Chris M.

Friday was my sister’s first school dance. It wasn’t formal or anything, but being her first one, it was a big deal. She got new jeans and black boots, and she had her friends sleep over afterwards, presumably to talk about the whole thing. My first dance feels like a jillion years ago! I’m such an old lady! Commence memories.

It was in sixth grade, on Halloween. I dressed up as a zombie version of Alice in Wonderland (when in doubt, create a zombie version of something and call it a costume). I went with my fake sixth grade boyfriend&#8212you know, the one who asks you out in an email and then you never talk to each other and you keep it a secret anyway? Well, I thought maybe we would, like, interact for the first time and ohemgee, it’s just so exciting!

I did my zombie makeup at a friend’s house and we all headed over to the dance at, like, 6 PM. It wasn’t even dark yet. Inside, the lights were off except for some flashing colored ones and Owl City was playing way too loudly while some eighth graders made out in the corner. It was terrifying.

So, what do I do when I get to a dance? Pretty much what everyone does: jump up and down enthusiastically to hide my lack of ability, awkwardly jump around when a boy asks me to dance during a fast song, or hang out near the chaperones where it’s not as hot and gross. Maybe that last part is just me.

My next dance is later this winter and I’ve already found an excuse to go: I want a reason to wear my new dress that’s too fancy for school. Why am I so obsessed with going to dances?! My last dance was just a loud, sweaty, crowded grindfest, and I didn’t enjoy it. I know other people have a lot of fun, but I don’t like really loud music or big crowds&#8212or dancing.

For some reason, I keep going to dances, even though I don’t have very much fun at them. I haven’t missed a single one yet. Maybe it’s the thrill of getting ready with friends&#8212the anticipation is always better than the real thing. I don’t know. To paraphrase Winnie the Pooh, “Although Eating Honey is a very good thing to do, there is a moment just before you begin to eat it which is better than when you do.” Isn’t it kind of dumb to buy into that, though? To do something just because it’s fun to get ready for it? Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s the best choice of all. And, most likely, I’m overthinking it and I should just stop whining and stay at home next time. My sister had a nice time, and that’s good. ♦