Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Styx - Babe - 1979 and the 7th grade dance

Aaaahh memories.....
So on the podder today comes "Babe" by Styx. Now Styx was/is of course one of the greatest bands of all time. Dennis DeYoung was quite the songwriter/musician. I had all the albums and words to all the songs memorized. Except maybe Mr Roboto. I never could quite get into that one. But I digress.

So, on the podder during my shuffle, I hear the famous intro to "Babe" by Styx. I went right to 1979, or it could have been spring of 1980, and my 7th grade dance.

I am in middle school in an upscale suburb of Salt Lake City. Dad had graduated from law school, we upgraded from the single wide to a nice home down a private lane. Living the good life. I am in middle school and thinking I'm all that AND a bag of chips. Being the social butterfly that I was/am, I am loving this 7 different classes a day, with seven different groups of people to talk to all day long. Lunches where I can actually walk out of the building and across the parking lot to the pool to hang out and not have to show anyone my lunch tray to see if I earned lunch recess. In fact, lunch wasn't even ventured in the cafeteria, it was crap from the vending machines and then hanging outside or in the halls talking about boys.

6th period English class and some boy who shall remain nameless lest he become highly offended to the point of ridiculous. Yup, you read that right. Picture a stocky Italian kid with a 'fro to rival Undercover Brother. Well, he says to me: "Hey, do you want to go to the 50's dance with me?"
Me: "Mmmmmokay. Sure" See I have no idea really what that meant. Really. I just thought like, he wanted someone to walk with down the hall to the gym where the dance was held next week. Whatever.

Day rolls around for the dance. Kids are dressed up like teenagers in the 50's. 'Cept me. Not into that. Boy who shall remain nameless has his levi's on, white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and in pen a HEART SHAPED TATTOO ON HIS RIGHT ARM! "Boy who shall remain nameless + Missy". AAACCKKKK!! What the? Creepy feeling. He proudly shows this to me right at the start of school, the dance isn't until the last two periods of the day. I have a sick feeling all day. Then I hear that boy who shall remain nameless carries "rubbers" in his wallet. WHA? HUH?? WHA?? Okay, fairly naive, I'm not EXACTLY sure that those are, but my gut says they are no good. Now I am totally creeped out.

Time for the dance. We meet in 6th period, which is the class I happen to have with boy who shall remain nameless. We get excused to the dance, and off we all head to the gymnasium, which is probably decorated, but I don't really remember. I just remember the dread in my stomach for something of which I really had no idea.

We wander in, and music is playing. Everyone milling about nervously. This is middle school after all. In the late 70's. A new song starts and boy who shall remain nameless, who has been stuck to my side like Elmer's, says, "Let's go dance."
Me: "Um, no." Walk away pretending to find some friends across the gym. Leave boy who shall remain nameless standing there.
Next song starts and boy who shall remain nameless is suddenly right by my side AGAIN.
Boy: "Ready to go dance?"
Me: "Nope" Walk away again. Boy still standing there.
I am now playing a sly game of hide and seek with the 'fro headed boy. Pushing my way around the gym and away from him. I can't really explain my yucky feeling other than.....ewwwwwwww ick!
Next song, boy is there again.
Boy: "You know, going to the dance together means that you actually stay with that person and dance with them." (He is CLEARLY ANNOYED).
Me: "Uh, sorry, I gotta go home."
He spins around visibly ticked off, I am beat red since everyone within earshot heard and watched the little exchange.
Well, now I HAVE to go home since I said that.
I slowly walk out of the gym as they begin to play "Babe" by Styx..... the song stays in my head all the way home. I feel SO stupid. Wonder if I can just transfer schools and never go back. Or at least change 6th periods.

So now, every time I hear "Babe" by Styx, which by the way I LOVE!, I am taken right back to Butler Middle School, 1979 and my first time ever "going to the dance" with someone. Luckily, I have had plenty of years to build other memories with that song, but for today, that is the one that jumped into my head. HAH 1979 - what a looooong time ago......

Enjoy it here....


Jackie said...

Styx puts on the BEST concert I have ever been to, and I've been to several!

Love them!

veronica said...

Why is it that a song can so permanently cement a memory...even if it's a bad one?
(the memory, not the song) :)

Shawn said...

Hey---you got a memory down! Great job! And what a good it how music is so important in our memories.

Loved it!

AS Amber said...

I LOVE Styx! I'm probably to young to love Styx but I have all their songs memorized, too! LOVE THEM!

tammy said...

Oh how funny. Reminds me of when we'd get ask to "go" with someone, and all that really meant is you'd walk to classes together in that awkward arm around each other way for a few days unntil one of you decided to break up so you could "go" with another person.

Did you know Tabitha or Cory Morgan at Butler?

Vanessa said...

Thank you for helping me also flashback to those dreaded jr. high dances that I hated.

debilyn said...

So "old school", and so fabulous!

Music is such a powerful how it can transport us to so many different times in our lives.

Cadance said...

don't you ♥ how a song can bring you back to a specific time and place..I do!

....hey I tagged you...come check it out on my blog.

Mina said...

Great story.

Isn't junior high confusing? Ours was full of "couples" who never did anything outside of school, except maybe phone call, and other "couples" who it was rumored were using those rubbers. It was a freaky place at times. I wonder about my girls. They seem to steer clear of all that, but maybe I just don't hear it all. No boys calling or emailing, though, so I'm thinking that;s a good sign ...

rychelle said...

the song remembers when. ;)

LaurieJ said...

Awesome memory :-) I remember dancing to Milli Vanilli in jr. high. That boyfriend and I ended up sitting in ward councils together.
Hope you don't have to run into TE anymore!

SO said...

I have blocked all memory of Jr. high dances from my brain. It's a talent I have.

Becca said...

I just laughed as I also flashed back to Jr. high dances....really, could there be anything more awkward?

Anonymous said...

Just for the record. Except for the 'fro' I can't confirm (or remember) the bulk of this 'recollection' of yours. I never carried rubbers in my wallet (I'm not saying you didn't hear that, it was Junior High), I don't remember any drawn on tatoos, I am not Italian and the biggy is that I have never been that forward (then or since.) I must thank you for allowing my Junior High School daughter to see that it was crazy for our generation as well (She Googled me for a class project). I certainly do not doubt that you carry this memory, though I'm fairly certain the reality is inconsistent (perhaps even the guy). Perhaps you are not aware that the internet gets outside of Utah, but I assure you that it does. Try sticking with initials (just a little less tacky) next time, at least my business associates won't pick that up in a search.. Thx so much