By Zahir Quader
Greetings, loyal fan base. It’s your boy Zdawg, The Zim Zam… Zahir. As many of you know, homecoming happened this past weekend and like every other event I do not attend (was not invited to) it sucked. That isn’t the important part though. While I am sure many people had a wonderful time with their homies and romantic associates at this flashback to high school, the rest of us experienced just that, “A FLASHBACK TO HIGH SCHOOL.” The hellish social anxiety fest that was their high school dance was born again with Pres Ball, as many of us were having flashbacks to these awful moments spent in a dark, crowded gymnasium. From getting food poisoning from the deli platter to your date leaving you for the captain of the football team, many of the silent majority who detested high school have suffered from the social hell that is a high school dance.
Most people will agree that high school is a less than desirable time. These awkward years, be it physically or socially, are full of many challenges on the surface. Yet, when dance fever hits it can add a new dimension to what is already a quite difficult time. At this point in many of our lives we can hardly decide if we prefer soup or salad. Trying to find someone at a time when you barely understand yourself is very unpleasant. In this vulnerable time, rejection can sting like a sword in the pancreas leaving you with emotional scars that still haunt you to this day (#ForeverAlone). For many, the fear of rejection is so great they don’t even try to shoot their shot. In an effort to save face with your friends, you come up with many excuses ranging from, “My date is sick and can’t make it tonight,” to, “My date lives in Canada and their flight got delayed due to a moose on the runway.” If you were smart and wanted to avoid the whole situation altogether you would have simply said “I’m not going.” For the sake of this op-ed though, let’s just say you were “not above the influence,” and were pressured by friends, family or society at large to go. You end up going to a dance with or without a date or maybe you go with a good buddy, even. Maybe it won’t be so terrible, you think. Then you arrive at the dance.
It’s exactly what you feared it would be. A bunch of people dancing around like clowns, taking selfies and screaming “#BEST NIGHT EVER!” You go to the snack table and see the deli platter (“Is bologna supposed to be green?”). You begin to retreat into your mind while standing in the corner repeating your mantra, “What am I doing here? I should’ve stayed home and watched Parks and Rec a fifth time…then again The Office does look pretty good.” You continually mumble this to yourself, praying for the night to be over.
Then, as time goes on you begin to feel a little different. The food might be a bit funky, but there are plenty of vending machines in the hall. You might feel alone but there are plenty of other people who feel the same that you can hang out with. The lame music doesn’t seems as lame anymore, it actually has a good beat to it. Next thing you know you’re in Funky Town, eating a bag of Fritos while completely butchering the Cupid Shuffle. By the end of the night you forget how lame you thought it was going to be and are filled with a new feeling, maybe not of complete ecstasy, but at least of satisfaction in the fact that you did something new and it wasn’t completely terrible.