Dinner and a Show

In celebration of my birthday this July, my boyfriend and I decided to go out and see a movie. I had just started a new job and was working with a girl right around my age. Dan, my boyfriend, and I decided to invite my new co-worker, Melissa, and her boyfriend, Steve, to join us in celebrating my birthday. We decided to have dinner at my house and then go see a movie.

Aside from all this, my sociology professor had assigned the class to perform a deviant act out in the world and observe how the world perceived us. Well, I thought and thought and finally decided the night of the movies would be my only shot.

The night finally arrived. I had never hung out with Melissa and her boyfriend before, so I was extra nervous. Not to mention my own boyfriend is very conservative, so I wondered if he was going to be mad at me for probably embarrassing him. We had tacos and nachos at my house, everyone had a lot of fun. Then we split up into our cars and headed to Marcus Theaters in Orland. The double date started normal as any, bought our tickets, got some snacks, found our seats. We were all chatting and laughing as the theater filled up. Once I felt the theater was full enough, I asked my boyfriend and new friends to excuse me. I jumped over the railing to the floor in front of us (not a necessary move, but I needed some adrenaline to get through this). I don’t remember what the song was that was playing, but I knew enough of the words to pull it off…I danced to the very front of the theater, right in front of the big screen. I sang quietly, but it was all I could muster. I was very nervous. Soon I was dancing my little heart out. I admit my observations are scarce because my eyes were closed more than they were open. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life, but I kept dancing, my singing died out. The current song cut off, and an Avril Lavigne song began. Okay, I could do this. I danced around for almost the rest of the song before I went back to my seat. I looked around. Yeah, a few people laughing at me. Mostly the younger people. One older woman smiled kindly at me.

But let me tell you: My friends expressions were the best. Dan just looked at me as if he wasn’t surprised (maybe I’m predictably strange after dating for so long?). Melissa and Steve were just confused looking…

Well in all honesty, after we left the theater I had to tell my new friends what had made me dance in the middle of a public theater, a school project. (Sorry prof. I had to save a little face!) However, I promise you, everyone else in that theater still thinks some random girl just felt like dancing. The sanction the audience showed was neither disgust nor anger. It was definitely a more quiet reaction. I was grateful that there are people like the smiling woman to make me feel that there is hope for diversity in our culture. I truly believe that this country is more accepting than not. Sometimes, it is more the surprise, rather than the act that makes people judgmental.