It was 1980. The 70 s were over. At our Catholic girl's school we were to be formally introduced to boys. The "right" kind. The boys from a Catholic school. Funnily enough, in my two marriages I didn't end up marrying a Catholic man. But that's getting too far ahead. All the girls prepared for the formal. I know our friendship group did. We played poker.
Now don't get me wrong,we were not inflexible gamblers. We also played Yahtzee and Uno. I remember some of the others would be sucking on a Sunnyboy (frozen pyramid shaped flavoured iceblock. ) Not me, I always had a packed lunch. We would sit in our customary place on the step of the side entrance of the old convent adjacent to the school. By then there were fewer nuns than in its heyday. They seldom used that door. I don't think we played for money, as I only got $2 a month pocket money, and I spent all of that on birthday and Christmas presents for my family etc. Nevertheless, we played poker religiously. We even had our "bible".
The old convent building:
These images , manipulated from Retrowaste site, (which is worth a visit some time), are from America, I think. They are the kinds of clothes we girls wore to the dance, I remember hazily. We were glad to get out of our school uniforms. I may have worn something I made in sewing class, I'm not sure.
Sears and Retrowaste.com. 1980
There was dancing in our school hall with the visiting boys. The lights were down, and flashing coloured lights. Now I have always danced, and loved dancing. I was slim then like my daughter is now. I had lots of energy and my signature dance at that time was jumping up and down. Very sophisticated.
I did my dance along with this boy called Mike. There were lots of teachers dotted around to preserve our virtue. The Master of Ceremonies was the science teacher, a nice man. When the music stopped, he announced we had won the prize just then for dancing - a chocolate bar each! Here is the hit song we danced to, in those days I never considered the meaning of the words, we probably had a censored version:
So after that Mike and I got together, I'm not sure, I think there might have been heavy chatting. I took him down the back of the hall to meet my friends.
There was better lighting there. They were beautifully dressed, and at least one of them was wearing gloves, very ladylike! Now it was a few years before Madonna popularised lace gloves, these were 1950-60 s style, and I think another girl had on something like a bowler or top hat. We girls sat down in a small circle on the floor, and proceeded to play poker, gloves and all! The boys we had met stood about gawking. I remember the incongruity of the scene, as the disco went on up the front.
Well, Mike and I called ourselves an item after that, and agreed to exchange letters. I got one from him with a colour photo enclosed. There he was, standing in his flannelette shirt, next to a huge hanging wild pig, with its front cut open!! From that time on for the rest of the year, my binder (folder) inside cover was adorned with silver cut out letters saying his name, over and over. After the first couple, I never received any more letters. I think my mother intercepted them, as later, somehow, my whiskey bottles would disappear from my room (after I was 18. )
But that's another story.
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