Dance at the Gym

A flyer came home from school.

There’s going to be a dance…

… at the gym.

This is Emily’s first dance. Parents have to attend, of course.  But still…


The minute I saw the flyer, the song “Dance at the Gym” from West Side Story flashed through my head. Go ahead, take a peek. It is a great song from a great movie.

Emily is acting pretty, pretty blasé about the whole thing and one night I remarked to Tyler that I was surprised that the boys and girls hadn’t all gotten into a flurry of who is going to go with whom and whatnot. Because when I was that age, well, that was the beginning of…

“Do you like him, or like him, like him?”

Or, how about this one:

“He asked me to go with him.”

My parents had a field day with that one. In the 4th grade a boy asked me to go with him. My mom would laugh like hell and ask me, “Go where? Where are you going?”

Now, we both knew that it meant to go steady, but saying it like that was just so uncool. Even in the 4th grade.

So one night at dinner I asked Emily if the kids were excited for the dance and she broke into a big smile. She said that at lunch all of the boys were asking the girls to go with them to the dance.

“Well, what did you say?” Tyler and I jumped all over each other practically yelling the question to her, we were so excited.

“I said I was going with my sister Sarah.” she said.

“Oh No You Didn’t!!!”

She did.

I thought Tyler and I were going to die we laughed so hard.

You see there is this boy she likes and he likes her and they are friends. He came to her birthday. They text each other and I tell you, it is riveting stuff. Riveting.


“How R U”
“Fine. Bye”

So Tyler and I, being the crazy kids we are, ask her if she does indeed want to go to the dance with him. She breaks out into this big shit-eating grin and says yes.

“Well, you could text him and ask him to the dance” I say.

“No, you should call him” says Tyler.

“No text him. It is safer.” I say

“Copout” says Tyler

It is now after dinner and Emily disappears into her room and comes back out to the living room and in a teeny, tiny voice says that she texted him.

“Oh No You Didn’t!!! Let Me See!!!!” I say.

As I am looking at it, the darn thing vibrates and I throw the phone at her.

He said yes.

Then as I am holding her phone again, to verify his acceptance, the phone rings!!!

She races to her room to talk to him and as quickly and quietly as I can, I race right after her. Why? To eavesdrop, of course!

Then she calls to me, “Mom
my? Are you standing by my door?”

“Ummm, yeeessss. I am fixing my hair” I say.

Thank goodness there is a mirror at the end of the hall. Anyone who knows me would believe that I am fixing my hair, right?

So I go in and we crash on her bed and she is so excited and we talk.

“You know,” I say. “This is the beginning. I can’t believe it. How fun! I promise Tyler and I will behave accordingly. We won’t do anything crazy like ask him if he is going to kiss you!”

Then you hear Tyler from outside her room… “I can’t promise that!”


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