I Want It Thaaaaat Way: A Dance Story

The story of my first slow dance. Contains boys 💏 dancing 💃and boy bands 🎤.
  1. Let me set the scene:
  2. I basically grew up in the town from Footloose, except it was a conservative Christian school.
    Independent Baptists believe dancing is the first stop on the road to tarnation.
  3. I also was/still am a late bloomer
    I've only had one serious relationship, and I didn't have my first kiss until 17.
  4. I was excellent at following rules and internalized most everything taught at my private school so it was a while before I felt comfortable *expressing myself through dance*.
    I was in a sorority in college, which thankfully helped in my exposure therapy 😝
  5. The year was 2011.
  6. There was this boy at college named Bobby Valentine💘
    I swear to God that was his real name.
  7. And I had (for really unexplainable reasons) a 🎶HUUUUUUUGE🎶 crush on him.
    We'd met at a birthday party my senior year and he walked me home to my apartment.
  8. A few weeks later, my sorority had a crush party
    A crush party is where you anonymously invite a boy (or boys!) that you like to a party. They don't know who asked them and it's up to you if you want to reveal yourself or just bask secretly in their presence all night long. You're supposed to put your crush's name into a spreadsheet and then the social chair pulls a list of all the boys and delivers invitations. [ed. note: I NEED THIS TO BE A THING NOW POST COLLEGE.]
  9. It was Nickelodeon cartoon themed.
  10. I didn't want to ask Bobby. I didn't want to go.
    My best friend Emily snapped me out of it, but by that time the invitations had already gone out.
  11. I went metaphorical balls to the wall and facebooked him asking if he'd be my date.
  12. He agreed!
  13. The party date arrives.
    I decided to go as Dora the Explorer. I even found a purple satin backpack at Target.
  14. Pause for illustrations
    That's Emily with the bunny ears.
  15. Bobby shows up and he is dressed as Johnny Bravo.
    Leather jacket, pompadoured hair, pocket comb, sunglasses. SWOON.
  16. We dance near each other.
    Obviously I avoid eye contact during this because I'm dancing (flailing around like a kite in a windstorm).
  17. We eat food.
  18. We take a break and sit outside the party and talk.
    And this boy is funny!
  19. We head back in and hit the dance floor again
    The DJ plays OutKast and I really lean hard on my one approved move - the shoulder shrug.
  20. Suddenly the lights dim and people start partnering up.
  21. The first strains of The Backstreet Boy's I Want it That Way start to play
    You know, the guitar plucking and the "yeahhhh" 🎤.
  22. Bobby looks at me and holds out his hand.
    Reader, I perished.
  23. He leads me to the dance floor and starts to put his hands on my waist.
  24. I am knocked out of my bliss by remembering that I AM WEARING A GIANT PURPLE SATIN BACKPACK
    Thus obscuring most access to my goods if you know what I mean.
  25. He manages to hold me by my sides and we sway back and forth.
  26. I'm still bothered by the backpack.
  27. I look up at him and shout over the music:
  28. 📢"SHOULD I TAKE MY BACKPACK OFF?"📢
  29. He looks taken aback, and quickly mutters "Ah, nooo, you can leave it on?" He shrugs like he's never encountered this problem before.
  30. Okay, so the backpack will stay on, that's decided. Group consensus.
    I don't know where I thought I would put it!? Around my ankle like in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?!
  31. We continued to dance, and during the key change he slips his arm under my backpack and pulls me in closer.
    Reader, I rose from the grave and perished again.
  32. We spent the remainder of the song locked together and rocking back and forth.
  33. It was perfect.
  34. And that's the story of how my first slow dance was at 21 to a Backstreet Boys song while I was wearing a backpack and had my hair in pigtails.
    10 year old Anna was proud AF.