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Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Teenage Wasteland

By Ronni Prior of Rants By Ronni

It's a school dance in the gymnasium. I have on my best ice-blue faille dress, and my crinoline. The music is loud and the lights are dim. I'm sitting close to the edge of the dance floor, tapping my foot and trying to pretend that I don't mind that nobody has asked me to dance.

The band swings into the same version of Satisfaction we have all been hearing them practice for weeks, and I feel a tap on my shoulder. The second-cutest boy in my whole school is standing there, and I can't hear a word he is saying over the incessant "Well, I try, and I try, and I try..."

Still, he has tapped me on the shoulder, so he must want to dance, right? I get up and follow him onto the dance floor.

I am well out in full view of EVERYBODY by the time I realize that there is another girl with him, and he just wanted me to pull in my chair so the two of them could get by!

Floor, open up and swallow me now! Of course, it didn't, and I was left to turn back and claim a seat in the wallflower section, where I stayed for four years.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


My uncle taught me and my sister to jitterbug. We had it down to a science. Backflips, criss-cross-through-the-legs-and-into-the-air, continual revolution, you name it. All the girls wanted to dance with me; but, without "my partner", I was reduced to mere slow dance at which I was never much more than average. In fact, the rock-n-roll jitterbug was my only "claim to fame", not fitting in all that well elsewhere. No talent with sports. No fancy car. No great ability at handling conversation with other people. Teen-age memories embrace both good and bad. Another time, another place, and perhaps I could have spared you the moment endured with this one. You do remind me of the one place where I wasn't just one of the faces in the senior class.......

I loved dancing the jitterbug too, but I spent my fair share as a wallflower. Too bad we didn't know Jim then, huh?

Oh the angst of those terrible teenage years. I wouldn't go back for anything. I felt your pain as I read your story. I knew it well.

Ohhhhhhhhh how I feel your pain in this! I was too tall, too skinny and too smart -- in short, a nerd and didn't fit in at all.

After I went away to college, acquired some style (courtesy of my new friends) and filled out a little, I has a wonderful summer turning down the guys from my high school -- my dance card was full finally!

Ronni....that was priceless! I'm still laughing/cringing from the perfect picture you portrayed. You are a funny lady.


My face used to hurt from keeping that smile on it that said to everyone,'I don't mind that no one is asking me to dance. I just enjoy listening to the music." That went on for a long time.

Finally, one night a boy did ask me to dance. A total stranger from another high school. We clicked right away and ,as they say, we danced all night and all the way into courtship,marriage,children and now, retirement. That was 60 years ago.

Thanks for all the great comments!

I wonder what happened to all those popular kids...

Again, apologies..."vero" is me.

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