Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Night of Enchantment

Tonight was our church's first "Dads and Daughters Gala." One of the few occasions that we modern day girls have to don lovely gowns, walk red carpets, and recieve corsages from our fathers.

It truely was an "enchanted" evening- at least as much as a 21st century girl can hope for. The church was decorated beautifully- even with lamps and lights illumenating the outside entrance. We had a valet service, a real red carpet, sceanery, live Italian music, beautiful table decorations, and a one-man-show from one of the "Triple Expresso" members. Nearly all of my friends were there, accompanied by their wonderful dads-

And I, of course, was escorted by my dear father, who is the most wonderful man I know. (There's only one man that he'll ever relinquish that spot to, and God hasn't revealed that one yet.)

Plus, of I said...this is one of the few nights of the year when I can wear a gorgeous dress and feel as though I'm really dressed properly. And I've found, over and over again, that at the end of these nights I'm always delaying taking my dress off.

Why? Why is it that some of us girls have this wiring in us that practically screams to wear long beautiful dresses? Why is it that we watch heroines like Elizabeth Bennet, Eowyn, Elizabeth Swann, and Padme Amidala and we find ourselves dying to wear clothing like theirs? Why is it that we find today's closest thing to a ball, the "Prom", so exciting? (Even though the dancing these days is hardly dancing at all.)

Ahha! The reflective thoughts are is a quote from one of my favorite books...

"If Fish likes you, let him do the work. You're doing too much for him. You always have." [Kateri] ran a hand through her tangled hair. "You're learning ballroom dancing with Paul too, right?"


"In that kind of dancing, does the woman dance forward or backwards?"


"When she goes backwards, what does the guy do?"

"He dances forward."

"Get the picture?"

"Yes," Rose said, suddenly ashamed. "Yes, I think so."

~Waking Rose

My point? Dancing says something about it's culture. In our 21st century culture, we hardly have any dances, and the ones we do have barely qualify for the name, since they're hardly more than swinging about in time to the music. In fact, the best part of dances these days are the dresses! And the dresses we wear today aren't even hardly anything compared to the dresses they used to have!

Historically, dances were social functions held on pretty regular basises in middle and upper class society. One of their main functions was to give young people a chance to meet each other- hopefully encouraging matches between compatable men and women. We have NOTHING to equal this these days! No wonder there are so many people waiting until they are 25, 26, 27 or even 30 to start their families! No wonder there are so many young ladies feeling unworthy because they've never had a male persuing them- because men are not taught to persue a young lady properly! I wonder if the fact that we don't do Kateri's type of dancing has anything to do with all this...

Plus, of course, if we still had dances regularily, I'd actually have a chance to wear a dress a lot. And that would be cool.


Josh said...

I thought that this was a very interesting post! However, no one (including girls) seemed to have anything to say about it. I wonder is it because girls are different today that we don't have those old-style balls or is it somehow the other way around?

Have we lost sight of the fact that just because a girl wears a dress, it still doesn't make her a princessy girl. I just think of Elizabeth Bennet. She wasn't a swoony girl by any means, yet she still wore dresses and went to balls. These are just some of my thoughts on the subject...

Elenatintil said...

Hey, thanks for replying, Josh! You're one's posted on this yet...(But then, I don't think I have very many readers yet. Oh well!)

Interesting question though. I think it's probably both. They were still having dances back in the 50's, so it wasn't until the Feminist movement really took off that regular dancing went out of style. I don't think they girls themselves have actually "changed", but I do think that society has conditioned us to think differantly than, say, our grandmothers did.

So, question, Josh. I love wearing dresses and going to balls...would I qualify as a "swoony" girl, or an Elizabeth Bennet?

Josh said...

Well I think that girls are different today than they were 150 years ago, but I think that is because they have the opportunity to be.

The Women's Rights movements have changed many things for girls these days. I think if women during the time of Elizabeth Bennet had as much freedom as women do today, then I think balls might have been non-existent because there would be almost no need for them.

I think some girls can fit easily into one personality or the other, but you seem to be determinedly both. :)

Elenatintil said...

Ah- but what is the "need" that requires a ball? A chance to meet elgible young people of similar ages and interests. Which, you must admit, is something that is really hard to find once you graduate from High School- if you're not in college.

AND the opportunity to wear elegant dresses. And I feel that is an important thing, because it reinforces the beauty of feminity.

Josh said...

That is why many people go out to clubs or things like that. However, for someone who does not want to frequent such places, I'm sure it is more difficult to meet singles of the opposite gender.

I think this is an interesting discussion that could even be written into a book if someone wished to research further.

Elenatintil said...

Hmmm...maybe we should make RJ do it because she likes research AND non-fiction books better than I do.