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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Perfect Saturday Night

A few days ago, I had a moment of heavy nostalgia thinking back to what used to be one of my favorite weekend activities: going dancing. In my 20s, my roommate and I went dancing almost every weekend, at least in my memory we did. Going dancing always involved in big groups--groups of women for a night out when most of us didn't have boyfriends, mixed company if most of us were currently dating. Sometimes we'd all have dinner together at our apartment first. Sometimes we had other plans (read: dates) or obligations (read: blind dates) early in the evening, so we'd just agree to meet at a certain club at 10:00. Or 11:00. Or midnight. Yes, I used to be that person, the one whose night out started at midnight.

In mixed company, we often favored the pseudo-German beer hall that served its libations in enormous glass boots. You always got a face full if you had to drink the last bit out of the toe. And that was the point. Their music involved a lot of accordians and live polka bands. For some reason, the crowd here was not over-60 but was 20-something. This might have had to do with the boots of beer. The dance floor was always impossibly crowded.

Or, there was Salsa night at one club, or pop and funk at another. The choices were endless. I recalled every club, so many nights of dancing, so many kinds of music, the laughter, the late nights...

Just at this point in my nostalgic reverie, I got a full-on close-up in my mind's eye of what we used to wear on these occasions. BLAM! Just like that, nostalgia turned to incredulity. Perhaps you remember these fabulous trends:
* opaque tights and school-girl plaid wool short-shorts
* baby-doll dresses whose full hems swung sassily about 10" above the knees
* cotton leotard-like tops with little mock turtle necks and the shoulders cut out.

In my memory, the most "successful" of my going-out-dancing outfits involved opaque black tights, a one-piece cotton leotard made with little shorts in it (think wrestling team uniform, but all in black, and with dainty little spaghetti straps--and much shorter in the shorts), black Doc Marten shoes, and an oversized cranberry-colored print chiffon blouse. The blouse was a nod to modesty. Worn over the top of the all-black ensemble like a comforting envelope, it swayed as I danced, a whispering silken reminder that I wasn't completely naked out there. Though for all intents and purposes, I might as well have been wearing Mystique's outfit in X-Men (minus the weird face make-up). And see-through chiffon didn't do much to camouflage that. This outfit made me feel like a seriously good dancer.

In retrospect, this outfit makes me concerned that I might have been the object of someone else's game of My Favorite Dancer. Never played My Favorite Dancer? It's easy. Go to a dance club, have a drink or two, dance, decide you need a brief rest, get another drink, and stand at the edge of the dance floor with your similarly-skimpily-clad friends and decide who in the crowd is your absolute favorite dancer. "My favorite dancer is dressed all in black and is dancing with the wall like he's in love with it." The first person in the group to spot said dancer gets to choose another, "My favorite dancer is bouncing up and down like she's on a pogo stick, and you can't see her face at all because her hair is so long." It's more fun than it sounds. Especially after several drinks. And really especially if you're on a blind date with the most boring, inane, loser-cool guy on the planet because you promised your roommate that you would go out on a double-date with her so that she could decide if the guy she'd met last week at the bike shop was actually worth dating. Bike Shop Guy's roommate could not be any less worth dating without a criminal record. Bike Shop Guy, despite never being our Favorite Dancer, lasted at least five or six more dates.

Ah....good times...

This little shimmy down memory lane would have an excellent punch line if I told you that last night, I dug the wrestling leotard out of the bottom of my drawer full of exercise clothes, pulled the once-sexy chiffon blouse out of the storage tub of maternity clothes, and dusted off my dancing shoes. But in actual fact, the only way in which last night was like those nights long ago is that I fell asleep at 7:30 on the couch. Unlike a decade ago, I was not dressed in my going-out-dancing finery and having a quick siesta so I could be perky till 4am. Unlike back then, I was not waiting for my only friend with a car to pick me up so we could all go out to dinner. Unlike back then, I was actually just plain tired.

This morning, I feel fabulous. Twelve hours of sleep will do that for you. I am cheerful enough to make waffles before having a cup of coffee, patient enough to let a toddler sit on my lap coloring while I try to type at my computer. All in all, I seem to have had the perfect Saturday night.

But there's a small part of me that feels a tug and a sigh when I realize that My Favorite Dancer now is 20 months old and likes Bhangra music. This is, in many ways, so much better...more stable, more loving, more fulfilling. And yet. It would be nice to have one more night sometime in my life with my dear roommate, a couple of Greyhounds, some really short shorts, and a room full of boogying bodies who are nowhere near as smooth on the dance floor as we are.

9 comments:

Don Mills Diva said...

What a great post. I feel nostalgic about the late-night parties I used to go to every weekend but in the end I wouldn't trade my Saturday nights at home for anything. (okay maybe once in a while I would, but still...)

Amber said...

Wonderful, reflective post, my dear! My weekend was nostalgic as well: we hit the road with the kids and encountered a series of mishaps It made me reflect upon my whimsical single days when no one puked all over me in the car. :-)

MommyTime said...

I totally agree, Don Mills Diva -- but the nostalgia does hit hard very occasionally, doesn't it?

And, Amber, I'm laughing hard because we had exactly that weekend two weeks ago, when Son got sick in the car after too much fun at a friend's house. It's a bit of a damper, isn't it, when you have to come home and throw all the winter coats AND the car seat cover in the wash. Hope today was sick-free!

MIQuilter said...

I, too, remember those days... the days when you were up til all hours of the night partying... I still have a few of the "dresses" from back in those days.. I can't wear them anymore (well, I could, but it would NOT be a pretty sight - they really were almost more like long t-shirts than real dresses!) but I can't bear to get rid of them. I keep hoping one day to fit back into them. And, although now in my life I have fewer occassions of people puking on me in my car then back then, I do miss it. Well, to be honest, it wasn't often that someone puked in the car... more often they just ate sand (as MM if you want THOSE juicy details!). Yes, now I'm very nostalgic.

MommyTime said...

MIQ, I'm not sure I recall anyone eating sand, but I could tell a story about some DE-licious tulips....

MIQuilter said...

MMMMMMMM... nothing like a boquet of tulips to cap off an evening of drinking and dancing!!!!!! No, MT, you wouldn't know about drinking sand... that was done by MM... drank it right out of her shoe :)

MultiplesMommy said...

Ahhh, the good old days. I think I still have the dress I was wearing when I drank sand (NOT an activity I recommend, by the way)...like MIQ, it no longer fits (and never will again without some SERIOUS plastic surgery), but who can get rid of the last vestiges of youth...thigh-length little black spandex dresses...the stuff of college-boys' dreams...

MommyTime said...

MM, It would probably fit again if you could just stick to that sand diet for a while longer. Just a thought... Now I know you're saying "d'oh, why didn't I think of that?!?"

MultiplesMommy said...

No MT, I think the sand diet would only make me look like the ocean...waves under spandex really are NOT attractive.... :-)

 

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