Saturday, March 10, 2007

Eternal Flame

20 years ago and 20 kilos lighter, I attended my first function at the Mandarin Garden function room. For those of you who are to young to know what this is, the function was THE in-thing for teens in the 80's.

All that was required was:
a) a function room (therefore, the name)
b) mobile disco
c) hormonally charged teenagers who have minimal opportunity to meet with the opposite sex

In order to prep our dancing skills for the function, we would watch Top of the Pops and mimic the dance steps. After practicing many times, I mastered a dancing movement comprising of rhythmic side-step, side-step from left to right together with upper body duck flare of arms for grace and elegance.

The Mandarin Gardens function room held special memories only because it was the site of my first slow dance. The slow dance was the most terrifying feature of attending a Function - from having zero experience with any physical contact from anyone from the male species, you were expected to dance together in an intimate and close proximity if commandeered for the slow dance. That is why I scampered to a dark corner of the room when the tempo slowed and Eternal Flame started playing.

Close your eyes
Give me your hand
Can you feel my heart beating


I wished myself to be swallowed up by the floor when my other friends got asked for their slow dance and I was left standing there, until someone actually asked me.

We stood a metre apart as far as our arms extended like a very straight rod would go. This was as intimate as playing London Bridge is falling down (and we were making the bridge).

Apart from the function, the other vehicle we had for meeting guys was the Campfire. Nobody became a girl guide so that they could learn how to tie knots and pitch tents. The main perk of being a girl guide was attending Campfires.

All that was required was:

a) basketball court
b) Campfire in the middle
c) Campfire songs which were printed on a Campfire Programme
d) hormonally charged teenagers who have minimal opportunity to meet with the opposite sex

It was the tradition for the Campfire Programme to be 'autographed' by scouts after the campfire had ended. So if you noticed someone by the light of the fire, you could signal your interest by asking for their autograph. In their campire programme you could write something cheesily obvious like "Stay Cute!".

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The trigger for all this nostalgia was attending a one year old's birthday party at the Mandarin Gardens function room today.

The parquet was chipped from the many years of use. It held those ackward teenage memories. Never would I have thought that the next time I go there, I would be meeting a tall pink furry animal. Thankfully, this time no slow dance.


3 Comments:

Anonymous ivan said...

You know, the last photo is actually very creepy in a Stephen-King-Killer-Clown-from-IT sort of way.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Crazy Mum said...

awwwww... those functions who could forget them. do they still do stuff like that now a days? probably not!

11:37 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

ivn - i know, very creepy.
cm - glad someone is feeling ancient too.

2:29 PM  

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