Dear Bitter Amanda,
In regard to your last letter, I have a few bones to pick:
What's the big deal about ballroom dancing? For that matter, what's wrong with doing it on a Tuesday? I've ballroom-danced on a Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday and many other days of the week. In fact, the majority of the last weekend was spent ballroom dancing.
Perhaps you mean to imply that ballroom dancing is automatically super-date-like. All romance and roses. Au contraire. It's more akin to playing one-on-one basketball: two sweaty people moving around with a purpose, showing off, and attempting not to accidentally injure the other one during a collision.
Additionally, I will have you know that ballroom dancing is just as prone to "am I on a date?" syndrome as any other activity, including dinner and coffee or a hot cocoa rendez-vous, if not more so. While some of the evening may in fact be spent moving about the floor plastered to the chest the person you arrived with, you will still probably dance with many other people in the room. Conversely, when you have hot cocoa, usually the person sitting at the table won't get up and be replaced by some other guy plopping a candy cane in your drink. (That is not a double entendre, fyi.)
(Mon Dieu, there is a lot of French in this letter.)
So, perhaps your "no ballroom dancing" suggestion for "coo-coo for cocoa-boy" is a good one, but not for the reasons you seem to imply. In conclusion: ballroom dancing is a good activity for not being able to determine if you are on a date or not on a Tuesday. Or a weekend, for that matter. I know, because I've lived.
Dear Elijah Wood,
Wow, you are really into ballroom dancing.
There's nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, I think ballroom dancing could be great. (I myself am not blessed in the coordination department, so dancing is largely out of my scope of knowledge. Reading your assessment, though, I like that it sounds less romantic and more gross. I could get behind that.) But you chose to zero in on that one phrase in my response, rather than take it all in. In that, you've missed my point, I fear.
My point was not that ballroom dancing has to be super formal or inherently date-like. However, to the untrained boy, that is the kind of activity that screams "SUPER FORMAL" and "TUXEDO" and your average boy will freak out a little--particularly if, like my other reader, you only see him during the week. Should he pick you up in a pumpkin carriage and wear a tie? Will the lady be expecting a fairy tale evening? Should there be flowers involved? This is starting to sound like a senior prom--it's too much to take!
The goal is to pick something non-threatening because you want him to decide whether or not he'd like to hang out with you--not whether or not he'd like to learn a waltz. If you happen to be interested in a boy with whom you have ballroom danced in the past, then by all means throw it out there. But for a study/cocoa break boy, I'd suggest something more in line with what you usually get up to.
While I've got you here, penguin, it sounds like you've got some unresolved issues regarding dancing with boys. Wanna talk about it?