Sunday, August 12, 2007

So I think I can dance.

Our friends Jeannie and Roy got married last night.

The two of them met when they were out dancing at Dick Clark's American Bandstand grill about 18 months ago. And they haven't stopped dancing since.

How Jeannie dances in dangerous heels at her age (which is also roughly my age) is beyond me. But there was something so contagious about the happy couple's dance floor moves... before we knew it, the rest of us at the reception were dancing dervishes. And may I add, "Thank God for ballet flats."

When my kids were little, at our PTA-sponsored roller skating parties, the last fifteen minutes were reserved for a mom-and-kids "sock hop." Actually it was a transparent ruse by the skating rink forcing the kids to turn in their skates before the place closed for the night, but we moms really loved it.

I've since read that women have a collective memory of celebratory, joyful, daily dancing, and that we modern party girls have a psychic longing for the release and community dancing provides. That explains why normally sedate co-workers were crowding the dance floor last night, not giving a damn about appearances or professional protocol.

Contrary to this post's headline, I am aware that I stink as a dancer, not quite as bad as Elaine Benes, but I have made my kids wince. And how many times can people try to teach me the Electric Slide??

The point is, we all need to let our hair down and dance more, to find the joy and let it out no matter how spazzy we think we look or how much Aleve we'll need in the aftermath.

Happy Life Together, Roy and Jeannie! Thanks for the dance lesson!


Jas P. said...

Two dance traumas in my youth have left me, as an adult, unable to lose myself in the act. It's never without some level of self-consciousness, which is death to dance. If you can't transcend, what's the point?

I may have told you about the traumatic events, one in 7th grade and one in 9th, sandwiching my semi-comatose 8th-grade year with humiliation...

The first involved a surprise competition for the girl of my dreams with the blond Adonis of Palmer Jr. High, at a party in somebody's basement. Not a dance-off, but a grotesquely public moment of getting thrown-over, crowned by a presumably consoling last dance, which I didn't have the self-respect to refuse. I can still feel my skinny little arms futilely swinging around.

The second involved peeing on my double-breasted powder-blue pinstripe sport coat at the freshman dance. How long did Susan Chrisman have to wait for me to rinse my jacket out in the boy's room sink and blot it feverishly with paper towels and finally come out and be too ashamed to laugh it off and explain what had happened--if not to her, at least to the chaperoning teachers who wouldn't let jacketless boys on the dance floor? My strategy, I guess, was to hide the stain by standing at oblique angles, or to stay in close so it couldn't be seen. Ah, nothing like a slow dance with your ass stuck out behind you so your wet jacket doesn't touch your date....

The thing is, I actually like ballroom dancing. But I never get out of myself, always have to think, try to remember steps, and despite being fairly musical, have no real feel for dancing at all. A tragedy for Penny, who's like a Sephardic version of Shakira...

I'm glad you had a good time. I'll just live vicariously through you.

Mol the Doll said...

Ouch, Jim, I hadn't heard either of those dancing stories. The basement story sounds very Kevin-and-Winnie Wonder Years.

My junior high dancing moments were awkward, too. As was my stint pouring punch at the Y-Teens Winter Formal my senior year.

I'll bet when you're pushing 53 (like me) you'll get your groove back.

I voyeuristically read that Emily's getting married. So happy for her. And for you, in that you truly like the guy!

Have you seen "State and Main?" I think David Mamet is starting to irritate me. Especially because he keeps casting that one brunette actress with the big eyes who is also in
"The Spanish Prisoner."

I can't do italics, and I'm okay with that.

Mol the Doll said...

Also, I hate the random line break thing.

Kirk Moore said...

I think Mamet's star is his wife. Or his ex-wife.

Jas P. said...

Yeah, Mamet is irritating as hell. A great playwright and essayist, but his screenwriting and direction create these completely false, affectless worlds and, as you say, seem designed to keep Rebecca Pigeon employed. I think that's her name.

I did kind of like Homicide (just tried to do italics there, but I'm not sure I remembered the html right...).

I bet Mamet doesn't dance OR do html.