I still love to dance. I dance around my living room with kids in my arms. I jam out in my car for about two hours, everyday, without fail. Sure, my mode of expression has changed a bit throughout the years....think more "Living Room Aerobic Striptease" in old sweats than "American Ballet Theater" in Danskin leggings......but I still love, love, love me some dance.
So when a dear childhood friend invited me to his Thirsty Thirty birthday party at a dance club about 30 minutes from my house, my mind went two ways:
and then very distinctly:
See, I know I've still got it.....I can still shake it like the old days. I can probably shake it even better than ever because of my post-twenties Mama curves. It's not the dancing that held me back. It was the other stuff...the top four reasons why I can't hang:
1. The "What do I Wear!??" Tornado
At one point in time, I worked at a small, but popular local bar as a cocktail waitress. I dressed to get tips - which essentially meant (for my customer group) I dressed like a little hooker. I had more teeny-tank tops and low-cut jeans than a Forever 21 store. Toss in some cute tattoos, blown-out hair, and comfortable wedges and I was ready to go from work to club to work again.
Things have changed a little. I now work at a corporate office. This office has a dress code. My boss has literally said, "You may think your tattoos are cool, but nobody else does. Cover them up." My professional clothes are comfortable and conservative. My Casual Friday work clothes are comfortable. My weekend clothes are comfortable. I'm officially that woman on those makeover shows who says she loves her style because it's comfortable.
Me, yesterday, right after returning home from Casual Friday (which has humorously been morphed into Flannel Friday by a few of my coworkers...and obviously....by me):
Soft AND functional!
Beautiful, jade-green flannel? Check. Tinted moisturizer with a little neutral eye makeup? Check. Messy hair-bun-pony-thing? Check. Prepped for post-work decompression time.
Except I couldn't. It was clubbin' time. I had to dig deep.
Any woman who's tried to revisit a lifestyle she hasn't seen in a while can relate to The Try-On Pile. This pile starts small but grows larger and larger over time...not unlike your frustration. And no, the paint cans and tape weren't a part of my clubbin prep session. They're just another sign of the times...when home projects and DIY become more exciting than a trip to the mall.
About an hour into this mess, I was swimming in clothes and tears, confident I was incapable of delivering a sexy look to Jens over 30. It wasn't happening.
And then I found this little gem, way back in the hidden depths of my closet....an item I purchased for my husband, back when we were young and side-boob turn-on wasn't tainted by years of seeing me whip 'em out to feed our children.
Zowie! This might just be skank enough, I'd thought.
I paused.....gazed longingly at my favorite night-out companion....
Sorry Jenks, my favorite Spanx, not tonight. Tonight I was gonna let it all out. Literally.
2. The "Driving Miss Daisy" Syndrome
I am a good driver. I've gotten into so many accidents I can literally smell them coming now. Gives me a little extra reaction time. It's a gift.
I don't, however, like driving in the dark, during a winter storm warning, after just being told I needed new tires and brakes soon. But I was closest to the club and I knew the route really well....because....well because....
.....it was my work route.
Any commuter will tell you - driving your work route when you aren't going to work might be one of the most painful experiences of your life. There you are, during your off-time, 12 hours later, driving the same route, under the same dark sky, surrounded by the same stupid crappy traffic, only this time dressed in crazy slut clothes and headed to a club you're not even sure you want to go to.
Luckily, I had a good co-pilot. She kept me from turning the car around at every intersection and cheered me up by chatting with me the whole ride over. Sure did beat my normal, pre-work, red-light dozing sessions.
3. The "Too Old for Tolerance" Attitude
Back in the day, I wanted everyone to like me. I cared about their opinions and put up with way more shit simply because I had the strength and motivation to tolerate it.
Not so much anymore.
If this dance club had a lawn, I woulda been the old lady sitting out there yelling at kids to get off it.
I don't want to be pissed off. I don't want to deal with drunk drama, or couples arguing, or weird older people with the words "sexual desperation" written all over them, or girls who apparently enjoy speaking to three-legged ghosts:
I just wanted to see my buddy, who happened to arrive with an entourage of super-hotties. They were all sweet, no complaints from me. I could've mingled and gotten to know them. Instead, I hung with my girlfriend and we stood and stared at the dancing people. I found myself reminiscing and feeling the energy of the place. I remembered it quite easily....the music, the smells, the air thick with potential and freedom. I remembered why I liked it so much. But I still didn't get on the dance floor. Can't really tell you why. It could've been the fact I'd been up since 4AM and was pretty dang tired or it could've been the fact I had to keep an eye on the girls because they kept popping out of my slut shirt. Whatever the reason, I spent the majority of my night on the balcony of our reserved upstairs space just people-watching. It actually worked out quite well. Had I been busy mingling I would've missed this dude:
Can't tell from the pic but he had a huge white beard and was shufflin all night. He was my favorite.
My anti-social behavior also gave me the chance to really hang with my girls:
And yep, it even afforded me, the uptight worrier, the opportunity to stare out the window of a hoppin' and poppin' dance club and check the snow accumulation:
I didn't want to get stuck in the eye of the storm, guys. I had to keep abreast of the latest weather developments. The rest of humanity may be able to dance their life away and get blitzed out of their mind but I had two bald tires and a 6AM wake up call to prep for. This window was my ally.
Speaking of wake up calls....
4. The Wake Up Call
I left early last night, thanks to my willing and understanding co-pilot. We took off around 12:30 and I was home by 1:15AM. By the time the Diet Cokes wore off, I was looking at about four hours of sleep, max.
So you can only imagine how beautiful and ethereal I looked when I arose cheerfully from my restful slumber.
The thing I've realized since having kids is that you can't just fudge it. When I would stay out until 2 or 3AM in my younger years, the only person I had to care for the next day was myself. If I had to work, I would go, fudge my way through it, and then go home. I didn't have this little person depending on me to provide her with not only her basic needs, but with love and patience, two things I certainly wasn't feeling this morning.
Makes it hard to justify a night out when you've got this face to answer to:
I had a great time. I loved seeing my girls and my buddy on his birthday. I loved people watching and the drive home was a snap. I'm glad I went.
But I'm suckin today. I've been impatient all day. I didn't get anything done. My eyes have that weird burning thing going on. I didn't work out. I threw a major fit and Aaron literally put me in time out for 30 minutes (again). I'm pretty much worthless.
I'm tellin ya, I can't hang like I used to. But I sure can dance around living room furniture like a pro....who's with me?
Thanks for reading :)