Discover: Qualitative Imparement in Social Interaction:
Here are a few stories in the next several posts from my life. I hope they give you a laugh or some insight. In the weeks to come, I'll also give some suggestions how you might successfully navigate informal social interaction.
(This is a re-post from 2006)
I never did understand that people go to dances in order to stand around or they go to a “dance” club to sit and drink. I wanted to dance. I was told that my dancing was odd. Funky was the word used once. You can imagine as an Aspie I get into the rocking and bobbing. I remember avoiding the junior high dances.
Junior high was when nothing made sense, and everyone seemed to make fun of me. Like I really wanted to go to a dance. I did see dances portrayed in movies and on T.V. though. Most of the people stand around not knowing what to do. Why would I make a special trip to do that, when I’m doing that most of the time?
As a 19 year old, I visited Hawaii with my father. Dad was a pilot for United Airlines and the employee discount my dad received made travel to Hawaii quite affordable. When I turned 19 I was finally old enough to go to a dance club (in Hawaii at least). My cousin and his buddy were staying with us, and I told them to come along. It ended up I went alone. Didn’t know going to a dance club alone was socially unacceptable. Didn’t even realize that going to a dance club might be considered by some to be morally questionable.
I walked in the door and headed toward the dance floor. The music was infectious. I was just digging the groove, but I could tell that I was supposed to have a dance partner. Dancing with a pretty girl sounded like fun. So, I asked one. I think it took three tries, and a girl said yes. I noticed that she looked every where but at me, and did not engage me personally.
Later when I was 21, Greg, a buddy of mine from Michigan, took me to a dance club. We just bopped around on the dance floor, and didn’t even try to get girls to dance with us. Some girls approached us (there’s an ego boost). The slow dance came up and I got my first clue that dance clubs were something beyond dancing. I probably new before then, but it just wasn’t my thing. I was there to dance. It is called a DANCE club after all, not an arousal club. So, the girls that came up to dance with us didn’t even say much, but just sort of slid in and started dancing.
As I said, the slow dance came up, and I found the girl had plastered herself against me. At that point I understood how the utensil drawer feels when contact paper is stuck to it. Slow dancing was nice if not just a bit to squeezy. I really did want romance and the love of a woman in my life. I even had raging hormones, but this was not the ideal of romanced that I had imagined. Then the girl I was dancing with said, “I hope my husband doesn’t find out.” I said, “Why would that matter, all we’re doing is dancing.” That brought things to a screeching halt, and the girls were gone as quickly as they had come.
Was it something I said? The social strictures that surround the task of locating a willing dance partner make no sense to me. That’s one of the joys of marriage. My wife is my partner in dance and everything else.