I had a fun flashback today. It was one of the natural ones, not drug induced. I received an email this afternoon from a rather attractive woman and she gave me some compliment in her writing. In response, I wrote her a quick note and it said at some point "You're not so bad yourself". I apologized for not writing more and explained that I was one foot out the door to run some errands. Here's my flashback...
The year was 1956 and I was 10 years old and attending the 5th Grade at Cleveland Elementary School in Skokie, Illinois. The teacher sent home a note with me, telling our parents that there was to be a Sock Hop at school. I was not at all interested in dancing. I was all about baseball, basketball and football and certainly not girls, however that all changed shortly after that. Maybe even at the sock hop! First, I needed to learn how to dance. My mother volunteered to be the teacher and after about an hour of painful lessons, I believe I had mastered the 2 step, but only if I kept repeating the instructions to myself constantly, 1, 2, 1, 2.
She got me all dressed up and I found out that day in school that all the girls had decorated their sweat socks with fancy bows and misc decorations. I was lucky to find a pair that didn't have holes in them. Somebodies mother or father drove a few of us from my neighborhood to the school for my first dance. I literally had no idea what to expect. We arrived and were required to remove our shoes, so as not to ruin the gymnasium floor. What was all that nonsense about anyway? I think it was a plot created by the gym shoe manufacturers to increase their business, but that's another topic for another day.
The gym was lined with folding chairs along the sides of the room and all the boys were gathered around talking and most of the girls were dancing with each other on the dance floor. Without notice, a cute girl from the grade above us and tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around I froze in panic as she smiled and said one word to me. Dance? Feeling the trauma of shock, similar to a zombie, I walked out onto the dance floor and assumed my practiced position. Knowing I had to keep it to myself, I began, 1, 2, 1, 2.... When suddenly this girl who was about a head taller than me and one of the girls that a lot of the boys agreed was pretty cute, said to me, as she looked into my eyes, "You're kind of cute". Still frozen, but moving my feet in that memorized pattern, I looked up and recited a line I'd heard in a Humphrey Bogart movie, "You're not so bad yourself"! That's when I felt this terrible heat rise through me and settle in my face. It turned blood red as I blushed. For the rest of the song, I kept my head down and prayed she wouldn't talk to me anymore. As soon as the song was over, I rushed to the boys room and splashed water in my face to cool it off. That was the last dance I attended that year.