and down the walls with strings of white Christmas lights brightening the scene, classic scene of movies on the walls, DJ's ready to play the hippest new music(I think Foghat's Slow Ride was a favorite at my aforementioned dance), and, some things don't change, lemonade. And, of course, there were boys. I had mentioned to my wife earlier in the day, "I wonder if any boys will show up for this event?". Low and behold, there was a stunning number of handsomely dressed guys there. Now, when I say handsomely dressed, I don't mean how handsomely we used to dress, the jeans and T-shirt thing. I mean, bright colors, throwback hats and suspenders, and some unusual combinations. But, good effort was made, none-the-less. Plenty of chaperones, too. Mostly teachers who by now know who to keep their eyes on.
Finally, parents were ushered out of the event, to leave the kids on their own. After that, we, as parents, had to rely on the occasional "selfie" pic that my daughter would send. After the dance was the required sleepover where all the girls were picked up a set of parents and brought to their house to make sure everyone was safe and sound.
I'm quite sure alot of dancing was done, and sometimes even with a boy.
Here are a few shots: