Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

These Kids Today

Through the local Morris Dance community, I do know some cool kids. Teenagers mostly. This means I get to sit at the pub after Morris practice with them sometimes (french fries are on me) and question them like a DA about their lives, and they in turn get to question me about mine. What makes them cool kids, in my estimation, is that they are legitimately interested in other people. It is a myth of the psychologists that teenagers are incapable of seeing things through the perspective of others. It's just that they don't do this all the time (and when they don't, they don't in a dramatic fashion). But neither do adults, so that hardly distinguishes them, as a class.

These kids, on occasion, are also capable of saying things to me that I find touching and sweet. After the Shanty Sing last night I was chatting with Temple and Deb and I remembered that last summer their high-school-age daughter found out a little more about what I do for a living. As the nature of my day to day work became clear to her she said something like, "That must be a boring thing for you." I don't think she said "boring", actually, She might have said "limiting". The real point here is not that she said "That must be a boring thing" (as in "I would find that boring") but "That must be a boring thing for you." The implication was that I would be happier doing something more social. Or improvisational. Or energetic. She had been paying attention to who I was, and trying to match that up with what I do. And what can I say? She was dead right.

The local Morris teenagers now dance with the Border Team during Border season, which comes in the fall. Towards the end of this past year we held a brief team meeting about whether we wanted to consider, as a team, attending the "Molly Folly" next July - a weekend of Molly dancing that's going to be held in New Jersey. Molly dancing is a form of ritual British dancing (thus a form of "Morris" as the term is used) which, in the US, is characterized (in part) by the music being provided by an unaccompanied singer (rather than by instruments). There are very few Molly dance sides in the US, really, but probably the foremost is Handsome Molly of Princeton NJ, which is hosting the event.

Our Border team dances a few Mollies, and while I have backup I am currently pretty much the main Molly singer. Even for the dances that others generally sing, I need to know every Molly song so that in a pinch I can provide the music.

When we brought up the issue of going to the Molly Folly, we pointed out that we are not really a Molly Team, as are the other teams in attendance. We are a Border side that does a few Mollies. As a key factor here in our planning, we pointed out that the Molly dances we do are dances that the other teams do as well. At which point one of the teenagers in question said, "But we have Steven!"

Way cool, I say.
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