The Ball


As I rode the bus home from school on Friday, I noticed the music store window was devoid of its ukuleles. Sigh of happiness. I miss my guitar and ukuleles so much, but I think it’s a blessing in disguise. I don’t start doing late night songwriting. I get more sleep this way, and I can pull off more courageous feats in the daytime.

My life is epic. Sometimes I have soundtrack music piling up on the inside of my ears.

Yesterday was the school ball. I almost didn’t go. I’d had a long, relatively rough day. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad day, just long, and difficult at certain points. I hadn’t realised that 3 months exactly had passed since Becky passed away. [it feels weird to say that]. I only realised that in the afternoon, at the back of my french class. It hit me in a strange way. The French around me stopped computing itself into my brain. I felt my eyes go a little watery. Then I thought to myself, I wish I could just go into my creative writing teacher’s office and cry for 15 minutes and then I’d be good again. For the last 20 minutes of class I was wiping the corners of my eyes. I haven’t told anyone in my class what happened. It’s just one of those hard things to drop in a conversation. “Oh yeah by the way…”

I assumed that I was overtired and was full intending on not going to the Ball. Instead, I told my family I had a rough day, and took a nap. Actually the best part of my day was probably coming through the door and getting a hug from my dad, and later getting mom-consolation. She says three months is really not a lot of time. Frig. I’m so spoiled here. I love my parents here so much. I call them Papa and Maman (the equivalents of Mom and Dad) all the time. I think the kids find that a little strange, but I’m remorseless. I ended up having a nap and going to the ball anyways. From 9:00 to 12:00 I’m dancing it up in the same dress I wore to the funeral, thinking Dammit Becky you’d be proud. Grief is a many feathered bird.  These were my feathers tonight:

It was a masked ball, masks were mandatory. I bought this one at the entrance for 5 Francs. It’s different here, you don’t buy a ticket, but you do pay for stuff like masks and voting for a prom king and queen.

I had a great time. It’s fun to be jiving with the same mathy nerds who explained chemistry to you so many times when you sat there feigning comprehension. My classmates are always really nice to me. Classes are different here. When you’re in grade 9 you pick a stream which you’re in until you graduate. Your class is composed of the same 24 ish people for the whole 5 years. The only exception is when a person fails a year, then they repeat that year in the class of younger students and go from there. One of the upsides is everyone knows everyone well, and there’s no clickiness. I actually had such a great time dancing with my class. Once again I’m disappointed by the amount of North American influence on their dance music. In one song, it was French, with an accordion in the dance mix. I thought it was awesome. I’m in Europe, where’s my European trance music? There was the familiar scourge of the loathsome LMFAO. There was Coldplay, Paradise, Fix You. We even were dancing to the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show music. It turned into a dance mix punctuated by the meepmeeps. heehee. It was awesome. They sell alcohol at their school dances here too. Beer, vodka, rum, and then another list of German things, the names of which I didn’t recognize. Because their school is 4 stories tall (5 if you count the lockers downstairs, 6 if you count the exam rooms at the very top) people can go to the second floor in order to overlook the dance floor. I guess it’s a cool thing to drop your alcohol on the people dancing below? I got a bunch of different things sprinkled on me. Each time I felt some sort of liquid sprinkling onto my arms and shoulders I would smell it. It was different each time. In some places the dance floor was sticky, and in other places there were shards of plastic cups. I had a great time. Like a nun. I had my earplugs so I was fully invested in my surroundings.

I would say the most absolutely priceless part of the night was DEFINITELY that professor who was dressed down in white with a Jester mask. He was shameless, and completely committed to his dancing. He was right in among the kids holding his own. It’s just so funny to see the same teacher who led a troop of students up and down a mountain fully involved in the dancing also. The long grey hair coming out the back of his Jester headpiece was priceless. Combine that mental image with the sort of dance moves that could only come from someone over 50. Yes you can see my amusement.

Sometimes the music that gets onto European radios here is astonishing. As I blog I’m listening to Ballerina Girl by Lionel Richie. I’ve figured it out: the songs which have done well in North America over the last 30 years or so are the ones which reappear over here. When it comes to the major artists of North America (Gaga, Bieber, Swift, Black Eyed Peas), only their overplayed songs in North America are played here.


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