Nov 3, 2010

Love at First Dance?

When I was a kid, we went camping every summer at a place called Chain O' Lakes.  My mom (step mom) wasn't (and still isn't) much into the roughin' it in the great outdoors, so we would spend the week out there with her sister's family and my parents would come up on the weekend.  It was heaven for us kids.  We could go horseback riding (guided trail ride), swim in the swimming lake (there was only one designated for swimming...the rest were home to many alligators, and a pool with a sand bottom and a huge slide you rode a boogie board down.  We were free to roam through the wooded trails on our own just as long as we checked in every hour or so.  Looking back as an adult, the appeal seems a bit less.  There was the occasional problem with a gator making its way to the pool, and you better not leave you little doggie tied up outdoors at night, or he might become a snack, and we had to make sure to pack the clear nail polish since our romps through the woods guaranteed chiggers.  But we all loved it none the less.

My favorite thing about this kids paradise for me was the Saturday night dance at the pavilion.  At 12 (with a 13 year old cousin) I was old enough to go unsupervised (the pavilion was in sight of our campsite) and to watch over my 10 year old cousin and sister.

Of course at 12, I was in a very awkward phase.  Just starting to notice boys.  I had grown really tall, but hadn't filled out with any curves yet, and I was growing out my hair so it was pretty shaggy looking.

Even then, I had the hots for a boy in a cowboy hat and sat giggling with my cousin over all the cute boys and avoiding eye contact with all of them on the off chance they might have looked my way.  Then, these two boys that were there together came and asked my cousin and I to dance.


It was a country song, so a 2 step was in order.  However, this boy was not doing the steps right.  Little did I know there are several variations of the 2-step.  And of course being the tallest among a group of girl cousins who danced together because there was no other options, I was used to leading - I still sometimes have an issue with this.  I spent the rest of the night disappointed that my dance (I believe my first with a boy) did not turn out as well as I would have hoped.

The rest of the trip of course was awesome and filled with all the outdoor fun that I thrived on.  When I got home, I called my one of my other cousins, LJ (dad's side of the family) and filled her in on my trip and my ill fated dance.

LJ:  Holy Crap...Was they guy you danced with named Clint?

ME: Ummm...yeah, how did you know that?

LJ:  I just talked to him.  He's my 2nd cousin.  He said you couldn't dance.

Now, before you start freaking out, because cousins...gross!  We are not a part of the same family trees, just 2 tress that met more than once.  You dad's brother married Clint's grandmother's sister, making their children cousins to both of us.  Complicated I know, and I get grief about it all the time.

The you don't know how to 2-step thing continued for the next nine years over the phone and was solved once and for all the next time we met face to face.

But I'll save that story for another day!

This photo was taken a few years before that camping trip, but it is the only one I have of the four of us girls that went to the dance.  Can you tell which one is me?

And just for fun...the family 20 years later...there were 3 more additions and one who didn't make it for the photo.


Together We Save said...

That sounds like wonderful memories!!

MiMi said...

That sounds like an awesome time! I'm jealous, really, it sounds like something from a kids know what I mean?
Anyway...the cousin thing doesn't freak me out at all.
I'm the one who had crushes on FIRST cousins. Okay? Yeah. SICKNESS. I was little, alright?

Amy said...

Wow! What a cool story!! How many people can say they danced their first dance at 12 with their future husband.

I can't wait to hear more...I'm a total romantic:)

Mamarazzi said...

awesome story...seriously, classic. and the whole cousin thing had me laughing...a little.

love the way back, oh the feathered hair goodness!

shortmama said...

I have similar memories...minus the cousin thing lol. But we had place we went camping with our horse riding club when I was a kid where we had shows and competitions and we had a dance and stuff fun!

RN Mama said...

First of all, I love the 2 pictures at the end of this post, so fun:)

Also, two of my cousins are actually married. One cousin from my Mom's side and one from my Dad's makes for an interesting conversation!

I'm sure you could out 2 step me any day! The only country dance I know is the electric slide!

Erin said...

that is such a cool story, cara, and i'm glad you're back!

p.s. shhhhhh, but i had a huge crush on my first cousin for years!!! lol

ModernMom said...

Oh I loved this story and the way you told it! I could just see it playing out. Sigh..those years ate the most akward, most exciting and most difficult:)