So there’s that title.
Four – no, three, topics:
Shiny Krenkos/RPG (Almost Complete) Reunion
A (no, The) Formal
To begin with the blessings of a thousand shiny Krenkos… Saturday was the epic day of Magic, bonfires, and jokes born of exhaustion.
In other words, absolutely fantastic stuff.
It all started with an impromptu get together plan at Jacob and Sam’s house. Turns out, those bros (and our sort of adopted/extended ones) were both home for the weekend. College in other places does tend to keep people busy.
The epitome of epic involved Ale-8 bottles, toasts, the occasional groveling to whoever the mighty king of the moment was. Yes, Jacob, Sam, Rich, Cam, Paco, and myself… but not forever! Nathan joined in with gusto, and soon we had a nasty game of Usurper going, zapping people left and right with mad skillz. Alas, I did not survive my entire reign as king. Sam, the assassin, did his job well. I was as dead as a doornail.
But to soften the blow, we had hotdogs of excellence, meat, moar meat, chocolate, and some discussion and campfire songs. Let me tell ya, when singing happens, it gets pretty crazy.
A Thousand Shiny Krenkos, and all that. Saturday. End.
St. Gertrude, was as awesome as ever. I’ll be brief on the topic though. It’s quite a bit to understand and keep processing. First off, we started with a huge game of Bingo, involving tables… round tables. Knights of the round table. Because it was a table of all guys, but never mind. We played with Skittles, and while nobody at our table won any of the fabulous prizes that they presented, it was still a lot of fun. Lots of fake complaining about rigged games, and a bunch of random clapping from all around.
Mr. Courtney Brown (the guy, not a girl) from Ruah Woods showed up, and gave an awesome talk on the human person. The dude was pretty hilarious. I think he had the right balance between funny and serious. Of course, it helped that us teens were… attentive enough…
Post-talk, we had small groups, in which we discussed… reasonably personal topics, but that was okay, because people were loud enough that we couldn’t hear the others unless we tried really hard. After ending in prayer, we mingled about, talking with friends. Matt, Braden, Claire, Clare, Natalie, Michael, Jarod, and Annie were the main people I… met or just talked to. Others were also present, but being an introvert… awkward turtle self reasserted itself, and thus, I just did my own thing.
Somebody “stole” Annie’s shoes. I think we should all take note of that. Never trust middle schoolers who look like the pranking type. I think. Maybe it was a high-schooler. Maybe Annie was practicing to be a hobbit (yes, I personally asked her that beforehand). Whatever. The point is, be wary of pranky people. Especially when it’s pouring rain from the heavens that day. I ran through pouring rains to reach the sanctuary of my family car. Good times.
And last but not least, and certainly not the shortest of the three… this Friday’s formal.
This one required breaking-out-of-shell tactics that I totally failed at… to say the least.
3:30 was pictures of fantastic proportions. We had so many people I would definitely miss somebody if I tried listing them. Okay, maybe not, but I won’t attempt it. Suffice it to say, I’ll include a photo with most (not all, because there were several dudes who showed up shortly afterward) of the humans.
At 1600 hours, we moved out, and started the… almost hour long drive to our destination.
Now here was where the girls diverged from the guys in terms of discussions. Sitting in the back were myself and three other dudes. We started talking about schisms and different heresies, and a bunch of other theological topics, including the Crusades.
Some of the girls joined in at certain points, but for the most part, they talked about their stuff, and we talked about our stuff. It was quite engaging. We prayed the Rosary, and upon our arrival, people went and joined the dance class that was taking place.
So for an hour, I explored the Sacred Heart Church – which was a very pretty location, might I add – and talked and sang with my brothers in arms. I confess, I was especially proud of my Doctor Who tie when it came up as a short topic. Yes, vanity of vanities. Shut up, me.
When the dance class ended around 5:45, we all stalked briskly into the main hall room, and immediately – as one friend of mine noted – the “segregation began”, with girls and guys taking mainly separate tables. Fortunately, that was solved, because people inter-mingled eventually. Heh, well, almost everyone. Again, awkward turtle.
So social hour happened, I ate food, chewed peppermint-flavored mints, and hung out near the window. Behold, my introversion. Mrs. Luke, the coordinator, soon called everyone together into a big, open circle. She gave some messages, then had us all give our name and a symbol that we would put on a surfboard to distinguish it as ours (the theme for the formal was Hawaiian).
IMMEDIATELY following, people just went straight into the Cha Cha Slide… I think. Either that, or we had dinner first. Whatever. The dance happened pretty quickly. Then BAM! I found myself at the mercy of the innovative dance card.
