The Last Dance

Last dance
Last dance for love
Yes, it’s my last chance
For romance tonight

Okay, so maybe the lyrics to this Donna Summer number aren’t completely relevant. Because I suspect that although this is my last Monday post on The Debutante Ball, it isn’t in fact my last chance for romance. But is it possible to say “The Last Dance” and not immediately have this song stuck in your ahead, along with a visual image of Summer’s frizzy hair and a disco ball?

It is, however, my last chance to regularly communicate with an amazingly inspiring group of women who I feel are a part of my graduating class into the publishing world. (Eileen, you got held back part of a year but that’s only because the teachers couldn’t bear to say goodbye to you yet.) We’ll all go off to our different colleges (er, publishing houses) but have enough reunions (that’s what Saturdays are for, right?) and chances to visit our school (er, grog) that we won’t go into complete withdrawal.

Because this grog, which managed to combine Freshman through Senior years in one 12-month period, truly did help me feel stable enough to now go out on my own. Knowing that when I got really bad news (say, my publisher being fired), just bad news (ditto my editor) or simply this-couldn’t-be-happening-again news (can anyone say four different covers?), I had five women that I could reach out to with a few simple key strokes — women who not only tended to write me back faster than members of my own family but also offered more support, compassion and wisdom than I’d have thought possible.

Lots of news has been trickling down the pipeline this graduation week. I got an offer on my second book. There’s been more exciting talk about the movie, TV and reality TV versions of Party Girl. My grammar school selected me as one of 50 graduates to feature in their 50th anniversary book about alumni who are reflecting the school’s mission. Party Girl got some nice new press. And one poor Hollywood party girl got into trouble yet again, prompting me to get quoted in a slew of articles about Hollywood, addiction and recovery. (I wrestled with whether it was right to potentially profit off of someone else’s suffering but ultimately decided that what I was saying about recovery was intended to help people, not get them to buy my book. Even though I wouldn’t be opposed to that, either.)

I’ll leave you ladies with the quote that my six friends and I put on our 8th grade yearbook page in 1984. It had seemed borderline brilliant at the time, somewhat overly simplistic years later and is oddly back to being brilliant again now.

There’s something better than you and me and that’s us.

Congratulations, fellow debs. It was an honor to be in your class.

4 Replies to “The Last Dance”

  1. And if I can tap into your middle/high school analogy, thanks for inviting this new kid who was over at the other lunch table eating her bad school pizza to join in your gossip and laugsh and fun.

  2. I echo Judy and thank you for sharing this amazing year. What the future holds (what doesn’t it?) will be rooted in the “us,” so please know I’ll be following and applauding you…as always, Diana Benjamin.

  3. Teachers couldn’t bear to see me go…. slow learner. It’s a toss up. Huge congrats on all the positive press and I love the idea of Many Moore

  4. I think I’m in denial.

    Thanks for a great year, Anna. It’s been wonderful to see Party Girl do so beautifully, as we all knew it would, despite its many frustrating bumps in the road.

    I can’t wait to watch your career continue to grow. Thank you for being a part of this with us.

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