My phone no longer has its original backing. The battery just kind of sits there, sadly exposed without a little navy blue piece of plastic to cover it. Why, you ask? Because I dance-trampled that little piece of plastic into dust in the middle of a dance floor in a dark bar filled with loud music. That was right before I went to the nearest open-at-4-a.m. restaurant and ate an entire serving of cheesy bread meant for 4 people…by myself. And it was glorious. Welcome to my going out ritual.
When I turned 21 and could finally go to real bars, all of the awkward-ness of frat parties (why God, why) faded away into a distant sad memory. In these bars and their dance floors, my inner rock star could shine. I was finally given a stage to show off my dance skills to the awaiting public (aka a non-interested crowd). Never mind the fact that what I believe are Step Up-worthy dance moves are more likely related to the moves of a seizure-prone giraffe. It doesn’t matter. On that dark alcoholic slip-and-slide of a dance floor, I can be a hip-hop diva. I can be standing there, just people-watching, and then all of a sudden that one song comes on that’s been in the Top 20 for a week and I can just be like OH MY GOD THIS IS MY SONG, EVERYONE GET OUT OF MY WAY, I JUST NEED TO DANCE. And watch out world, I have been released.
Girls have a genetic make-up somewhat similar to that of salmon. When it’s time for salmon to lay their eggs, something turns on in their brains and they start swimming upstream towards their old breeding grounds. When girls feel that it’s time to just dance already, they start searching for areas of higher altitude: tables, stages, balconies, railings, and roofs. I don’t know why girls need higher flat planes to boogie on…but we do.
It’s during those frantic searches for surfaces to dance on that guys believe it’s a socially acceptable time for them to come up and just start grinding. I’m going to use the term “socially acceptable” loosely. I mean it more as “he’s likely not going to get arrested in the next ten minutes” acceptable. There are never any greetings, no eye-contact, no politely asking if it’s okay if he just enters my personal space by about 10 feet. We’re just going to jump right in to the equivalent of a two-person slam-dance. A girl can have one of two reactions: either her friends give her a thumbs up/ear pull/wink and smile indicating that yes, she should keep dancing with this guy. Or, instead, my usual go-to: I turn and try to tell the guy “look, I’d rather try to drown myself in my plastic cup holding 3 ounces of vodka and cranberry juice then continue to be near your thrusting pelvis any longer”. But since the music is always so loud, I just kind scream “no thank you” and dance/flail away.
When girls need a break from dancing, there’s always the option of the sacred pilgrimage to the bar bathroom. Who doesn’t love the feeling of being all types of model FIERCE on the dance floor as they shimmy around, and then looking in the mirror in the bathroom (which ALWAYS has fluorescent lighting) and going ‘Sweet mother of God, what happened? Was I dipped in a sauna when I wasn’t looking? Why did no one tell me that my eyeliner was making some sort of tribal mask down to my lips? When did my top fall that low? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?” There is a moment of panic, followed by frantic scrubbing with paper towel. The chaos has been repaired, and you can head back out to the dance floor to reclaim your spot on stage.
Going out usually has the same formula (at least for me). Get dressed up, make a lot of wild promises with my friends for the crazy night we'll have, go drink at the bar, dance a lot, and then close the night out with a discussion of the night's success while eating an exorbitant amount of food. It might not always be glamorous, or even that fun to my more wild friends, but my inner (and very needy) rebel enjoys the chance to say “screw what you’re thinking, I AM dominating this 10 inch patch of floor” every other weekend.
So move aside ladies…this is MY song.