Please pardon my French. If you dislike explicit language, I'd recommend you click off this thread now. I'm really getting sick of all these ridiculous expectations...it's almost making me want to give up dancing altogether. It's been my favorite hobby for the past year, but it's losing its funness (sp?). I made a post yesterday about my bowing habit...I think it's the previous post on the swing board actually. I also posted about smiling quite a while ago on the general dancing board. Anyway, this is kind of related to both of those. I just feel like I'm being personally attacked by follows all the sudden. People who know me well know that I'm not easily offended, but all this is really starting to piss me off. Anyway, the girl who complained about my bowing on Friday night (if you don't know about that, just read the post) apparently was complaining last night too. My best male dance friend and I were riding back from a dance tonight, and he brought it up. He was at the birthday party of one of the female dancers, and the same girl who complained about my bowing brought up not just the bowing, but some other stuff about me, to him. She said I was rude. As the good friend he is, he defended me and said I wasn't rude; I'm a great guy. He asked her why she thought that, and she brought up many things including the smiling thing (again, if you don't know about that, the post about it is in the general dance discussion), the fact that I don't really talk to people much at dances, and the bowing. First of all, as I said in my post about smiling, I seldom pay attention to my facial expression, let alone when I'm dancing. Most of the time, unless I'm experiencing an incredibly strong emotion, my facial expression is neutral. I don't want to think about raising the corners of my lips and baring my teeth when I'm dancing. When I force a smile, I look like an evil clown. Sometimes I actually do sarcastically force a smile when people ask me to, and they're eventually like, "Yeah, you can stop smiling now." I don't even get the whole not talking to people. My friend tonight who was telling me all this brought up a past event that I clearly remember and will never forget. There was a follow who I asked to dance several months ago (I'd asked her a few times that night and gotten rejected), and she finally said, "Look, I appreciate the offer, but I only dance with people I'm friends with." I walked away, a bit hurt, but apparently, she and my friend had a conversation afterwards, and she asked why she said that. She basically just said the same thing and that she doesn't consider me her friend. While I'll agree that she's more of an acquaintance, I still think it's kind of dumb. I mean, it's her life, and I respect her wishes (which is why I haven't asked her to dance ever since), but that doesn't change the fact that it's stupid. I mean, how the heck are we supposed to become friends if we never dance together? That's how I make friends...I'm closer friends with the follows that I dance with more often. The more we dance, the better we get to know each other. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Go up to her and ask her for her favorite color, her birthday, give her a friendship bracelet, and talk about the weather? If I did all those things, would I be worthy of dancing with her? What do people want me to talk about, and why does not talking about whatever that is make me "rude?" I can't read minds. If people want me to talk, why don't they bring up their topic of choice? It's not like I'm just going to go up to my favorite follow and start talking about some **** that they probably don't give a **** about anyway. If you want to talk to me, talk to me. If not, then you have no right to complain about the fact that I never talk. Besides, I don't go to dance events to talk. I go to dance events to...wait for it...yep, you guessed it...TO DANCE! Who'da thunk it? He then told me that even though he doesn't think I'm rude, he does agree to an extent about the talking thing because I'm not "integrated." I asked what he meant, and he said that between the time I walk into the venue and the time I walk out, nobody would notice I was there. The follows would notice because I danced with them (and apparently was "rude" to them), but none of the leads or the follows that I didn't dance with would ever know. I don't see how this is a bad thing though. I don't care if people know I'm there or not. Am I supposed to make some sort of grand entrance? When I walk into the room, am I supposed to say over a megaphone, "Ladies and gentlemen, East Coast Bluesboy has arrived! I will be leaving in three hours, so make sure you all come dance with me before I go home! Thank you for tuning in...we now return to our regularly scheduled programming." If I'm not dancing with you, why should you care whether I'm in attendance or not? And as for the bowing, if that makes you uncomfortable or whatever, then so be it (I still don't quite get why it would), but how in the hell is that RUDE? I've always thought the opposite...I'm trying to be a gentleman. What's so rude about acknowledging that I enjoyed the dance? It may not be your preferred way of being acknowledged, but it's not like I'm hurting you or insulting you. My friend said he actually thought it was cool that I did that and didn't quite understand the complaint either. What he did say is that it is rude to just go up to a lady, tell her, "Dance with me," dance with her, and then say, "Go away, **** you" when we're done. I know he was being a bit snarky when he said that, but I've never done anything of the like. I do quite the opposite. I always ASK if she wants to dance, and if she says no, then I respect her wishes and walk away. When we're done, I bow and/or thank her for the dance (although I quit bowing tonight because of Friday's remark). Maybe I just care too much. Maybe I shouldn't let it all get to me. The thing is that I don't care whether or not people like me. I don't like everyone and can't expect them to like me either. If we don't like each other, then we can just leave each other alone, and everything is fine and dandy. What DOES bother me is that people judge my character based on their petty expectations. Dislike me all you want, but don't call me rude just because I don't do everything the way you want. I'm not here to perform for you. I'm not here to validate you and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. If that's what you want, go get a boyfriend. My definition of "rude" is being inconsiderate of other people and gratifying yourself at their expense. I always try to give my follow appreciation and respect by, like I said, ASKING her to dance, doing my best to both protect her on the dance floor and give her a good time, and then thank her afterwards. That's not rude; that's polite. What do all these other ridiculous rules and expectations have to do with anything? It's rude to expect me to interact with you a specific way on and off the dance floor and judge my character based on these arbitrary rules. It's even ruder to complain behind my back about the fact that I don't satisfy all your desires. I'm not your *** puppet. I came here to have a good time, and it's impossible to have a good time when I'm constantly having to think about my image and have something good to talk about all the time.