Friday night, the kids and I joined other families and friends for a country dance. Beautiful young ladies and handsome young men, little girls dancing with their daddies, married couples...the floor was full dancing feet and smiling faces. Happy, swinging, swaying, laughing souls. The Charming Waltz, Old Joe Clark, the Gothic Reel, Patty-cake Polka...the younger folks danced every dance, but this old lady had to sit out a dance now and then to catch her breath!
A few of the ladies danced in elegant floor-length ball gowns, while others wore simpler "Sunday-morning" dresses or jeans. The men were decked in everything from tails and pinstripe pants, to bluejeans and paisley shirts. Still, I saw no obvious self-consciousness over apparel...every dancer was having too much fun to be preoccupied with clothing.
No awkwardness over dance partners, either. "May I have the honor of this dance?" a dashing young man asked with a bow. "I'd be delighted!" answered a middle-aged mom, taking his hand. The six-foot-plus highschooler bowed to the little girl wearing pink gingham who stood only half his height. She beamed and bounced out onto the dance floor beside her partner. I'm fairly certain that by the end of the last waltz, everyone present had danced with everyone else there!
One particular feature of the evening's festivities really stood out to me. Our host for this dance - a young husband and father - gathered all the dancers around him and prayed. He prayed that God would be honored in our dancing, our conversations, and our fellowship. And he prayed that God would bless our evening together.
Immediately after breakfast Saturday morning, my kids were asking, "Are there any pictures from the dance posted online yet?!" They were already eager to relive through pictures the delight of the night before.
Saturday was also the occasion of another long-anticipated dance. Our local high school was hosting it's Junior-Senior Prom. I haven't seen posted online any pictures from the actual dance, but, just going by the pre-prom pictures of couples who would be attending, I'm guessing it wasn't anything like the country dance Friday night. Every young man in a tuxedo, every young woman in a party dress. Lots of glamour and sparkle...and, wow!, what a lot of flesh.
Maybe my young friends had no idea that stodgy "Mrs. Camille" would be perusing their photos. Surely they didn't intend for me (and everyone else online) to know them so, ahem, intimately. I know these kids, and they are very decent, good young people. Why, then, were they presenting themselves in a very different manner on this special occasion?
These pictures made me blush. I thought, "Young man, find your girl some kind of wrap! She doesn't realize how exposed she is!" "Young woman, I know you don't want to be viewed as a sex object, a toy, a thing...do you realize how you are presenting yourself?"
Maybe it's just me - old, old-fashioned, out-of-date. Nah. As I was looking at one group photo - four beautiful couples - one of my sons came up and looked over my shoulder. His first reacton? "Wow. That's a lot of boobs."
Okay, clearly we need to work on some things here at home. But, this spontaneous, unsolicited comment communicated something that I wish all four of those lovely young women could understand. If they want to be respected and cherished for being the attractive, intelligent, fun women they are, they don't need to package themselves like the only thing they have going for them is a pair of nice melons. Ladies, if the dress is back-less, side-less, top-less...it is probably less of a dress than it ought to be. Unless you're trying to get across the message that you are less of a lady than you ought to be.
As the mother of four young men, my work is cut out for me. Obviously, Steve and I need to focus on teaching our boys how to see past a couple of well-displayed melons to the beautiful person hidden inside.
3 weeks ago