How My Life Has Become A Goddam Movie
I don’t regret choosing homeschool over traditional eighth grade this year, I really don’t. I don’t honestly feel like I missed out on too much. Apparently, the trip to Gettysburg was gross and roachy, and that was one of the only two exciting things the eighth graders really do, and I am thankful for that, as selfish as it sounds.
The other semi-exciting thing that the eighth graders get to do is go to the Eighth Grade Dinner Dance. School dances aren’t a rarity in my little town, if St Dennis school isn’t throwing their monthly sending district chaotic thrasher, Brielle school is throwing a lame seasonal formal, and that’s just the way it is, but the Dinner Dance is different. For the Dinner Dance you have to bring a date.
Dating is a foreign concept to our little town. Sure, a two week relationship is expected of everyone at least between fifth and eighth grade, but actually going out to places, alone? Oh no, no one in the entire school is mature enough for that. Well, that is, until the last weeks of school.
These last few days in eighth grade are (apparently) something so special, everyone’s maturity level skyrockets and suddenly, we’re so grown up that we’re bringing dates to dances.
I have never been much of a party person, as you may or may not have guessed. Seeing posters advertising this “magical” night of shitty pop music and being forced to dance with some sweaty, hormonal teenage boy definitely built up some hype, though. Every girl talks about it one way or another between fifth and seventh grade and then boom you’re in eighth grade and nothing has changed and all the boys are still morons and you realize at least one of them is going to ask you to this dance. There is no chance of getting out of this because it’s basically mandatory and the ratio of boys to girls is two to one so they will literally ask everyone until they get a date. That’s how I view it anyway.
But then there’s that tiny little piece of my mind that thinks like every other girl in my school and is constantly and annoyingly whispering “Oooh boys!” Her voice is high pitched and she only wears Pink brand sweatpants and she straightens her hair every day and I hate her, but she wants to dress up pretty and dance with a boy, ergo I want to dress up pretty and dance with a boy.
Keep in mind that is a very small part of my brain and that I had a perfectly good time watching “The Bad News Bears” on Netflix last night, but I hadn’t really thought about the dance until earlier that day.
Lily (who is a seventh grader who goes to a different school so she didn’t go) and I had just finished making cookies out of boredom when my mom asked us what was going on outside. Naturally, we walked out my front door to see what was the matter, and I nearly laughed out loud out of fifty parts amusement and fifty parts awkwardness. My entire narrow street had shiny, expensive cars parked up and down either side of it and in the small space between them was a mass of preadolescent kids, boys is suits and girls in tight dresses, walking towards the river. The entire eighth grade was parading down my street. Well, in retrospect, the boys were parading and the girls were stumbling, having not spent a lot of time in heels in the past.
My elderly neighbor was standing out in his yard, watching the kids take their picture in front of the river. He had to stand to the right, though, because someone had parked a limo in front of his house. A limo. To a middle school dance. That’s a perfect example of why these children confuse me. A limo? Really?
I, being who I am, was more focused on the irony of it all than I was on the fact that I was missing out on this “night of all nights.” I mean, the one thing other than actually graduating that I was shamefully disappointed about was taking place on my street. It honestly seemed like something out of a movie. There are plenty of other places to take a picture in front of the river, but you choose the one on my street? It was insane. I wasn’t that upset, I promise, I mean it’s a stupid dance where a on of people I don’t like all that much come together to celebrate what? The end of the year? Being old enough to take a boyfriend or a girlfriend seriously? I don’t know.
I wasn’t going to write about this at first, but I simply can’t ignore the fact that this was my street where I was safe from all the jocks and assholes at that school, but somehow they manage to barge in and infiltrate my safe haven; parading in their sunday clothes and linking arms with their date.
While this entire ordeal was happening Lily and I are standing there watching them in shorts and t shirts and I had grease all over my leg because of my bike and it was all just so funny that I didn’t know what to do with myself but go to the park. And we just left. And it was so ironic and surreal that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was weird, instead of feeling excluded, which in retrospect would’ve been my own fault, I felt empowered. I mean, they looked ridiculous and it was my own choice not to be a part of their charade.