There once was a boy that either had a crush on me or had taken it upon himself to tease me in a way that my twelve year old self didn't recognize. I'll never know which of the two it was. But my twelve year old self thought he liked me and I remembered that feeling.
I approached him. I greeted him by his first and last name. I introduced myself with my first and last name. He said, "I remember you!" and immediately informed me that he was texting his wife.
This was a conversation that would not go far but it was one of the first brave things that I did that night. He went his way. I went my way. That would be the end. For the moment.
I went up to my hotel room and regrouped. I brushed my teeth. I texted my brother and I made a promise that got me through the moment. I would go back downstairs and rejoin my Grade 10 nightmare. The first and last high school dance that I ever attended was renamed my 35 Year High School Reunion.
I went back as my 52 year old self and I left that 15 year old girl back in 1975 where she belonged.
The group that I was sitting with started to dance. It was dancing-without-partners and simply moving and grooving to the beat of the music that took us all back to 1975 - 1978.
I took every single thing that I learned about ballroom dancing and threw it all out the window. The only thing that I kept was the self esteem that my dance lessons have instilled in me. I danced like no one was watching and it was a wonderful thing.
Eventually this confidence gave me the courage to ask the-boy-who-(maybe?)-once-liked-me to dance a slow dance.
"Would you like to dance with me? I love this song. Nothing else ..." (hand in a "Stop! Don't go there!!" gesture) and he said that he would love to dance with me.
And we danced.
Conversation was easy. Getting easier by the moment as he drew me in a little closer so that he could hear what I said.
I was holding my frame firmly in the ballroom dance position that I know well. My body language clearly stated 'let's keep some daylight between us'. He was making moves that my dance instructor knew to wait at least ten years to teach me. We were in the 'competitive Tango dance position' (translation: a hundred dollar bill could have been placed between our torsos and it was not going anywhere - in fact, held there long enough it would have probably accrued a little 'interest').
Well, My Friend, I'm not much of 'Tango' person myself. I'm a fan of jiving a little and having fun at a distance until I know you very, very well and ensuring you do not have any other 'Tango' partners...
The moment lasted no longer than the song that we danced to. Three minutes took me back to Grade 7 and the way my twelve-year-old-self felt when this boy may or may not have indicated his interest in me. It was fun to go back there and think that perhaps that boy liked me.
Another childhood memory revisited and put to rest. Thanks, My Friend! You gave me such a gift. You made me feel attractive and desirable. It has been a very, very long time since I felt that way.
It was a moment. But it changed me...