I just got back from my eleven year old sons' school "family dance". This soiree' is an exhibition in noise, sensory overload, kid packs, and body pollution. In other words, it's an absolute blast for the kids, whereas we parents, have to grit our teeth and get through it. My wife had to work, so I was graced with going to it alone, which makes it even less desirable.
The gym is outfitted with a DJ who, like all bad DJ's turns the volume up a notch for every song, so that by the end everything sounds like Alice in Chains on 'leven. I kid you not. By the end of the night, I wasn't sure if it was Miley Cyrus or Ozzy Osbourne screaming at me. I think it must have been the former, because the student selling girl scout cookies was mouthing every word. This is weird, because the only word I heard was like the sound of a jet engine before it falls off a plane over the Atlantic. I think it's probably hard to mouth that sound, but she was.
I'll give them this much, the music earlier in the night wasn't too bad, with a couple of Michael Jackson songs that were not unbearable. Again though, like every friggin' DJ that's ever spun a disk, the guy had to play the YMCA, the chicken dance, and the hokey pokey. C'mon, is somebody getting married here or what? Why must they continue to play those songs? Can't we as a nation, officially "retire" a song?
It'd be like:
Nope, can't play that song, it's retired. Done.
Then the cops would come if they did play it and confiscate the CD and burn it, like in Fahrenheit 451.
Group dance songs like the Macarena would be exempt of course, because they haven't been around for 150 years, like the Chicken Dance.
I'm such a curmudgeon when it comes to music. And I enjoy dancing. (Scary visual there). I really do, but I figure if everyone is dancing the same dance, ala "line dancing", why don't we just save ourselves some work. If I can't be original in my dance, what's the point? I don't get it. Is that weird? Yeah, I thought so.
Anyhow, throw on top of this junk food galore; hot dogs, nachos, soda, candy or, basically what the kids get for hot lunch, and you have the mixings for a good stomach ache. I abstained this year and stuck to flavored water. It was clear the kids were getting enough sugar for all the adults, and then some.
I managed to be a wallflower for most of it, trying to blend in and not be noticed. Eventually though the deaf DJ drove me from the gym, which was an act of mercy on his part. I did talk to a few other parents and had a nice chat.
Had I had my choice though, I'd of been at home doing something (anything) else. But, I KNOW how much the kids love this event (I was one too once) and so I didn't want to deny Ben. Turns out I brought one of his friends with, so I think his parents were thankful too that I spared them from the sonic assault.
Part of me will miss this annual event, as Bens going into Middle School next year, so they won't have these. It's a rite of passage I guess.
Another part of me thinks "thank goodness I made it through seven years of Family Dance without actually ever dancing". I think others are thankful too. Nothing like a six foot five man doing the funky chicken in front of the principal of his kid's school to ruin a kid's grade school career forever.
Some things are meant to be. And so it goes.