Dinner And A Dance

Last night my youngest went to his first formal dance, prom for Waukesha South High School. If you've been through this scenario, like me, you probably wondered where the time went? Wasn't this little guy just wandering through the living room leaving a wake of destruction behind him? Wasn't he the kid who just yesterday was busy pulling up grass in the outfield and putting it on his head to be goofy during T-Ball? Wasn't he just "graduating" from kindergarten and begging for sleepovers every weekend?

Yep, it seems just like yesterday.

In any case when we asked him how he liked it, he said it was a blast. There's something about being around your friends with loud music, dancing and lots of laughs that is hard to beat. He went with a "friend" and so it was a little different than boyfriend/girlfriend. There are many variations on the whole prom experience than when I was a kid, including going "stag" with friends and or even attending an "anti-prom" party. As long as everyone has a good time, you can't take much away from doing whatever these young adults feel comfortable with.

Prom for me was when adult life got real. I think I went to four formal dances in high school and there's just something about putting on a suit or tux, then getting in a car and driving to pick up a GIRL. (Bear in mind that I went to an all-male military academy, so most of my dances were "set-ups). It was always a little unnerving, as this wasn't a pizza and a movie with your buddies. The whole thing demanded manners, class and gentlemanly courtesy. All of it done in uncomfortable albeit, fine clothes. Mine was a three piece bell bottomed, rust colored corduroy suit that was TOUGH! All it was missing was a hat and I'd have the whole pimp thing going. Superfly!

Then there's the whole conversing with a girl for the whole night. I was a shy kid, so the thought of this was daunting, but I knew it was something that had to be done that first few times- a rite of passage - toward becoming a real, live functional male adult. It turns out we spent most of the night hanging with friends, much like Ben, so the conversation jumped around the table most of the night.

And with regards to dancing, well, there was no issue with that. I've always loved to kick it, so when the band hit a song I liked, I dragged my date out on the floor again. Slow songs were awkward affairs, with clammy hands and respectful holds. Our son reported that the "grinding" was everywhere at the dance something he didn't participate in and wouldn't even if he went with a girlfriend. Both of our kids have more class than that. Thank God it wasn't a problem back when I was in high school. Heck it wasn't even invented yet.
Midwinter Dance 1979

It is an awkward time to be sure. I remember my mom telling me to be sure to open doors, compliment the girl on her dress, and basically don't be a self absorbed teenager for the evening. I did my best and came away unscarred. They were some of the best nights of my high school years.

Blogging off...


Jo Balistreri said…
Enjoyed this post a lot. It was just as unnerving being the girl. Aren't you glad you still have the photo? I'm going to go find one of mine.

What a hoot, Jim!

Glad Ben enjoyed the dance.
Unknown said…
Wow! Those Landwehr's are real studs aren't they? I'm sure the males in my family would agree. Way to represent Jim! We will be sending our daughter off to prom this weekend-thanks for the images I didn't need... But she is a good kid too so I'm not worried! She always says what she sees at the dance is disgusting!!!!! Thank you for the laugh and the honesty!-
Kristi Landwehr Weller

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