Dim Sum Diaries
You know you are getting old when you start to buy CD compilations of the music of your youth. In my case, it is the 1980's. I was shopping at Target and the seductive lure of bargain CDs drew me to the rack. "Fresh 80's Movie Hits - Pure Gold Hits", the cover exclaimed in bold red. How could I resist?

So I purchased this memento of my youth and brought it to work to listen to. It played the standard '80's favorites, "If You Leave" by OMD and "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" by John Parr. All of a sudden, "True" by Spandau Ballet comes up and for a moment, the memories and emotions I associate with this song are relived as I listen to the song. I am back in high school, a gawky and awkward sophomore who lived and breathed the school newspaper. On this particular evening, my best friend and I are in the school gym, attending the Sadie Hawkins dance. The S.H. dance is where the gal asks the bloke to the dance, they buy matching shirts to wear, and they get their picture taken in front of a tropical island background, with some bundles of hay strewn in for ambiance.

I am sitting on the bleachers with my best friend. The DJ switches the mood of the room to languid romance as he puts on "True" by SB. Specks of light whirl around the dance floor as the disco ball spins lazily. Couples start dancing slowly in time to the music. I always hate this part of the dance because I envy the couples, that I'm not out there with some guy myself.

"Why are we here again?" my best friend asked, irritated because I made her come with me.

"Because I have to cover the dance for the school newspaper," I reminded her.

"Why don't you have that schmuck sports editor cover it? He's here," she said. She had a point there. I didn't have to come here to torture myself. I could have let one of the reporters who actually had a date cover the event. My best friend narrowed her gaze thoughtfully at me.

"Wait a minute, I know why you are really here," she said. "Its because of Bernie!"

"I know not what you speak of," I replied haughtily. "I am merely here to cover a newsworthy event."

Bernie was in my class, and to my adolescent eyes, a total cutie. He had wavy brown hair and an irresistible grin. During 7th grade, we did a production of "We Are The World," for a school show. He "was" Kenny Rogers, who became my favorite musical artist for a whole year after that. He (Bernie, not Kenny Rogers) and I shared a brief flirtation, but he had since moved on. I still had a bit of a crush on him.

My best friend sighed. "Shall we SOAD?" she asked. SOAD was our term for "Seek Out And Destroy", referring to searching the dance for a glimpse of the elusive Bernie.

"Yes, we shall," I grinned. "Target shall be acquired and locked in." We were such total nerds. Best Friend and I casually walked through every part of the high school gym, but alas, he was nowhere to be found. By now, Best Friend was starting to get bored and wanted to leave.

"I'm sure you've seen enough of this dance for a decent story by now," she complained. "Couples dance, take pictures in their dumb matching outfits, go under the bleachers and suck face. What more do you want?"

"Fine," I mumbled.

We left the dance early that night. There would be many more occasions where I would "seek out", but never quite "destroy" Bernie, so to speak. As I sit in my cubicle at work now, listening to SB, it is easy to recall my teenage years with a degree of nostalgia. Perhaps my perpetual search for Bernie that year embodied a deeper meaning of things I yearned for as a teenager: love, a sense of belonging and finding my place in this world. Things that would take me some time to find.