Since We Are At The Dance, Let’s Dance
by Tracy López
Our first school dance – How our already fast beating hearts beat faster once there! Colored lights swam in the darkness, paper streamers decorated the walls of the gym in swooping scallops, limp balloons drooped from basketball hoops. The heavy scent of too much cologne, mostly Drakkar Noir, hung in the air and the music already thumped for an empty dance floor.
The boys shoved their hands deep in their pockets, tried to look casual, checked their slicked back hair with careful fingers and stood against the wall. The girls, squealing the way girls do, admired each other’s dresses and elaborate up-do’s at the opposite side of the gym.
We cast nervous glances in each other’s direction, afraid of being rejected, afraid of being laughed at, afraid of what might happen. It took a few songs, but eventually, slowly, most of us decided we had made it this far, we might as well dance. This familiar feeling will come back to us many times through life – in relationships, in our work, even in the things we do for pleasure. We start things, and then hesitate, unsure of whether we should continue. Sometimes this indecision is valuable and saves us from making big mistakes – other times, it only serves to hold us back from reaching our full potential and from enjoying all of what life has to offer us.
I remember when my husband, Carlos, was only my boyfriend – early in our very short courtship, I had doubts. He had done nothing wrong but things had moved too quickly and his certainty about us being destined for each other made me uncomfortable. In a deserted parking lot one night I gave him the “maybe we should just be friends” speech. He begged me to reconsider, with tears no less. Lágrimas? Para mí? Pero… ¿qué es esto? No one had ever cried for me before!
Despite my doubts, I gave him another chance. More than 12 years later my heart hurts a little when I imagine what could have happened. What if Carlos had decided to be macho and let me go? Maybe I wouldn’t have known what I had lost, but I do now.
It isn’t always easy to make decisions, and though some may see it as a little reckless, I think that sometimes the right answer is ¿por qué no? Go for it, seize the day, see what happens. We’re at the dance, so dance, pues! You’ll never know what could have been if you don’t give it a chance.
About the Author: Tracy López is a writer living outside the DC Metro area with her husband, children and Suegra. You can visit her blog, Latina-ish.com or follow her on Twitter: @latinaish.
Tracy, our dances in high school were in the cafeteria of our high school. The local Tejano radio station would come in and deejay for a few hours, while the scenes you described above so well unraveled in our lives. At weddings, real Mexican weddings, those of the people from the rancho…not necessarily everyone’s, the guys would all stand along the wall, drinking with each other and talking, while the women and the children sat, ate and watched at the tables. This always made my sisters mad because it meant they wouldn’t have anyone to dance with. You’re right ‘hay que bailar en esta vida’ – otherwise we’ll never know what might have been.
Gracias for gracing my blog with your literary presence!
Juan, it is really an honor to be your first guest post. It means more than I can say because I do so admire you and your writing.
I like the story about your sisters getting mad at weddings because there was no one to dance with. I like all your stories…
Never stop telling them.
I only ever went to one school dance and I remember it the same way. This was at some point while in Jr. High and I was and still am a pretty quiet person. I knew everybody there but didn’t really do much.
I have changed so much since then but still hesitate at some points. I guess I will probably still have that “child-like” side of me for a long time.
Luis, never let that child-like side of you go! It’s the magic that keeps us going as adults and reminds us never to take life to serious.
Thanks for stopping by – a que no es re buena para escribit la Sra. Lopez?
@ Luis – Agreed w/Juan about hanging onto your child-like side. This is a good thing, but sometimes challenge yourself to do something that you feel a little shy to do. Those things usually turn out to be some of the most amazing experiences.
I too remember the horrible shyness at the school dances at the thought of having to actually do anything besides hold up the wall while my friends would run straight for the dance floor! I am now a big believer in “just try it” and I get frustrated some times when my overly cautious husband doesn’t immediately jump on board with all my “great” ideas, lol. Who doesn’t want to go on a an Alaskan cruise, go scuba diving in the middle of the Pacific, go skydiving over the nearby hills, or take a romantic hot-air balloon to celebrate our anniversary? Thanks for the reminder that somethings just aren’t for everyone.
All those are great ideas for adventures. I say pack your husband and your bags and set sail – who knows he might enjoy it more than you 🙂
Seriously though, thanks for the comment.
@ Humincat – LOL! Me and you have too much in common. Our marriages are like “I Love Lucy” sometimes 😉
“It isn’t always easy to make decisions, and though some may see it as a little reckless, I think that sometimes the right answer is ¿por qué no? Go for it, seize the day, see what happens. We’re at the dance, so dance, pues! You’ll never know what could have been if you don’t give it a chance.”
And I love Carlos…it is macho to cry, to show feelings…to know what is yours.
@ Carrie – 🙂 I like that. You’re very right.
Beautiful story. Makes me want to dance..all the time..and just let things happen. And never look back.
Thanks, Ana 🙂