DANCING THROUGH LIFE
Tonight is New Year’s Eve, and I know many people will be dancing when the clock strikes midnight, flipping time over to 2009.
I won’t be dancing this year. I haven’t danced in a long time, at least not in public. It’s not because I can’t dance. I dance by myself in my house. Sometimes I pick up my little dog and dance around with her, because when she sees me dancing she wants to be in on the fun.
I dance to Carlos Santana. And to eighties music. I dance when I’m inspired. And I dance just because I feel like it.
I danced a lot when I was a young girl, when our part of the country had many counties that didn’t allow the sale or consuming of alcohol in public inside community limits. Ours was one of those counties. However, there was a way around that law. It didn’t apply to bring-your-own to functions out in the county.
That’s where the dances were. Out in the county. There were wedding dances, dances in celebration of holidays of one kind or another, and dances just for the heck of it. Other than for wedding dances, admission was charged. A stamp mark was put on the top each hand or inside the wrist as proof of payment, and to allow people to leave the hall and to come back in again without paying each time.
There was a good deal of drinking going on in the cars. Underage people could always get liquor and cigarettes from friends who were of age. Guys bought it from friends who were older, but girls seldom had to pay for a drink. I think there was a great deal of wishful thinking going on out there on the parts of the older guys. Too bad.
However, my friends and I were not concerned about obtaining alcohol. Our main interest was meeting boys. It was a common way of meeting boys from other communities in the county, and from surrounding counties.
Between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, a period of exactly one year, my best friend and I attended one-hundred and sixteen dances. The record was there in black and white, written in my diary and hers.
That was the best year of my life. No exceptions.