Now for those of you that aren’t used to it, don’t worry. I was like: “!!!!” in response to dance cards. Scary stuff. Basically, you get a card with all the names of the girls you must dance with at an appointed time. Later that night, it wasn’t so bad, but getting into the flow at the beginning had my head spinning.
That, or the trying to find the assigned female in the gaggles of young ladies. It all worked out, and I danced with both awesome people, people more awkward than me (I know, I thought that wasn’t possible), and people who fell in the middle with traits from both extremes. Some laughed at my terrible puns, others appreciated the fact that I didn’t slam them into people every two seconds (it was a very crowded homeschooler dance floor). All in all, the only dances I didn’t really make an attempt to do were most of the line dances, and quite a few of the open dances (because Tango, Mambo, and Rumba, are dances that I just can’t successfully do for the life of me).
So, following my dance card, I danced with *looks at dance card and counts* about 26 girls, all told. Short songs were played, but that opened up opportunities to dance with everyone. I could do Triple and Single Step Swing, Waltz, and Cha Cha. I only missed one dance with a girl who went AWOL for the song we were scheduled for. Which was a crying shame, in my opinion.
I was glad of the breaks. They were the only way that I survived anything. After the first break, we had the Cinderella dance, where girls toss shoes into the center, and then guys go and grab a shoe and find the lady. Simple, yes? Not quite. In a profusion of confusion, guys went around looking for the owner of the shoe.
I picked a black, conservative, flat shoe that made me think of… sensibility. There, I said it. Shoes and sensibility. Whatever. I danced with… Molly, I believe her name was. Being terrible with names… well, I could totally be wrong. At least I tried, amirite?
Electric Slide occurred, and I joined a bunch of guys in doing the… arm link + knee + kick thing. No idea what the technical term is. More partner dances, and then… bam! Another break. Praise the Lord! I was able to finish my sandwich, and sit back for a bit longer, pondering the mysteries of life… just kidding, I was trying to figure out who my next 10 partners were. Sam gave me sage advice. He said to ask the girl that I wanted to dance with sooner rather than later because:
A. She might get asked by some other bloke.
B. She might be tired, and straight up reject me.
C. I honestly don’t think there was a C… maybe something about it being good for me?
That slate was wiped clean as they called for… the Reverse Cinderella (as I call it)! Reverse Flash sounds better, maybe. Us guys popped off our black shoes, and smirked as the girls tried to find us owners. It was a merry chase. At last, my shoe was returned to me by Emma, from the co-op. Blond hair, a highly amused expression, and an excellent dancer. I was intimidated, but just decided to toss my instincts aside for once. Well, most of them. I had to keep my wits about me to do moves, obviously.
It was a good dance, and us guys basically got a mini-revenge on the girls for the Cinderella dance of painful levels.
I had managed to – sort of – pop off the turtle shell for a bit. Then the Cupid Shuffle happened. That skyrocketed my adrenaline rush.
Even more partner dances, and all of a sudden, I was at the semi-semi-final dance. That kind of failed. I only managed to ask my friend Justine near the end of the song. I was ashamed of myself, because it ended like… a few several seconds after we attempted to start Swing. Blah. But there was another song after that one, so that was… okay-ish… Turned out, the last dance was Cha Cha. Err… second to last. The last was Cotton-Eyed Joe. That killed my legs, for sure.
To end the night, we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then had cleanup.
No wait, that didn’t end the night. I ended up being the Candy Man, and offered candy to people. It sure started some conversations. Especially the Fruit Roll-Ups. Tasty things.
Post clean-up, those of us that were left had an invasion of Tim Horton’s.
Being slightly sick of sweet things, I got an excellent Ham & Swiss, plus a small frozen hot chocolate (maybe not totally sick), and I discussed TV shows and juggling with Frank and Nathan.
I think my reputation now includes being that kid with the candy. Not in a creepy way. Think more… 4th Doctor vibe. “Would you like a jelly baby?” type deal. Betsy got that reference during clean-up. I was pleased. Not many people understand my Doctor Who references.
So there we were, just hanging out sleepily. We were exhausted, and it had been a good night. It had been fantastic. Just… absolutely fantastic. More fun than I had expected due to my nerves being on edge. Unknown territory.
Sometimes, the greatest things are the things that require confidence. Those things that require you to fully step out of your comfort zone. Thank you God for those moments. I look forward to the thousands more that have the possibility of taking place. So with that, onward, brethren!