Today I heard a sappy cheesy song on the radio that took me back in time a little bit. It was Firehouse "Love of a lifetime". For those of you who don't know, that song is awesome. Every time that I hear it I can't help but think of a simpler time in my life, a time without bills and jobs and responsibilities. A time of high school dances.
When I was a freshmen/sophomore in high school I went to every single dance that the school had. There was always a dance after home football games and that was the perfect opportunity to do a little bit of socializing. Of course there were going to be boys there so that made it even more appealing. I'm married now so I won't elaborate on any boys who I may or may not have danced with. There's only one boy that I dance with now and he's the best dancer of them all. He is who I dance with on every last song.
First thing when you got there you had to find a good spot on the bleachers/chairs set up around the cafeteria for all of the wallflowers to sit on. K-hall never seemed more romantic. In St. David circa 1997, everyone was a wallflower (during the fast songs anyway). NO ONE danced during the fast songs. Sometimes there would be one or two random alternative type girls out there, but everyone else just looked at them like they were weirdos.
Back then it was all about the slow songs. The slow dances mostly. Just sitting there waiting for that cute boy to ask you to dance, then holding his sweaty hand to walk to the dance floor and hoping you didn't have stinky breath to scare anyone off. We usually stopped off at Tiger Mart before the dance for some Winterfresh gum, just to insure no one had stinky breath. After a few minutes of stiff, awkward dancing you would be escorted back to your spot on the bleachers by the same sweaty handed boy who then politely thanked you for the dance.
Of course the whole experience was way different if you had a boyfriend. Then you knew at least one guy would ask you to dance, you were guaranteed someone to dance with on the last song and sitting there in the bleachers was a whole different experience. Dancing with your boyfriend meant dealing with your hands being sweaty too and then of course the butterflies. Those butterflies plagued me quite a bit in high school. They were a constant presence whenever I danced with anyone special. If you haven't experienced the butterflies, then you've never experienced high school infatuation.
At every dance I ever went to they played exactly the same songs. November rain, Nothing else matters, Always, Bed of roses, Love of a lifetime, Wind of change, etc. Always lots of slow rock songs with sappy lyrics. Awesome. November Rain was a good choice for the last song since its like ten minutes long, but you have to remember that towards the end of the song there's a pause, which causes most people to think its over. You just have to wait out the pause cause afterwards the song continues for like 4 minutes and that is a significant amount of time to keep dancing. We used to laugh at everyone who started to leave the dance floor and then get all confused when the song started up again.
Everyone knows the last song is reserved for that someone special, so if you didn't have a "date" or anyone special in mind then you always hoped you'd get asked. No one wants to be that one person left in their chair like a leper during the last song. Its like being picked last in PE, its just not cool.
Going to the dance when you just broke up with someone is probably one of the worst ideas ever, especially if they're there with someone else. Then you just give them the evil eye all night, and go to the bathroom when staring at the two of them across the room just gets to be too much to handle. Another strategy is to pretend like you are having the time of your life in a lame attempt to make them jealous, assuming they are watching you. Its not proven to work, but you can try it.
As high school went on I went to fewer and fewer dances. They just weren't necessary when I could date and drive without chaperones. But I still have fond memories of sappy slow songs, sweaty palms, flickering fluorescent lights in the bathrooms, winterfresh gum and of course the butterflies.