so i put my hands up, they're playin my song

1:10 AM

For whatever reason the topic of high school dances has been coming up in everyday conversation lately. I'm not sure what this has to say about the state of my mind, but I feel like I have discussed prom dresses more often in the past week than I ever have in my life. (Which, granted, wouldn't be that much since I only went to a year of high school).

Coincidentally, I've been thinking about those things a lot. HA! Dances. I was always too good for jumping up and down to Cascada's "Every time We Touch" and I STILL KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO THAT SONG. How do we survive our teens living through a slew of crappy radio music? How do we survive now with such crappy radio music?

Absolutely that does not apply to The Backstreet Boys.

But really, how do we survive those dances?

"No, you don't understand. I saw babies CONCEIVED on the dance floor" says no one I went to school with, but everyone from every other school in the country. I lived in Utah. It was weird enough to see strapless dresses. Maybe ONE couple was grinding (before the chaperones could kick their indecent selves out of there), and at the really risque dances, you might catch a few couples making out to "Hips Don't Lie."

I can't dance. Oh, I wish I could. But it's not my thing. I'd be more likely to right hook your jaw than to put my hand on your shoulder. Or, forgive me, put BOTH of my hands on your shoulders (so corny!) It's a shame, though, I do like music. My crush on Justin Timberlake will never die and I may or may not still get super turned on by "SexyBack", but I can't shake it like Beyoncé. When I try, it's more like this. SO AWKWARD.

(this is a dumb argument because at these dances, you don't dance. You jump up and down like you're stoned, and scream to lyrics that you don't actually know like you're stoned. but, well, whatever).

When people started going to school and church dances at age 14 I didn't go for a whole year. It was a matter of pride. I had a reputation that I was proud of. I was a tomboy. I was confident. I didn't need dumb dance parties to have fun. However, pride definitely crossed the line over to stubbornness and I have come to regret this headstrong, single-minded stance.

Because as I ventured to high school and young adulthood I have grown to enjoy dance parties. This mostly follows my unashamed love for rapping and hip hop music. If I can rap to a whole song, (arguably one of the greatest feelings in the world), I can fake the dance stuff. And I can't stress enough, if you play me some JT, I'M SO THERE, IT'S INSANE. Granted, dance parties improve without the inevitable slow songs mix that goes down at every school dance. I don't miss that, and I never will.

I found an old note from my friend Connor that he wrote me in eighth grade. He was best friends with my current *boyfriend* or whatever you call it at age 14. Le beau really wanted me to go to the Christmas dance of 2005. (This is also odd because that kid ended up hating dances later on). I refused. Which is super stupid, because that kid didn't ask much of me. But pride is a delicate thing, and I guarded my pride every way I knew how. Even today, though, this note is still pretty funny:

Dear Hated Lauren,
:( frown? good.
Remember the christmas dance? How I
wrote you that note.
My mom said you r 'of
the devil' and ben should 'avoid the 
apperence of evil.' WHOA! Their is a new
chance to avoid the go to a 
dance; Come on. You and ben can wear 
BLACK. Ben is sad you won't 
talk to him, and I mean come on
that guy just WANTS TO MAKE
YOU HAPPY! He does everything 4
u and (excuse any blutness that 
might offend) sacrifices alot. So you
should make one sacrifice
and go to the dance with him.
Eh?Also, if you don't like that
Eric has spread the rumor that if
you & ben r not at the dance
you r at his house listening
to Classical Music at a candlelit dinner
which is followed by sparring and
you two reading 'Art of War.'

Ha Ha Ha Ha

no choices left.

...I didn't go.

I finally did go to one a few months later. I was extremely stubborn, it had to be my decision. I even had my friend Anni PRACTICE dancing with me in my bedroom. I showered her with questions like this was some Chemistry final about the type of music they would play, about the different dance moves that I should know, and how to stand during the slow dances. I do not recall being so nervous for an event that ended up requiring so little skill or poise. THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE. Why no one explained that to me before, I have no idea.

Finding that note and remembering my eighth grade self, I'm sad at how I acted. Some of my greatest teenage memories came from school dances. Not because the dances themselves were fun - because they weren't. I still can't listen to "Life is a Highway," or "Don't Stop the Music" without  keeling over from a painful abdomen. They played more songs that I hated than they did that I liked. But I went with fantastic people. Whenever "Incomplete" (BSB 4 lyfe!!) was played, my girls and I would interpretive dance. Megan and I would relentlessly request Michael Jackson songs - WHO CARES IF IT WAS THE 2000's. "I'll Be," "Fall For You," and "What Hurts the Most" were so heavily ridiculed I could have written a high school analysis on those song lyrics.


Ben, if you ever read this, I'm sorry that I wouldn't go to that dance with you. I guess all those times in high school where you didn't want to go with me was just payback. It all makes sense now.

By the way, that picture up there is of the Christmas Dance I did eventually go to (ninth grade). And that girl there, Chelsea, is largely responsible for getting me into that dance scene. Not only to go, but to dress up. (MY BELT IS WRAPPING PAPER). How a boy could actually like that bushy eyeybrowed, makeupless tomboy is beyond me - but at least I have a great smile.

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  1. GAH!! I was so super excited to see that my picture was prominently pictured on your blog...even if it is a picture of the awkward 9th grade me :) Incomplete holds so many memories for me!!

  2. We're both pretty awkward. But, baby, without you this post is incomplete.

  3. Someone's been scanning photos . . .


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