Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The tweenie school dance experience

The tweenie school dance experience
24 June 2014

When you are a twelve year old little girl, few things in life are more important and thrilling, than the termly school dance.  Fondly called a “Sokkie”.

It’s not a formal dance on the scale of a Matric Farewell, Ball or Prom.  It’s more a fundraising opportunity, that just so happens to include eleven, twelve and thirteen year olds, loud music, flashing lights, excessive use of cheap deodorant (both boys and girls), loads of mascara and hair straightener (girls) and hair gel (boys).  Probably pretty much the same experience, for boys and girls, minus the mascara.

Or is it?

I’m now busy with my second kid, doing the tween-school-dance-thing.  The first one was a boy.  And the second one, an entirely different species altogether.  Never mind the fact that they are so dissimilar they can’t be related, or siblings.  They’re clearly not the same life form at all.  Still not entirely sure which one is the alien.  The jury is still out.

My eldest simply got on with the whole Sokkie thing.  Minimum effort given to what he was going to wear.  Kind of decided once he was out of the shower, and dressing to go.  No concept of asking a girl before the time to be his date.  Expressing no great excitement or thrill, at the upcoming adult-ish occasion.  A party no less.  For him it was more about seeing his mates, and simply hanging out together.  No real mention of dancing.  Or girls.  Unless, I perhaps only got the edited fit-for-my-mother-version from him.  Which is most likely the case.   I swear that kid could work for the CIA and I’d be none the wiser.

And then there’s my daughter. 

She’s been dreaming about being able to go to the school sokkie since about the age of nine.  Maybe even since she was eight.  The sokkie is only for the Grade 6 and 7 children.  Other grades are excluded.  And thus, it is held up high.  Especially in the estimation of little girls.

And knowing that this year, would finally see Amber being allowed to go to her first Sokkie, she started speaking more and more about it, by the middle of last year already.  Sigh.  I’m not even joking. 

You cannot even begin to imagine the level of excitement, once the 1st of January arrived.  As she could finally say, “I’m going to the Sokkie this year!!!”.  Sigh.  I’m not even joking.  Seriously!

And therefore, in anticipation of the first dance in honour of Valentine’s Day, hysteria levels were seriously elevated once the new school year began.  From the very first day.  “The Sokkie”, was hot on the lips of all of the girls.  Predictably, the boys had kinda forgotten that there was going to be a Sokkie in the first place.  Nor did they really give it any thought.  I know this to be true.  As my friends with boys have confirmed this.  Which just cements my belief, having experienced Luke’s Sokkie, that boys experience a boy/girl dance on a complete, fundamentally different level.

Outfit planning started weeks in advance.  Nay months.  Scouring magazines and the internet for inspiration.  Lots of talking amidst the girls.  Plotting and planning.  I agreed that I would take Amber and her best friend shopping.  The budget was rather modest.  In fact very modest.  Which seemed fair.  We’re not talking prom.  One has to have perspective.  In addition, I suggested a casual dress or outfit she could wear again.  So in essence, the dress would be a mere extension of her existing wardrobe.  There would be no heels (sorry – I’m dull and boring and feel there’s time for that later.).  She’s only twelve for goodness sake!  Simple little pumps would do.  Nude-ish make-up perfect too.  A bit of mascara, touch of blush and lip gloss.  We could leave the sultry dark eyes, and red lipstick for the later years.  The nails were painted.  And jewellery from her stash, selected to match.

And I must be honest – my Berry looked gorgeous!  A little stunner!  Her best friend came and got dressed at our house, and I got them sparkling grape juice, which I served in flutes, to make them feel like little ladies.  And quite predictably, they loved it!  Their excitement was palpable.  They were literally buzzing.  Possibly even from the bubbles.  Bursting at their seams. 

And once I fetched them from the Sokkie, they told me all of the tales.  Who danced with who.  What they ate.  If there was slow dancing.  How many girls were being dramatic and crying in the bathrooms.  The boys that could dance the best.  The awesome music.  The awkward-teachers-who-thought-they-could-dance.  The vibe.  The hype.  The very tweenie excitedness of it all.  What an amazing experience!  They were bubbling!

They went to bed very late that night.  And long after lights out, I could still hear them giggling and chatting.  Reliving every moment.  So sweet!

It seemed as if all of the hoopla of the first dance had just died down, when it started all over again.  Seriously!!!  Again?

This time, two friends came over to Casa Cloete to dress to impress.  And they slept over too.

But by now, I was well prepared.  I expected the giggling.  I anticipated the chatter.  I relished the rehashing.  I enjoyed the hair straightening.  I basked in the cheap deodorant.  I choked on the nail polish fumes.  I appropriately oohed and aahed over outfits.  I willingly played professional photographer.  I was ready for the get-us-in-the-mood-party-music booming before the time.  I expected the intense texting between every eleven, twelve and thirteen year old going to the Sokkie.  I accepted the urging to “please-don’t-walk-in-with-us”. 

But even better.  When I fetched the three of them, and we got back in the car, the first thing I asked them was,

“Which girls cried in the bathroom this time?”

It really got the conversational ball rolling…

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1 comment:

  1. Such fun!!! ENJOY! It will passall too quickly!!