Why My Dance Card is Always Full

Monday, May 20, 2024

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Why My Dance Card is Always Full

So, I was watching Bridgerton on Netflix today—because who doesn't love a good period drama with scandal, romance, and those fabulous costumes? Anyway, I noticed something that made me literally laugh out loud and almost spit out my wine  (which, let's be real, would have been a tragedy).

Have you ever seen those little dance cards that the women wore on their arms? Like, that's where the phrase "My dance card is full" actually comes from!

Picture this: You're at a fancy ball in the 1800s, trying to avoid your mother who is absolutely hell-bent on marrying you off to someone respectable and wealthy, and you have this adorable little card attached to your wrist. Guys come up to you, ask for a dance, and you jot their names down on your card. It's like an 1800s version of speed dating but with way more ruffles and dramatically sighing while staring out of windows.

But can you imagine the chaos if we had to do this today? Just think about going to a club and trying to scribble down names while simultaneously holding your drink and making sure you don't trip over your heels. Plus, my handwriting is so bad that by the end of the night, I wouldn't even be able to read who signed up for what dance. "Wait, did I promise to dance with Jim or did I just scribble some abstract art while tipsy?"

And what if you run out of space on your dance card? Like, "Sorry, no more room. You'll have to take a number and wait your turn." But then you remember that you’re an introvert who only agreed to come out because your best friend bribed you with pizza, and now you’re stuck explaining to Chad why you’re hiding in the bathroom with your full dance card and a glass of wine.

The whole concept is just hilariously charming and impractical by today's standards. I mean, thank goodness for modern technology. Now, if someone asks you to dance, you can just pretend you didn't hear them over the music or conveniently "get a phone call" and make a quick escape.

​​Anyway, the dance cards on Bridgerton just got me thinking about how weird and wonderful traditions are and how they evolve. So, next time you hear someone say their "dance card is full," just remember, they're channeling their inner 19th-century debutante, and that’s pretty fantastic.

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