I was often a loner when I was in high school and college. While my friends were enjoying discos and dance parties left and right–almost every night–I was busy making sure all the pots and pans in our kitchen were thoroughly washed and ready for the next cooking. I served as assistant cook to my dad or mom–whoever was tasked as cook for the day–and also had to fulfill my part during cleanup time after dinner. So, no more time for night parties.
I had a secret dream then, and it wasn’t discos or parties. It was the beach. I loved going to the beach and spend time alone there, but lack of funds prevented me. So I just relished the dream in my mind.
My parents sometimes wanted me to attend parties, apparently worried about my inactive social life. But honestly, I didn’t find any sense in attending them. I just had to listen to the wild stories of my childhood friend–Thor–about what happened during discos and dance parties to see that I’d just be bored attending them.
I had a secret dream then, and it wasn’t discos or parties. It was the beach.
Yet admittedly, I was curious how things actually happened during dance parties. Did you really have to speak in English just to ask a girl for a dance? And could you really kiss the girl you had a crush on in the dark and pretend it was an accident?
“Hi! I’m ____! May I have this dance with you?” was how they usually put it. And I was scared of that. My grammar was the pits. I flunked English. Couldn’t you just say, “Sayaw tayo?” Well, I guess you could, but you’d surely be the talk of the town the next day.
Moreover, I didn’t have any clothes fit for the occasion. All I had then were a few casual shirts and jeans plus my Karate kimono. It’s true. While my friends were crazy about dance parties, I was busy with martial arts in my adolescence. I remember my dad and uncle once talking about their kids when the whole clan was vacationing in San Juan, La Union when suddenly the conversation digressed to their kids’ interests.
“My kids are often in dance parties at night. They’re just so crazy about it,” my uncle said. Then he glanced at me, smiling. “How about Juancho here?”
My dad looked at me and said matter-of-factly: “He’s busy with his Karate!” My uncle was surprised and acted out some funny Karate chops with his hands.
I guess that’s the main reason why I never liked dance parties and dancing itself–though I can dance well. What I really liked was martial arts. I was crazy about it the way guys my age were crazy about girls. I tried attending teenage parties once or twice (never went to discos, though)–and found them a bit interesting, too–but nothing beyond that. Moreover, I hated loud music and loud crowds and guys who tried to impress girls by making you look bad. I still hate them today.
Probably, if they had real kung fu demos in parties, I would’ve loved discos and parties as well.