Saturday, July 16, 2016

Twerp Week or Twirp Dance?

Twerp/Twirp? Week/Dance? It's one of those random thoughts that popped into my mind upon awakening. I know it had something to do with those long ago high school days and a dance at the old Rec (short for recreation) was involved. But maybe I was thinking of the Y-Teen Tinsel Twirl?

First off, I was confusing the two terms. The dance wasn't for Twerps - those silly, annoying people - it was twirp, as in T.W.I.R.P. - The Woman Is Required to Pay. In other words, the customary man/woman (or in my day, guys/gals) roles were reversed. The woman asked the man out and paid for the meal/movie/dance, etc. It was a chance for the girl who never got asked out to take a chance and ask a boy to go to the dance with her.

Did our school hold a Twirp Dance or have a Twirp week? I didn't want to go through four years of diary entries to try and find if I had written about it. Ah, but I did have copies of our high school paper, The Smoke Signal. It wouldn't take long to look through those.

And there it was in the January 26, 1959 issue: Twirp Dance - "Friday night, January 16, that was a big night for the girls at CHS. Why? Because that was the night of the annual Y-Teen sponsored Twirp Dance held at the Rec. The feature of this particular dance is that the girls invite the boys".

I could remember one day perusing the old diaries I came across an entry where I had asked a boy to a dance and gotten turned down a few days later. Was it for that Twirp dance? Knowing when the dance was, I could go back and look it up in that year's diary. Nope. Not that time. Maybe it was for a Sadie Hawkin's dance which is also when the girls could ask the boys.

On the 16th of January, 1959, I wrote that Ron (my brother) took me to the basketball game with Clarinda. (We won.) And "Went to the Twirp dance, then we went to the Candy Kitchen and ate". I did not say if I danced with anyone at the Rec or who the 'we' was that went to the Candy Kitchen. Usually I was with two or three girlfriends. My brother graduated the previous year. Would he have gone to the Twirp dance with me? Obviously I did not have a good time or I would have recorded it all in my diary.

I didn't even record what I wore to the dance. It's possible I wore my red plaid, circle skirt and red sweater that I had worn to the Homecoming dance. But then I noticed that I had written on that date, "Got up at 6:45. Washed out my white sweater to wear to the dance tonight." But no mention of which skirt I wore. The following year (1960) on January 15, I wrote that we went to the "Spinsters' Dance". Was it renamed that? Or was I just being cute in my diary?

Twirp dances seem to have gotten started in the 50's. With the changes in what is socially acceptable, I doubt there is a need for a day or week when it is okay for a girl to ask a guy out, but in my day it just wasn't done - unless you had that dispensation. T.W.I.R.P.

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