Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Semi-Formal

[This is more-or-less the way I remember this Winter's Tale. See others at Sunday Scribblings.]

I did not attend a lot of dances when I was a teenager. I think there was one or two a year in junior high school, one formal and usually another was a "sock-hop." In high school there were no more than two each year: homecoming in the fall for all classes and the junior-senior prom in the spring.

So I didn't have a lot of experience with dances when I got to college in New England. I went to a few parties in the fall, one on campus to celebrate the new college president, the rest were at frats in town. My dorm planned a semi-formal dance for February. While I was home for winter break, I made sure to pack a fancy dress to take back with me.

We planned food for the party, and had someone coming from Boston or Cambridge to be DJ. We had people signed up to arrange the furniture in the living room so there would be plenty of dance space. And there were dates coming (mostly from Boston and Cambridge). Not all of us had dates, but practically everyone in the dorm was going to attend anyway.

So, early in the day of the dance it started snowing – hard. In fact, it snowed so hard that we soon got a call from the D.J. telling us there was no way he could make it. But we rolled with the punches: a search of the dorm turned up some pretty decent stereo equipment and everyone chipped in records and tapes.

The food was already in the building (nothing for that was last-minute) but the roads were terrible. Soon we heard that no one was going to make it out to the suburbs that night. We were on our own.

I don't think it crossed our minds to cancel or postpone the party – there was too much going on at school to move it. So we threw a party for ourselves. We got dressed up and danced by ourselves in the living room. We had the curtains open so we could watch it continue to snow through the wall-sized windows.

A bunch of us finally couldn't stand it anymore. We went back to our rooms and traded semi-formal dresses for snow clothes. We slid down the snow from the dorm slightly uphill from ours toward the living room. We threw snowballs and chased each other and totally wore ourselves out.

When our fingers started to get numb, we went back inside and bundled into snuggly nightclothes. We took handfuls of party food up to our common room and settled in to play cards. One person taught most of the rest of us how to play Hearts. She whupped us completely, but we had a blast. We adopted the game completely and continued to play frequently all the way through college.

There were other semi-formals, at our dorm and at others. But that first was one of a kind.


Linda Jacobs said...

Love this when-you-are-given-lemons-make-lemonade story!

sister AE said...

ha! even if it is winter lemonade! Hi, Linda and thanks.

tumblewords said...

So clever to go with the flow! Love the story...

sister AE said...

Thanks, Sue.

BJ Roan said...

Never let a little snow spoil your fun. Great story!

sister AE said...

Thanks, BJ.