browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Do you love me, now that I can dance?

Posted by on March 27, 2007

Last night, Elly and I went to a club that Beth’s company had rented out for the night. The website exhorted women to “wear whatever you want…as long as it’s sexy!” And there I realized my first problem: I’ve gradually been phasing “sexy” out of my wardrobe. Unless the early nineties fashions come back in, when glitter tops were the height of style, I’m kind of screwed. Mostly what I own now are pajamas — and not even the sexy kind of those.

Anyway, I threw on something that, if not sexy, was at least stretchy, and we limped our way to the club in our pinching boots. (Pinching is still sexy, right?)

I was okay while the three of us stood in the corner with our drinks, yelling a polite conversation — I am a champion corner stander — but once the dancing started, it took less than a minute for me to realize something: I am old.

First, I kept trying to chat with people while dancing. Each time I opened my mouth, I knew this was not the right thing to be doing: for one thing, it was impossible to hear; for another, cool girls lose themselves in the substandard hip hop and salsa music, they do not become chatty Kathy when there are beats which must be grooved to.

Second, if I ever knew how to dance, I’ve forgotten it now. I sucked down a gin and tonic in search of pot courage, but all I found at the bottom was a mangled lime on ice. As I twitched awkwardly, I was plagued by the image of a giant, stretchy-top-clad fish struggling at the end of a long fishing wire of humiliation.

Finally, somewhere in the past four years I stopped thinking of myself as primarily a pretty girl. I used to be able to get through these situations with a few desultory shimmies, displaying the merchandise as it were. Now I have no merchandise. If they had let me write something instead of dance I might have been all right, as long as it was about dogs, but the option was not presented to me.

Disheartened, I finished my drink and ran off, a classic Kristen move. I walked halfway home, passing through a small homeless encampment and a cloud of jasmine scent, nodding to a transvestite in sparkly heels. Finally, my blisters rising like the moon, I hopped into a cab.

“Do you think you are ever too old to dance?” I asked the driver.

“Too old?” he said, astonished. “No! Music is everything. Music is life. I dance all the time. Sometimes as I am driving.” He executed a tidy little seat dance to demonstrate. “Perhaps you are too old for a place or the persons you are with. Never to dance.”

We stopped in front of my building, and he waited, ignoring the angry cars behind him, while I shimmied, twisted, and mashed-potato’d all the way to my door.

8 Responses to Do you love me, now that I can dance?

  1. Dianna

    Emphatic nod!

  2. katie

    Nod, nod! I also cannot ever resist the compulsion to make lame chatter while not-really-dancing. Not just chatter, actually, but very complicated discussions of things which I end up increasingly having with myself as my friends gradually go from smiling tersely and nodding, to pretending not to hear me, to rotating so their backs are to me. Also, I cannot remember what my solution to this was back when I thought myself cool and caught up in my boogie, but where the hell does one look while dancing? At people? Straight ahead? Into a private inner vision of being at home in a comfy chair watching a movie in your PJ’s?

  3. didofoot

    You know what it was: the silly levels were too low for me. Everyone was dancing all sexy, and I’m no good at that. I need to be with a large group of good friends so I feel free to fling myself around and scrunch up my face in time to the music. Also, when you’re silly dancing it doesn’t matter where you look.

  4. robyn

    Totally. Straight-faced serious dancing is only cool if you’re in a Tango contest.

    If I’m not laughing when I dance, I’m pouting. A big juicy pout, to honor the funk. It’s a move I learned from my mother.

  5. Dianna

    You, Kris and commenters, all serve to reassure me that I am not entirely aberrant in my lack of comfortable familiarity with the booty-shaking milieu. For this I am appreciative.

  6. christine

    After many years of living with a hip-hop dancer, countless lessons, and Las Vegas trips with beautiful leadership people, I now have several mechanical hip gyrations memorized, but the one time I actually danced with a hip-hop dancer, he laughed and started counting in my ear. Even with swing, which I think has some inherent humor, I make a Kermit the Frog face whenever I get dipped. Here’s to pajamas and movies!

  7. michele

    seriously, i love this post because it describes something i’ve noticed about myself recently too and writes about it better than i could. i’m relatively sure i used to be able to dance, but i really, really am just awful at it now. am i just more self-conscious or do i just have no sense of rhythm? i don’t know, but it ain’t pretty.

  8. tracy

    i’m sorry, but glitter tops were never the height of style. never.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *