Monday, October 5, 2009

Dancing Grannies and Gramps

Saturday nights can sometimes be the worst night when you are single. At least, for me they are.

It's not that I mind staying home, or being alone, it's just that I sometimes get bored and I want to be around people. Especially people my own age.

On Saturday morning I surfed around the internet and found that a single's dance was happening in Redford that evening. I've been to this dance in the past and figured I'd check it out, maybe dance, and maybe meet some new friends.

I started getting ready at around 7 by taking a shower, blow drying my hair and putting on my makeup. I then squeezed into a one size too small pair of dress pants. I slipped on about 5 different shirts before I found one that I really felt good in. Then, to make sure I looked nice, I took some pictures of myself with the timer on the camera. (I have no full length mirror.) As soon as I saw the first picture, I went into the bedroom and changed into a different pair of pants, and a new shirt and jacket.

The dance started at 8 so I left my house at 8:10 since I was only 10 minutes away.

The parking lot seemed full as I approached the hall and I was optimistic that I might have some fun.

It is very difficult to walk into a single's event by myself so I sat in my car for a few minutes and talked to myself, spewing out some affirmations. I sounded like Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live who used to say I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!.

Only my affirmation was, "Some people are fatter than you, some are thinner, some are uglier, some are prettier. Just go in and have fun. Screw em!"

That is probably the saddest, least affirming statements I could say, but it helped me muster up the courage to walk into the doors.

What I saw as I paid my $10 was a sad group of people, sitting in a brightly lit church gym, watching free dance lessons being held on the dance floor.

Ugh. It was the worst ambiance I've ever seen for a dance. I found a table close to the dance floor. This wasn't difficult as most of the seats were empty. I then watched the dance lessons and pretended to text someone on my phone.

I tried not too look around the room too much, but I was interested in seeing what was there.
Even though I'm 54, I'm sure I was the youngest woman there. I also decided I was one of the cutest. Still, it wouldn't matter, as most of the men there reminded me of my late father-in-law who died at the age of 94.

Sometimes it is hard for me to realize that I'm almost ready to start asking for a senior discount. Next year, I can move into a senior center if I want. But, right now I'm still feeling young. Last year I went to see The Cure. I like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Linkin Park. I own a pair of black and hot pink tennis shoes and I like cotton candy flavored bubble gum. Most of my friends are under the age of 38 and they forget that I'm 54 (except when I complain about my knees or my wrinkles.) Thirty year old men send me emails asking me if I like younger men and I flirt back with them, telling them that I do. If I don't know a popular term I look it up in the urban dictionary and I know how to text.

Yet, here I was at a dance and the most current song the dj played was "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth Wind and Fire. I suffered through song after song waiting for something current, but when I heard him play, "The last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker, I gave up all hope of hearing anything I liked.

I hate to be cynical, but just because we listened to "Shout" when we were kids doesn't mean we have to relive it when we are in our 50s. There's been a million good songs written since, but I guess the DJ was stuck in a time warp himself.

I was just thinking about leaving when the song "Lady in Red" came on. Even though I dislike this song, someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I wanted to dance. His name was Paul and he was 41 with long black hair. He was a little chubby and wore classes but he was cute and HE was the youngest one there. I danced with him several times during the next hour.

A short little man with glasses asked me to dance after Paul. He kept telling me how beautiful I was and how good I smelled. When he started to paw me on the dance floor, I told him that maybe he needed to find someone else to dance with. Later, he asked if he could sit with me. I told him for a minute. He sat down and started to ask me a lot of questions.

"Where do you live?"

"Do you live alone?"

"Why are you divorced?"

"Where are your x husbands?"

"Is your x husband healthy?"

Finally, I blurted out, "are you writing a book? What is this, an interview?"

He looked a little defeated, wished me a good night and slithered off to find another woman.

Earlier in the evening, a woman sat across from me and we chatted in between dances, even exchanging phone numbers in case we ever wanted to meet at another dance and walk in together. She was a tiny size 2 and danced all night long, but confided in me that she had never been married, never lived with anyone and had never had children. She said she was about ready to give up on finding someone. I quickly told her to NEVER give up. I told her she was cute, attractive and funny and that someone was out there, but probably not at this dance.
At around 10, she thanked me for being so kind, slipped on her tiny leather jacket over her tiny black dress and went to her car. She had seen enough.

I sat alone at the table for a few minutes then gathered up my purse and keys, waved goodbye to Paul and got home in time to watch a cheesy horror movie. That is what I probably should have done in the first place. I'm guess I'm just not ready for the over 50 dances yet. At least not for a few more years.

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