Monday, September 01, 2003

So yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary celebration for my Uncle Gilbert and Aunt Eva. Actually they're my great-uncle and great-aunt, but we never call them that. It was about a hundred miles away but it was pretty fun all the same. The room they rented in the hotel was packed with Asian people I didn't know, which was kind of weird. Nobody actually asked me why I was there (which is also funny ... ever thought how easy it would be to crash a big family reunion?) but I kind of felt like if they had the best I would have been able to come up with was "well, the car stopped here, and I got out." Fortunately the adults of my party had some idea of who was related to who, so I was able to find out that I was in fact the grand-nephew of the couple of honor.

Despite being in a room full of unknown relatives, I did have a good time. For one thing, we got to sit next to the minister who administered the renewal of vows and his wife, and they were a lot of fun even though I mostly sat and listened to them talking with my parents. They were interested in what I was doing, and it was nice to be able to talk about that with Christians who I thought would understand the answers. It's hard to talk about big decisions in life to people who don't presuppose that God has a plan for everyone's life and is interested in communicating that plan to them. I also found out that one of my cousins frequents Gaskell's, so perhaps I should get myself out to one of those one of these days. Especially if I could go when a lot of Stanford people were going, or go with Phoebe and Neani and Archimedes. That would probably be fun.

So, back to why I had a good time. Apparently Uncle Gilbert and Auntie Eva have been dancing since the fifties (they met at a dance when they were introduced by Gilbert's date, who was the mother of the minister and his wife at our table ... how cute is that?) and their friends like to dance, too. So during the cake cutting my other aunt Stephanie grabs Auntie Eva and my cousin Denise (whom everyone calls Dee-Dee, but I don't actually know how that's spelled) and tells them that I like to dance and they should dance with me. This was somewhat embarassing but turned out to be a good thing. Said cousin is apparently in her forties but looks and acts (at least on the dance floor) like she's in her mid to late twenties, and she grabbed me as soon as the dancing started (with "In the Mood," hee hee. I love that song). That was fun. It's always fun when a pretty girl (I know she's not really a girl, but you wouldn't say that if you'd seen her) asks you to dance. Anyway, the dance floor needed to be bigger for all the couples out there, but I had a lot of fun dancing with various relatives and impressing them. And I will admit that it makes me smile inside when a pretty girl enjoys dancing with me. I guess a lot of people noticed me because they kept asking Dee-Dee and Eva who I was, and there were things being said like, "that's my grand-nephew!" So that too was a little embarassing but there was no harm done and I was glad that people enjoyed dancing with me. I enjoyed dancing with them. Also, the live music (which was just one middle-aged Chinese guy and a vocalist) was really, really good. I usually don't like live music but these guys were great, especially when you consider there were two of them and only one instrumentalist.

It's ironic that the best time dancing I've had all summer should be with a ballroom crowd, but there you have it. Of course it was mostly so much fun because the crowd was full of fun, friendly people, which is really the most important factor. I even danced a tango with Auntie Eva, which she could follow pretty well - which is impressive when you consider that she had never seen my quasi-20s, quasi-cross-step tango before (and when you consider the level of my tango skill). It was kind of a mess of a dance, but it was a lot of fun anyway. Also, the crowd wasn't strictly ballroom (ha ha) since they also knew swing (east coast and jitterbug only ... it's funny to think that most of my generation's "old people" are too young to have learned eight-count lindy hop when they were teenagers). So they were actually pretty easy-going about style, and that made for a fun time.

This is an application of the dancing skill that I hadn't really considered when I decided to take Social I two years ago. All I was thinking of then was not feelnig left out of the unofficial Testimony activity, and getting to spend time with Blue Rose. But this is the second time I've made a big impression (quite by accident, mind) at a large family-style event just by dancing. Go figure. Still, it will be fun to be back on campus when I can dance with people I feel comfortable with ... where people don't waltz ballroom, and know how to lindy, and care about things like counterbalancing and centripetal force. Seeing Shanah and Rose and Chariessa and Phoebe and Lady and Neani and the Ailouriskai and Tigranassa, and some of the folks from Waltz Week/FNW as well ... I mean, that'll be fun. And all of the guys, too, but it's been a long time since I've held a girl's right hand and had that instant jolt, like I was holding a live wire, or felt my partner waltz me around. I look forward to it.

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