Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Wicked Cool Time

I was in a Greyhound bus headed to Boston, sharing the ride with the type of people you don’t usually see flying. Like Amish people. To my surprise, there was a family of them, rather smartly dressed in dark blue and purple. The father came up to the driver and asked for the A/C to be turned up.

It was an interesting prologue to what would be one of the most memorable nights of the entire year. St. Seraphim‘s Camp has a fundraiser in the form of a ball held in Boston every Summer (or so). It has since become a required entry in many a social calendar. It was my first ball; the last time I actually danced was at a wedding in January 2010.

I am an awful dancer. Despite my singing abilities, I have a bad sense of rhythm, and imagine myself to look like some kind of manic walrus on the dance floor. Plus there was going to be a live band, playing Swing music. I was apprehensive about what would transpire. Would I make a total fool of myself, or only half-a-fool? I ruminated on these and other sundry thoughts as I reclined on my seat, watching the interstate rush by.

The ride was over six hours. Thankfully, I gave my brain some rest from thinking because there was wifi on the bus. In the event of an Internet-less experience, I had also bought from, of all places, a Catholic bookstore in Utica a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. “Well, I’m going to a ball, so I might as well read about them,” went my thought process. Boston was not Netherfield, but I imagine, mutatis mutantdis, that human nature and thus social interaction had not changed terribly since Austen’s day, though times have become much more informal. “I’ve got to be amiable!” thought I.

My bus got to South Station at 5:30pm. After a brief wait, one of my friends picked me up and we drove to Watertown, where the ball was being held at the Greek church. I spent the first hour or so standing awkwardly. Thankfully, I made several cool new friends, including one who, throughout the ball, taught me some basic Swing moves. There was also a deacon, whom I count as one of the most interesting people I met, who gave me some advice on how to dance: “You have to feel the music and just get into it. Don’t think about dancing.”

Later on, he said to me: “Remember Tom Cruise from The Last Samurai? Remember when he was learning how to use the sword? The samurai leader’s son came up to him and said, ‘No mind.’ Remember that, John. No mind.”

Mindless but full of energy, I went back on the dance floor. Even if I did look spastic and vaguely walrus-like, I didn’t care. I was having fun! I It was uncommonly easy to get a dance. I ended up dancing quite a bit, and my only regret is that I didn’t ask more. Whenever the band took a break, they put on some pop classics like ”Twist and Shout,” which I thought was pretty funny since I watched Ferris Bueller not too long ago.

In sum, I met some great people, reconnected with quite a few, and had a blast of a time. The food wasn’t bad either. If you‘re going to seminary, it would be a good idea to wait a couple weeks before you escape in order to enjoy this event. It's a wicked cool time.

No comments:

Post a Comment