Boys Do Want to Dance With Me

me, freshman homecomingThere I was. A young girl. Wondering if any of those boys wandering around the halls of the high school were going to ask me to Homecoming. “Probably not,” I whispered to myself, head down. I walked outside, through the parking lot. I walked home. Within the week, I discovered something. One of those boys cruising along, walking from class to class noticed me. Had thought about me. And had wanted to ask me to the dance. And he did. Ask me. And I said “OK.” I didn’t mind that he was shorter than my average [girl] height. His glasses didn’t bother me either. What I did know what that he was kind. And polite. Not overbearing or pushy.

Within the following week, I discovered something else. Some more of those boys striding along, ambling through the corridors, also had intentions of asking me to the first formal dance of my freshman year. One. Two. Three. Four. Four more boys, which included the boy I was crushing on, and the one I adored in third grade. All four boys asked me on a date. To the dance. Each boy, at a different time, approached me. Quietly, sort of shyly. And each asked, “Would you like to go to Homecoming with me?” I smiled all four times. And, in my head, in my heart, I wished I could have said “Yes!” to each boy. But I didn’t. I had already told someone I’d go with him. Someone kind and polite. So I told each of those boys, the ones who asked me too late, “Sorry, but I have already been asked.” I lowered my head, feeling bad. Yet, feeling pretty happy. Realizing that I had had it wrong. Completely wrong. Boys did want to dance with me.

twirl me a dress

liz, age 3:4Liz was about 4 years old when she discovered she actually had a say in the kinds of clothing she could wear. Not to say I didn’t dress her as cute as a button. I did. But, she realized at some point that all she had to do was simply say no and I’d move on to the next outfit, until we found something that made, not only me happy, but even more so, her excited.

One afternoon, I took her shopping for a dress. A fancy one. We were going to attend my brother’s wedding and I wanted her to fancy it up. Together, we scanned the racks, admiring extremely cute dresses. Yet, each time Liz would say no, no, and no.

I gathered a bundle of appropriate dresses and walked her into the well-lit dressing room. Arms up, dress on. Again and again. Over and over. Liz would look in the mirror, then down at the floor. No. she’d say.

Leaving behind a pile of dresses, we walked out, back into the children’s section, to give it one last go.
And there it was. A beautiful, lacy-collared, cloth buttons up the front, cream colored, flouncy dress. “No,” is all she said when I held it up for her to admire. “Let’s just try it,” I told her, as I slipped my hand into hers, and walked her back into the dressing room. Arms up, dress on. Liz looked at herself. Just looked. Not saying anything.

“Twirl,” I advised her.

That did it.

She twirled and twirled and twirled. Around and around. Watching in the mirror as the dress flew up, and out. So fun! A big smile on her face. “Yes!” she happily said.

From that moment forward, the twirl test was the determining factor for whether a dress was worthy or not. Depending on how far it would flare out. Not how it looked on the hanger. Dress shopping became a bit easier from then on. Just a bit.