You know what I miss? School dances. I’m talking a new dress, VO5 Hot Oil treated hair, painted nails and Chanel No5 kind of night.
Once you’re decked out, your friends pick you up in their car and you all scream for no reason. You arrive at the school you attend every day, but suddenly it seems a little magical.
You enter a room alive with the driving beat of “Walk this Way” ringing through the stream-i-fied cafeteria. You link arms with your best girlfriends and get drinks, toasting each other with the classic song that my best friend and I would sing when boyfriendless:
“Here’s to the men that love,
And here’s to the men that love us,
But the men that we love aren’t the men that love us,
So to hell with the men . . . here’s to us!”
You stand together talking loudly, knowing that the talking is just a cover until somebody asks you to dance. Your heartbeat picks up as the guy you were hoping for walks your way. After a couple of hours (or immediately) you kick off your shoes and dancing so hard you could eat another 1100 calories when you get home and still lose weight. I tested that several times.
Of course, we always look at the past through rose-colored glasses. I also remember entering dances with just one friend, noticing that most of my friends were not present, and being asked to dance by the guy that threw his arms around like he was being attacked by bees. Or the night I had a cystic acne place show up on my face that swelled to the size of a rock and I spent the entire night telling everyone it was a bee-sting.
Or having to wear pads under my arms because I would sweat all the way down the side of my dresses. Seriously, by the end of the night sweat would line by maxi-halter dress, starting at the pit and going all the way to the floor.
But I still miss it. I remember hearing “Play that Funky Music” and losing my mind, throwing my arms up in the air and running onto the dance floor to prepare for the line dance. And I remember Jack, who could waltz me across the cafeteria floor like a Prince.
I miss the chance we were all given to celebrate, to laugh, and to play.
Now, according to commercials, we dance with our mops and spend extensive amounts of time pondering how to eat that corn-on-the-cob with our dentures.
I’m not done playing, and I’ve never asked my mop to dance. I think we should organize Dame dances across the country. Rent out a cheap hall, find a D.J., and invite any women who want to come. Then, we spend the entire night singing loudly and dancing badly. But we won’t care.
Because we will have found our inner joy and asked it to come out and play. Even if only for one night.