It's so strange to even mention this, because it feels like forever ago... and that only makes me realize how much older I've grown and how fast life is slipping away. And yet, there are so many memories that flood back when I recall the time. I think many a time we forget about the past -- and it becomes a distant memory that we put on a shelf in the attics of our minds. There simply are too many things going on in the present, and too many things to worry about in the future for us to worry about those things... right? Maybe. But in this moment, I'm willing to forget about that stuff. And so I will gladly take this opportunity to reminisce about the past.
Middle school was that time when people actually started to sort of date people... Granted, it was still probably ridiculous since none of us could drive, but it still happened. And admittedly, it was a bit more advanced than the 4th grade "dating" that basically consisted of play dates. We only had a few dances my first year in middle school, but consider these the highlighted chronicles of what I can remember...
1. It was awkward. Very awkward. Girls danced with girls and guys sat awkwardly on the bleachers in our gym shooting the shit.
2. The DJ always sucked. No matter what. There must have been a low budget for that or something...
3. I won a prize once. I put a raffle ticket in and won an Orlando Magic Tracy McGrady basketball jersey. I probably wore it twice, seeing as how I don't ever wear athletic jerseys.
4. Dancing with the opposite sex was weird. The only time it happened was during slow songs, and that means that you had to go and muster up some courage to go hold on for dear life to a girl's hips from about 3 feet away. How very strange... not to mention terrifying.
5. Your parents would always come early to pick you up and poke there head in and see what the fuss was about.
6. My non-social shy and terrified self never found the courage to ask the girl I really liked then to dance... And it's one of the things I regret to this day. I don't expect it ever would have gone anywhere, but I think I've made leaps and bounds in the shyness department and have really improved my self-confidence. Still a work in progress though...
7. Teachers were there too. As.. chaperones? Apparently that was a good idea. Probably was... but just made it more awkward. Especially when they danced.
8. Music videos often had to be blurred or blacked out... due to apparent middle-school-age-inappropriateness.
9. The top two songs I remember being played were Get Low and Stacy's Mom. Wow. What a combination. Oh, and they played Fall Back Down by Rancid, once, ever... I was excited.
So boy, have dances evolved... I remember that it was a big deal to me and nothing at all at the same time. I'd get dressed up and try to look good, but had no expectations and was sort of an outcast at school, so didn't really think anything would ever happen. I'll never forget when groups of friends of a girl would come up to you to say that their friend wanted to dance with you... still so strange.
Also, this is really random and completely irrelevant but I figured I'd throw it in there. I reminisced about the past and here's a blurb about the future... I realized that a year from now and a few months, I'll be graduating. I will be leaving Clemson, one final time. And honestly, I probably would never come back... What reason do I have? I have no family here, no one I really know going to college down here, and I don't even know if the friends I made here will be staying in the area. It will be very bittersweet; I'm sure of that. While I'm positive I'll be ready for a change (because I already am...), I know that it's going to be hard to close this chapter of my life for good. Maybe somewhere down the road there will be reason for me to return, but I don't know... And thus I'm going to try to make myself a Clemson bucket list... just a list of things I'd really like to cross off before I leave.