Oh, The Humanity!

The title of this little story is a quote widely used in a satirical manner to indicate faux horror at a happening or circumstance. The horror I am about to impart is the dreaded albeit much looked forward to eighth grade dance. It was without a doubt one of those events every young boy awaited with a gut-twisting eager dread.

By the time we reached the seventh or eighth grade we were a blob of roiling testosterone driven pubescence. We knew we liked girls, but weren’t sure why, or what we should do about it.

It’s been said girls mature faster than boys, so it is my suspicion they took advantage of us in those early years. While we were playing marbles, and twirling yo-yo’s, the lasses were plotting our eventual demise. Looking back, I am of the opinion the girls in the eighth grade class of 1964 were the instigators of the women’s movement.

Eight grade dances were a part of the plot, obviously designed to turn us into frightened, blubbering fools. In any case, the venue was the school cafeteria, with all the boys congregated on one side of the room, and all the girls huddled in groups on the other side of the room.

The girls giggled, laughed, and talked about the silly fools across the room, while the silly fools stumbled into one another, occasionally mumbling the name of the girl they intended to dance with. It usually took about thirty minutes and nine or ten songs for one of the boys to get up the nerve to walk across to the other side and ask his true love to dance. True loves, by the way, lasted about two weeks when you were grade school.

Once the first couple hit the dance floor, there was a stampede. The slap of shined-up loafers clattering across the floor was thunderous, causing the girls to shrink against the wall, wide-eyed, as the herd rushed in.

Those dances were some of the best worst nights of my life. I swear I never felt so good and so bad at the same time. It was horribly devastating and wonderful! Know what I mean?


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Those are great memories for me . . . but then I was one of the girls 😉

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