Periscope Depth

you’re diggin freak nasty without a shovel

My man Brett posted the video for dance floor classic “Da Dip” the other day, which took me back fifteen years.

It reminded me, as anything fifteen years old would, of high school. Going to high school mixers in Baltimore County, putting your hands on a girl’s hips and freakin’ her from behind was not only acceptable, it was a legitimate way of introducing yourself. Not exaggerating. Girls would come to our high school mixers and dance in knots. Guys would circle around them. If a guy wanted a piece of that, just take that fruit off the vine, son!

I was quickly dissuaded of this practice when I came up to Boston for school. Not to imply that I was smoother with women in high school than I was in college. Quite the contrary. It takes far more confidence to ask a girl about herself, say something that’ll make her laugh, and entice her into learning more about you. Latching onto her belt like a remora and working your white boy excuse for a groove? That’s some punk shit. But you can get away with it in high school, college, every dance club in the Western hemisphere and most large weddings.

What strikes me in retrospect is how the girls must have felt. You’re dancing in a circle with your friends, having a good time, and some strange boy puts his hands on you and presses against you from behind. And you just sorta go with it. Because what else are you going to do? Make a scene? Stay home on a Friday? I don’t know if the girl was supposed to enjoy it, or if she was making faces at her friends across the circle, or if she just had a vacant stare. I never would have found out, either, as I didn’t look the girls in the eye.

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