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Monday, January 20, 2003

I Won’t Dance, Merci Beaucoup

The Situation: At one point late in the evening (or more accurately, early in the morning) at Sjet's party, a sudden urge to dance swept through the assembled celebrants, fueled no doubt by too much alcohol, birthday cake and gummy bears. People were suddenly racing around The Gilded Lily, insisting that “EVERYONE MUST DANCE!” Joe Jackson was playing, which under normal circumstances can get my toes tapping like anything, but there was just one problem here – we were all IN PUBLIC!

I do not dance in public.



No way.

So, I ended up sitting on the sofa in the Room Full Of Dancing People, along with Patti and The Performance King, which led to –

The Observation: It suddenly occurred to me that the three of us constituted all the people at the party over the age of 40. And here we all were, sitting on our 40-year old asses, watching the “kids”, the oldest whom was probably just on the low side of that dreaded number shakin’ their groove thangs like it was 1999.

“So, self” I says to myself, “Is this just totally an age thing? Are we just a trio of fuddy-duddy killjoys? Is this what the future holds in-store for us? To just sit on the sidelines like chaperones at a junior high school hop?” Then I thought a bit more about the personages with whom I was sharing the Old Folks Sofa; Patti is very charming, very talented lighting designer, and The Performance King is a tattoo-sporting, punk-rocker, Porche-driving Renaissance Man, while I am – well, me. Surely, we don’t fit the definition of over-the-hill, lost-all-the-passion-for-life oldsters, do we? DO WE? HELL NO!

So, how to explain this? I guess I can’t speak for the others, but I know, deep down in my heart that it boils down to the simple fact that I am completely intimidated by the very idea of dancing. Always have been. Probably always will be. I know it’s in part a “guy thing” (although obviously, some guys don’t share this sense of discomfort), and stems from traumatic experiences at those very same junior high school hops that the moment suddenly reminded me of. I can still bring up horrific memories of those evenings, standing around the darkened fringes of the Huntington J.H.S. cafeteria, while all the popular kids were shuffling to “Bungle In The Jungle”, with most of the rest of us either trying very hard to look like we were too cool to dance, or in my case at least, being totally incapacitated by a quavering, abject terror at the possibility of being turned down if I DID ask someone to dance, or worse, of looking like a complete idiot due to an absence of any sense of coordination and style, if some girl actually accepted.

Most females do not seem to possess this genetic predisposition toward self-consciousness when it comes to dancing; they have some mystical ability to simply Let Go, to Not Care, and as a result, they abandon themselves to the music and the rhythm, exhibiting a grace and beauty of motion that I will simply never ever come close to replicating. Not in public. Some guys have this capacity as well, I don’t know where it comes from, and no it does not seem to have any correlation to one’s sexual orientation – it’s just one of those “either you have it or you don’t” things that I most definitely do not have.

Which is kind of sad, because there really is nothing that screams “I LOVE LIFE!” quite so much as a roomful of drunk, sucrose-amped birthday celebrants gleefully getting’ jiggy to Joe Jackson at 2:00 a.m.

But at least I recognize that as a True Thing, so maybe I shouldn't feel so sad after all...

Posted byCOMTE on 10:19 AM

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