Monday, December 20, 2010

Dancing Parents and Other Strange Phenomena

The other night I went to a Christmas party. But it wasn't just any Christmas party! Oh no, this was a NOLS Christmas party. Which means there were lots of people who were very excited to tell me just how much I'd grown since they'd seen me last, and how they remember when I was just knee high to a grasshopper.
thank Jesus this is only a cutesy (obnoxious) saying, because can you imagine how terrifying that would actually be? gah. no thank you.
Then they want to know what I'm majoring in at school, to which my answer is always a sort of stuttered "Uh, um, well, I'm not really sure yet..." And then the conversation often peters out, and we both sort of stand there awkwardly, too polite to abandon the sinking ship that is our discourse.
like this. even rats know to abandon this shit.
Don't get me wrong, not all of the conversations I had tonight were like that. Many, in fact, were quite pleasant. I even got to meet some people that actually read this humble blog of mine, which was actually super exciting for me. Dear readers, if you're one of the people I talked to last night, (excluding my father. sorry Dad, you're not all that exciting) I was ridiculously thrilled to hear you read and enjoy my thought-vomit that I call a blog. I'm not entirely sure how you manage to follow my cracked-out squirrel brain farts, but apparently you've figured out a way. *note: I am not actually cracked out, I promise. Nor am I really a squirrel.*
... most of the time...
Ah, and then there was the dancing. The only thing more awkward than trying desperately to hold up a conversation with recycled bits on the weather and fern slug mating habits (it's one of my fallback conversation pieces) is to have this happen while over the other person's shoulder you can see your mother dancing in eyes-closed bliss to Patti Fiasco (a fabulous band from Laramie, WY. they rock my socks. see their awesomeness here or here) I love both my mother and the Patti Fiasco, but I find it very difficult to keep a straight face when my mother is determined to destroy my love for both of these things with her dance moves.
instead of subjecting you to a picture of my mother dancing, here instead is a blurry picture of The Patti Fiasco, jamming out. I like the way the lead singer rocks out while she sings. it kinda makes my day.
No, I kid. Her dancing wasn't really that bad.

Plus there was kind of an epic dance-off to Michael Jackson's Thriller in between sets. I saw some most excellent moon walking.
why is it called moonwalking? if you were on the moon, would you really walk like this? it just doesn't seem likely.

Now please excuse me while I tell you all about how good the parties used to be back in the day.
just one more reason I'd be an excellent old person.
When I was a kid, the Nols party was always something to look forward to. It was far more kid friendly then, and there were probably more small children there than there were adults. That's the way I remember it, anyway. My sister and I would spend the majority of the party running around exploring every nook and cranny of the Noble Hotel, from creepy unfinished basement area to the top floors where we weren't supposed to go. Of course, this was before they put in all that fancy stuff like elevators and foosball tables, so pretty much the only source of entertainment was the phone booths and the forbidden quality of going up to the third and fourth floors.

And, of course, there was Santa. At the old (good) parties, Santa actually showed up and gave everyone presents. It was amazing. He'd sit on the stairs in the main room, and ho-ho-ho his way along as he handed out presents wrapped just like your mom wraps them. A friend of mine got a slinky two years in a row, but hey- there were a lot of us! How do you expect him to keep track?

... or was there another reason?
*Ok, so this next bit is actually kind of straying from the immediate topic, but staying on the general topic of Christmas parties.

Some friends of ours usually have an annual holiday party a week and half or so before Christmas. They didn't this year because their oldest daughter is studying abroad in Ireland, and that's where they'll all be for the holidays this year. But anyway, theirs was also a party at which Santa made an appearance. You got to sit on his lap, lie to his face- *ahem, I mean- tell him you'd been good, and then he'd hand you a present with your name in your mom's handwriting on it.

*Quick backstory: from when I was about 8 to when I was about 13, I looked like a boy. A lot. End backstory*

So it's finally my turn to go up and sit on Santa's lap and get my present. Of course, all the parents are watching and taking pictures, and all the kids are gathered round, rehearsing their Christmas wish lists. He plops me down on his lap (I think I was probably 12 or so) and says in that big booming jolly Santa voice "And what would you like for Christmas, young man?"
no seriously, I looked like a boy. this is me. like 8 years ago. ish. I told you so.
I sort of froze. Deep in my heart, I knew this wasn't really Santa. His beard smelled like plastic, and he was wearing sneakers. But, at the same time, I could hardly bring myself to correct the man myself. That would practically be sacrilegious! So I sort of stammered under my breath "Uh, well, actually, I'm a girl..."

And then it was just awkward for everybody. Except all those watching, who were probably in stitches. Damnit.
FAKE! I call shenanigans.


  1. Your mom's dancing is the BEST. I wish I had been there to relive the good old days of Nowoodstock.

    Also, I wanted you to know that even today, I will think of the days when you looked like a boy and crack up. Doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing. It still amuses me.

  2. I love the epilepsy link- it's kinesthetically apropos, subtle and informative!

  3. Oh Marshall. . . . You capture my thoughts exactly, although I must say, while I have experienced most of these events, I'm afraid I have never been called a man by Santa Claus, you're alone on that one :)