When I was in elementary school they made us square dance in PE class on occasion. I grew up in Oklahoma, this was normal, shut up. Mrs. McDaniel would pair us up, put us in groups of 8, teach us the steps of what would be “called”, things like Swing Your Partner and Do Sa Do (yes, that is for real), and put on a record, and away we’d go. (Wow, did you notice how that sentence eventually turned into a square dance song?)
The most mortifying part of all of this was finding out who you would be partnered with. When you are 9 years old you already understand the ramification that who you are partnered with will reflect on you either positively or negatively. It was a score if I was partnered with Mike Robertson and his cool demeanor, blue eyes with the long curly lashes, and dimples. Or Craig Griffith with his blonde hair, sense of humor, and last name (this was important in a small town). Or Rodney Eischen with his self-deprecating humbleness and adorable easy smile. Any of those boys were acceptable, they were fun, and I was okay having to hold hands with them on and off for 45 minutes. I’m positive I was not paired up with these boys every time, so sometimes I did have to dance with someone in another tier. But you know what, I still remember square dancing was fun and it did not scar me or my popularity.
It was also important that at least one of your girlfriends was in your group as they gave you someone who could understand what you were going through in one glance, they didn’t use it as an opportunity to make fun of you for dancing with your crush or with someone gross, and you had a partner in crime in an activity that was new for both of you. Hello, Tara and Kristine and Amie. Is this ringing a bell?
It’s amazing what you can learn from forced partnership in a time in your life when you are learning the social rules. And I would say all of this applies to your significant other, the friends you choose, and people you work with today:
1. Who you are partnered with is still a reflection on you.
2. Getting paired up with someone awesome is way more fun.
3. If you get paired up with someone less desirable it is never as bad as you thought it would be and no one really remembers it.
4. Having fun is up to you. No matter what situation you are put into.
5. Your girls make everything better.
6. I cannot believe how much the characteristics of boys I never even made out with influenced what I desire today. I got the blue eyed, adorable, self-deprecating, funny, cool dude after all. Ha!