Learning to Dance

4/15/2014 The Charmer 1 Comments

I'd planned on making this post a compilation of things I've learned about dating and marriage from my mission because I honestly didn't think I'd have any stories of interest to share with you.
But luckily, I went to my singles ward FHE last night. And so believe me, I've got things to share.

I'd really never attended a singles ward outside of my BYU student wards until a couple weeks ago. [Well, except for the 7 transfers of my mission that I was in YSA branches. But as a missionary, it's a VERY different story. That badge makes you untouchable! And I will have you all know that not ONCE did I "flirt to convert." Not my style at all.]
 Actually, I really love the singles ward here in my home stake. I feel like it's exactly where God wants me to be right now. But oh, I have had a few experiences recently that are worthy of the next installment of The Singles Ward.  
Even though I (obviously) had wild adventures with flirting and dating and the likes in my time at BYU, I feel like it really is a different game in these outside-of-Utah wards. [I'm sure that a few of you have stories to share, as well, and I would OBVIOUSLY love to hear them.]

First off, you'll be happy to know that after 6 weeks, I am finally beginning to get to the point where I feel like a normal human being rather than the socially awkward blob I was when I first arrived home. For the first few weeks, I avoided all social situations like the plague. I especially avoided gentlemen of my age. I got really good at sneaking away right as I could tell that one of them was going to approach me and try to initiate a conversation. Now, despite the fact that I still don't feel ANYWHERE near my charming old self, I've stopped running away (for the most part). And last night I actually danced with a couple of them.
Just for the record, the dancing-with-boys thing was NOT really on purpose. I unassumingly went to the potluck dinner the ward was having for FHE, expecting to eat a bit, chat a bit, meet some new people, and sneak out without having to interact too much with the opposite sex. HOWEVER, I was not informed that every potluck dinner turns into a dance afterwards. Although I stood on the fringes for a solid 10 minutes, eventually I eased my way towards the middle of the cultural hall with the coaxing of one of my new-found friends.
There I was, trying to get my groove back after 19 months of not dancing. To my surprise (and great sadness), it was gone. My dance groove was GONE. Dancing used to be one of my favorite things. And last night I couldn't for the life of me feel comfortable even doing the dang electric slide! (yup, it's not just your singles ward that stills plays this song at dances)

Anyway, when I'm at the point of debating whether or not I continue to rock back and forth awkwardly to music I don't know because it came out during the last 18 months or just leave and spare myself and others the embarrassment, they turn on a slow song. (WHY?!?) Okay, definitely my cue to leave. I was NOT about to slow dance with a boy. I quickly turned and began to dash away when A GUY STEPS IN FRONT OF ME. No, it wasn't an accident. Yes, he asked me to dance. Yes, I stared at him with my mouth half-open and mumbled, "Um...I'm kind of awkward at dancing right now...?" Instead of letting me retreat into the shadows of the cultural hall, he pulled me into his arms and said, "It doesn't matter. You are going to fall in love with me during the next 3 minutes."
And then, I kid you not, he really did spend the next 3 minutes trying to talk me into falling in love with him. The conversation was accompanied with a few smoldering looks from him as well. It was one of those things that started out as joke and just got taken WAY too far until I wasn't so sure if he was joking anymore. I think the climax of the conversation was this point:
ME: So...umm...what do you like to do when you're not going to school or church activities?
HIM: Well, I really like to exercise. Which would be good for you if you married me because I would come home and just rip off my shirt and then you could see my mesmerizing abs.
The conversation was downhill from there.

In the end, though, I survived. I was assaulted by one other slow dance (WHY WERE THERE 2 OF THOSE THINGS IN THE PLAYLIST?!) but it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable. I actually left the building with a smile on my face. Because as I looked around at all of us, I realized that we all looked a tad ridiculous. We are all a little awkward. We're all in this lovely stage of life together, and we're all looking for the same thing: we want to be loved. We want to belong. We want to feel respected and valued for who we are, whether we are the type of person who somehow manages to swing-dance across the cultural hall to every single song or the person who is just mastering the "sway in time with the music" thing. And isn't life about finding joy in the awkward moments? Isn't it about learning to dance, no matter WHO is watching? I think it most definitely is.

So, you know what? I'm kind of looking forward to the next impromptu cultural hall dance party, mesmerizing ab comments and all.

the (less socially awkward than last week) charmer

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Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought I'd had some awkward conversations while dancing but that one might take the cake! I'm sure it didn't help that you just got back from a mission since you were already feeling awkward and then BAM, the ab comment. haha.