>I must bring attention to a comment that my mom left on my post about being uncivilized:

Suz, remember when I chaperoned your 7th grade dancing lessons? It was right before the holidays, and Vanessa's mother requested I dress up and wear a skirt. My response:"That will be fine if you want to see my hairy legs!" Bottom line- I wore pants.

Incidentally, Vanessa’s mother was a former Miss Illinois who lived in a mansion. (A lot of kids who went to my school lived in manse-like estates, though.)

I think this comment explains so much about me, but let me say more because it also explains the community in which I grew up. The “7th grad dancing lessons” my mom refers to were known as “social dancing” (and I swear it was in 6th grade, not 7th – I shall confer with the Sauce, who I have been chums with since 4th grade, about this). It involved teaching the eager adolescents of Marie Murphy Junior High School important things like the cha cha, fox trot, and some other stuff I forgot/blocked out of my mind. It was not taught as part of gym class, but as an evening class that cost money. You had to go, though. Even the Sauce signed up. It was the whacked out social event of the year. (Which is why I think it was 6th grade, not 7th. By 7th grade, the bar/bat mitzvah circuit opened up and a new type of social event of the year took place. By 8th grade, the bar/bat mitvah circuit was been-there-done-that, but I digress.) If you didn’t go, you were ostracized. In my case, I was ostracized anyway, so I might as well have saved the money and not gone. Nothing like standing around and not even getting asked to cha cha by the nerd boys, not even your kindergarten crush and fellow outcast who has gone on to Hollywood. Oh la la. (Someday I’ll post the hilarious picture I have of us slow dancing at my bat mitzvah. Gotta get it from home to scan.)

Surely you are now wondering two things: what was a nice Jewish girl like Suzanne doing at a Catholic school and why did this Catholic school have a bar/bat mitvah circuit? And that’s the rub: Marie Murphy Junior High School only sounded like and functioned like a small parochial school. It was really a public school in which the preppy community treated like a private school. When my mom suggested that she not wear a skirt unless people wanted to see her hairy legs, I am surprised that they subsequently let her serve as a chaperone. I mean, what kind of role model would she be? Further, my mom was pretty much the only mom who went out in public wearing sweat pants. Maybe other moms would be caught dead in a coordinated jogging suit, but not likely. Only Jewish white trash would not think twice about something as horrifying as hairy legs and sweatpants.

Now you see how I turned out this way. Thankfully. And I can still dance a mean cha cha, so I guess social dancing was not a total waste of funds.

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