Those were the days,
SOME of us married the girls we had danced with — and their children are now ready to sally forth with ‘come-hither’ looks suitably enhanced by coloured hair decorated with barbed wire. It was a while before lot no. 2 fell before the hammer and waltzed off to the tune of a well-orchestrated family symphony.
Every now and then, we, the members of lot no. 2 bump into someone whose hands we had once held and to whom we had promised the eternity that only teenagers seem to know. Sometimes our eyes meet. We let that sunset — when we had stepped out for the breath of fresh air, compulsory after Paul Anka or Lobo — be said by the slightest of slight smiles and the mildest of crinkles around the eyes. But then, depending on who it is, we pretend that it is just another face in the market crowd. This is when we bury ourselves further in the toothpastes and shampoos, or suddenly, find the gospel being revealed amidst the oranges.
Today, our parties
would be probably regarded as a drag. It was a time when we still wore
crisply-ironed trousers and ties to dances — blue jeans being the
only exception. These, whether begged or borrowed, or if the lucky dog
possessed a pair of original Levis — were something better than airy
talk about coupes. This was real.
Then in panic of being let down, we would wait for the girls to arrive. When they did, a collective sigh of relief would rise to the ceiling of that acne and fuzz-filled room. The prologue was the girls sitting in one corner and talking and giggling and ignoring us. We stared as unabashedly as could be. Act one was launched when someone of today’s lot no. 1 would take the floor with his wife to be and slowly the others would follow suit. The record player could be heard in distant corner along with the occasionally cry, "Watch it. Don’t scratch that rec. It’s mine ya".
Act two sometimes developed a glitch. Someone decided to sneak out and quaff a couple to the outrage of those who hadn’t or couldn’t. Act three was the best, this was when the ‘slow numbers’ took over and the day’s drama wound-up with a couple of really fast-pacers and a line of Galahads waiting to escort the ladies home.
The last time I bumped into someone
from that time, I was tempted to tell her that we had run out of water
and that the glass of orange squash I had presented with so much
panache, had been suitably diluted from the cast-iron cistern in the loo.