Sunday, April 18, 2010

Would You Care to Shag... um, I Mean Dance?

Last night we celebrated my father's 70th birthday.  My mother, sister and I sent out almost 100 invitations for a soiree with jambalaya, beer and shagging.  It was a wonderful affair, with 150 of his dearest and closest friends celebrating a man they love.  The supper was eaten, the Amber Bach consumed, and the shagging commenced. 

"What?  The 'shagging commenced?' " you non-southerners may say.  (And you Brits may be a little more appalled.)  Yes, shagging.  I do know what some of you may associate with the term, but if you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, your parents do it right in front of you, and encourage you to do so too!

Shagging is the state dance of South Carolina... yes, our legislature obviously didn't have much on their plates the year it was passed.  Think a variation of the 40's jitterbug, old Motown (affectionately called "Beach Music"), and a couple in bare feet on the beach.  Shagging is so ingrained in our society down here that at my debutante balls, in addition to the Grand March and the waltz, we danced to The Drifters, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and the other old Motown bands.

I, like all other young southerners, was expected to learn how to shag.  My parents are fabulous dancers, and my mother taught me by having me hold onto a door handle as "my partner" when I was around twelve or thirteen.  She also had me hold a pencil between my fingers and a cup of water filled to the rim in one hand because she knew that at some point I would probably have a "drink" and cigarette while I was dancing and she didn't want me to spill either.  (Yes, this is Mimi from previous posts!)  Needless to say, my sister and I are pros, and nary a drop has ever been spilled by either of us!

So now it is my turn to teach my children.  Sumter just started dancing with me just this past month.  And I must say he is pretty good.  So glad he is a willing partner!  Last night, he wanted to try some of the moves he saw the adults dancing.  I wish we had some pictures of us...

But I do have these little gems.  
This is Jackson and his best friend/cousin MS.  
Aren't they precious?

Please excuse the pollen "dots"!

Can you say "Dancing with the Stars"?

23 comments:

  1. The kids are just too cute!

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  2. adorable and fun and LOL at your mother teaching you to hold a glass and a cigarette properly so that you would not spill! I, btw, do know what shagging is... there was a great movie called Shag.... about 10 or so years ago. I wrote about my mother, my grandmother and my "first" cigarette today! LOL Times have changed!

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  3. Too cute. I love to dance but confess I do not know how to shag. And funny about the drink spilling. Love Mimi! She should write a blog - ha!

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  4. What a fun and special event!! How funny that you learned how to dance with pencil and drink in hand. At least you've never had a party mishap!! Too funny. Love the pictures. xoxo

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  5. That sounds like a really fun time! I love that your Mom thought about the ciggie and cocktail! So funny!

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  6. That is beyooond hysterical about the pencil and the full glass of water. What a good Mama...XXOO

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  7. So glad your dad had a great birthday, shagging the night away! ;-D

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  8. Oh how wonderful! the party sounded wonderful filled with your dearest friends!
    I wish your Dad a Happy Birthday and many years ahead!
    I must say i thought of the other shagging thanks to Mike Meyers! Glad you had a good time!

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  9. They are so cute "shagging" together. The twirl is perfect! What a fun birthday celebration for your father ~ sounds like a great time was had by all!

    Jo

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  10. Sounds like a great Southern party! Headed to a wedding this weekend-lots of shagging going on.

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  11. What a great party! Love that your Mama taught you not only how to shag, but how to do it properly with out spilling a thing!

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  12. so fun! and ya'll look perfectly preppy in your madras! the pollen dots only add to the ambiance. I'm sure it was a great party....love that you're introducing the children to shagging at an early age! it's a lost art! :-)

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  13. Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. We were just talking the other night about how we'd not been shagging in such a long time. Pretty soon they'll start the once a month shag party on the Folly Beach pier. It's worth a trip!

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  14. I am DYING TO LEARN! Next year its one of my main goals! It was a goal this year...but that didn't happen so much :) I am so jealous that they know how!!

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  15. ...just ONE more reason I LOVE my southern friends....the emphasis on teaching social graces is so part of life. What great parents you have! Happy bday to your dad and kudos to your mom for not only teaching you to SHAG properly, but teaching you to be able to do it GRACEFULLY!

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  16. How adorable!!! I love to SHAG! In fact, I love the movie, "Shag", too! Precious pic of the cousins!

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  17. I saw that move Shag -- how funny jessica. I do like a good shag ;-) in both senses of the word. This was just what I needed after a long weekend.

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  18. I have seen the movie Shag a million times! My mama said the Phoebe Cates character reminded her of me...prim and proper but with a bit of "hellcat" in me. Yes, she uses the term hellcat.

    I wish I coud get my hubby to shag. He only two steps. Guess it's better than no dancing at all!

    Hope you have a great week!

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  19. Good God this is my favorite post you've ever done. I, being born in north carolina, was required to learn how to shag!! I think it's the best and I love beach music. Sounds like such a fun party! Wish I could have come!!!

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  20. I LOVE this post and the pictures- wonderful :) I remember when I learned that "beach music" of the coastal south was not The Beach Boy's....

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  21. I love Beach Music and Shagging girl! I also love that your Southern mama taught you the cig/cocktail trick! Soooo remember learning how to shag with the door knob!

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  22. This is fabulous. I love that you had to define shagging. Can you only imagine not being from the south or living in the shagging state???:)

    That picture of Sumter and his cousin dancing is priceless. They look like quite the professionals.

    The party sounds wonderful. Happy Birthday G-Dad.

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  23. The party sounds like a grand celebration for a great man! I love the shag....takes me right back to my good friend from boarding school and the trip to Edisto Island we made together one summer. She loved to shag!

    Reason #587 to move south!

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Thanks for your sweet comments... They make my day just that more Golden!