Back to School Memories Part 2: The Dance that Changed it All
Last week I touched on the very first time I got detention as a kid. All weekend long all I have been thinking about is the second time it happened. I mean if there are only two times something like this happened to you, it’s easy for those memories to stick out. The second time is a pretty funny situation because it taught me what PDA was. Those darn hormones just got to me.
The first detention happened when I was in second grade. Fast forward three years later to fifth grade and the coveted spring dance. This was a big deal because only the fourth and fifth graders were allowed to attend. You know, the “mature” students of the school. Every year the student council would plan the highly anticipated event. It just so happened that I was on the student council at the time and helped plan the event where I was going to get in big trouble. Talk about irony.
For me, this dance was going to be a special one. I was a hotshot fifth-grader with a girlfriend and this was going to be the first time outside of class, recess, and lunch where we could hang out. Safe to say I was very excited. Well, maybe a little too excited…
So, the day of the dance comes and I’ve got my best jeans on and my favorite collared shirt. I was feeling pretty good. I don’t really remember much of the dance outside of it ending a little earlier than it should have. That’s partially my fault. Anyway, what had happened was I was dancing with my girlfriend and the two kids dancing next to us told me that one of my buddies, Taylor, had just kissed his girlfriend on the cheek. Whoa! Now, I couldn’t just stand there and do nothing. Especially since my girlfriend had heard the same news I did. I had to represent for the home team.
I mustered every ounce of courage that my 11-year-old body could handle and went in for the kiss. Boom! Landed it square on her cheek. I pulled back feeling pretty great about what I had just done. It was even better when she returned the favor. Even my buddy didn’t get a kiss back. Best dance ever! Well, for a whole five minutes.
To this day I am still convinced that someone ratted us out. We were far enough away from the chaperones and we had a couple of kids standing in front of us as cover. Regardless, we got caught. As I said, no more than five minutes had passed, and here comes one of the teachers strolling up.
“I hear you’re kissing girls,” she said.
I didn’t say anything. I wanted to play it off like I had no idea what she was talking about but I think my face told it all.
“Grab your friend and come with me.” (My friend being Taylor and not the girl I just kissed.)
She pulls us both aside and angrily tells us that the dance was no place for that kind of behavior. I think she overacted a tad bit, to be honest. I mean it was just a kiss on the cheek, right? Wrong. For this teacher, it was as if nothing worse could ever be done by two young boys. She ended her lecture by telling me and Taylor to see her and the principal in his office first thing the next morning.
The next morning comes with me and Taylor sitting in the principal’s office getting a second lecture from the same teacher. Looking back, I think this teacher was way more upset than the principal was. He just sat there and calmly told us we shouldn’t do that kind of stuff at school because it was something called a public display of affection. Who knew?
Even if he really didn’t have a huge problem with what had happened, he still had to hand out some kind of punishment. Unfortunately, he left deciding what that would be to our overly excited teacher. Who, if I remember correctly, wanted to give us like three or four days of detention. Lucky for us the principal knocked it down to two.
You can bet that the debacle at the school dance was the talk of the town for the next couple of days. Especially since three fifth graders all landed themselves in detention at the same time. Oh yeah, my girlfriend had to serve one day because she kissed me back. An example had to be set.
That spring dance was the last dance that was held at North Salem Elementary. I’m not even kidding. Since that fateful day back in 2007 spring dances for the fourth and fifth graders are a thing of the past. Not going to lie, I find it hilarious that I’m one of the reasons why. Taylor and I still laugh at how that whole thing played out. We definitely left elementary school on a high note. We came in as boys and left as pre-teens.