Sunday, February 5, 2012

Calamity Avoided

It wasn’t near the calamity imagined. The middle school dance happened, and my twelve year old lived through the audacity of it all. Chase even found himself dancing which goes against every hormonal fiber in his cotillion resistant body.

I was in charge of the dinner before the dance, a little shindig that had fifty-five seventh graders in attendance, arriving in all manner of awkwardness and/ or false bravado. It is a weird age for sure, these ‘tween years spent in a confusing divide between the desire to be a teenager and the need for occasional adolescent comfort.

As each gender arrived to the dinner, I was amazed at the differences as evidenced by the Y and X chromosomes. Girls had been transformed, glamorized in sequins and ruffles, stretched tall as they wobbled about in high heels. Fancy hair meticulously coiffed and make-up applied to perfection, these girls were a beautiful sight to behold. Some had aged 10 years, a frightening thought for the dads in attendance, whose eyes were trained sharply on the young men having the same thought, double-dog daring these barely shaved faces to stare longer than five seconds.

The boys, on the other hand, had not aged at all. While dressed handsomely in pants and ties, their routine hadn’t differed much except that soap was most likely used in the process. Readying themselves for the dance was a short affair and took less amount of time than it takes the NASCAR pit crew team to change four tires, polish the engine and offer the driver a snack.

(Or whatever it is they do. They are fast. For those of you who care, a NASCAR pit stop takes only 12-14 seconds. For those of you who do not care, I get that.)

According to my son, the most awkward moment of the evening – beyond the discomfort of first seeing each other at the dinner or when busting a move at the dance with knobby knees and elbows – was the unsolicited exposure to parental paparazzi.

Before the dinner, all the kids were gathered for a group picture. The number of cameras outnumbered the seventh graders, creating a bizarre chorus of clicks that provided background music to the light show presented by the numerous flashes. While tolerated good-naturedly by the students for the first thirty seconds of picture taking, the remaining ten minutes gradually produced scowls on hormonal faces that still brings me tremendous joy.

Chase maintains that he has never experienced more pain in his life.

Welcome to the dramatics as offered in my world.

From all accounts, it would appear that a good time was had by all, despite a few social hiccups as experienced by my son - little occurrences that made us howl with laughter, but unfortunately, unable to share as requested by Chase. His attorney contacted mine and a legal agreement was reached as to the nature and scope of information allowed for publication on the weird wide web.

Not only did my son survive the day’s events, but appeared all the better for it. This time next year, when we do it all over again in the eighth grade, maybe it won’t seem as terrible, as much as a waste of a Saturday. Maybe, after seeing the benefits, he will even look forward to it.

Added by Chase: Never. My mom is delusional.

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