Dancing with Girls

Posted on Wednesday 24 September 2008

It is Tuesday night at the hip, cool nightspot close to my apartment. I am meeting my hip, cool, confident girlfriend here for “a” drink. An early night is what I need, after being up late both Sunday and Monday.

My re-entry to South Florida has been a rough one. I miss the Colorado pace and mindset, where so many people seem to gravitate toward a seemingly unending smorgasbord of active, healthy, outdoor options. I can’t help but contrast there to the great outdoors here, where I see so many who maintain a daily diet of booze, bar food, and cigarettes, and then convince themselves that “healthy” means sweating out the impurities at the beach.

And no, I am not judging anyone. I am certainly no stranger to toasting myself at night and pushing myself to run four miles at noon in hopes of rinsing my stupidity away in beads of salty regret.

But it is Tuesday, and I am dressed in a work dress that works quite well at this hip spot. My daughter has been calling me all day with updates on “the apartment I found in the coolest town, and you will LOVE it.” I love her, and I love that she wants me near to her, and I am even considering renting it and making the move across country that’s attached to it. But I am having enough trouble straddling lifestyles in the here and now. At this moment, I just want a drink, and if some dumb guy wants to buy it because that’s what guys do at this hip, cool nightspot, then great. As long as I don’t have to talk to him or his dumb-ass friend.

“It’s 70s and 80s night,” says my cool, hip, confident friend. “And this band is unbelievably good.”

“Great music, good wine, day two at work done–I’m in,” I tell her.

Tuesday is not a particularly big night at this place. But the GM or the owner or someone in charge knows their stuff, because they always have a first-class band booked even on the slowest of nights, and this one is supreme. The lead singer is tall and curvaceous and the antithesis of model-thin. She has shaved her head. And she is utterly comfortable in her body and her talent, and this confidence sets her free to sing from the deepest chambers of her heart.

She makes me want to cry. Because she has it. She gets it. All of it.

A few sales reps masquerading as drunken sailors get the dance floor going as they and their partners stumble through renditions of a vague form of the Hustle. A grey haired gentleman at whom I would normally look twice asks me to dance. “Oh, maybe in a few songs,” I tell him. Because I am mesmerized by the lead singer and her sax player, her drummer, her bassist, her guitar player. But mostly, by her.

Because she is smiling and singing and dancing on stage, so very, very comfortable in her skin, and she couldn’t care less about the drunken sailor guys trying to dance, or the gaggle of guys at the bar who are studying their cell phone screens while watching the done blondes in front of them. She doesn’t care that my friend and I are now onto drink three beyond the one we said we were having, because we can’t tear ourselves away. From her.

“Let’s dance,” says my hip, cool, confident friend when my all-time favorite Tina Turner song comes on.

I do not hesitate. Neither does she. And as we start to laugh and move about the dance floor, singing along with our mentor, another girl joins us. Then another. And another. And soon we are a dance floor of women–all women–dancing with our hearts in our smiles, with our hopes in our waving arms, with our momentary collective confidence in being okay with our myriad shapes and sizes and talents and places in life.

In this spontaneous girl dance at the hip, cool nightspot, it was never about anything but us girls being girls. The girls we were. The girls we are. The girls we accept and embrace.

Change is in the air for this gal. And wherever it leads, I will never forget how, when I stood on the cusp of a decision, my life was affirmed in a single moment as I danced with my girls.

9 Comments for 'Dancing with Girls'

  1.  
    Rose Royce
    September 25, 2008 | 12:22 am
     

    Oh dear God let that wind blow my way . . . I am so sick of everything! I wish I could pack up and move to a real city and not this boring, limited edge of an almost city/ town that the economy has parked me in! Yeah RG you rock! You roll! Grab life by the horns and suck the life out of it! Dance, dance, dance . . . for all of us who feel that life has trapped us and there is no tomorrow that isn’t exactly like today; dance for those who’ve never danced and will die from the boredom that is their world!

  2.  
    Suz
    September 25, 2008 | 1:31 am
     

    “You Better Be Good To Me!”

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3.  
    Joe
    September 25, 2008 | 10:47 am
     

    Freedom is a wonderful muse! Sometimes stressful, but altogether rewarding!

  4.  
    Texas Fan
    September 25, 2008 | 11:17 am
     

    RG you always have a way of bringing a breath of fresh air to the morning

  5.  
    Jennifer
    September 25, 2008 | 10:10 pm
     

    Darlin, there is NOTHING in this world more affirming than a group of gals dancing to Tina. And I mean that from the very depths of my being. I have SO been there and SO done that, and I left that floor feeling that there was nothing I couldn’t do.

    Your job is to take all those great feelings, and realize that the one person in your life who’d better be good to you IS you. FYI: Rouletta and the rest of us figured that out ages ago. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6.  
    September 26, 2008 | 8:31 am
     

    nice. and yes, colorado is a brilliant place. just stay out of the suburbs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7.  
    Kris
    September 26, 2008 | 10:34 am
     

    Dance, RG. Dance wherever you your heart leads you to.

  8.  
    September 26, 2008 | 2:47 pm
     

    I thought Florida would be healthy – California is full of bright slim muscles.
    But yes, dance

  9.  
    October 3, 2008 | 6:24 pm
     

    I have never been to CO, but everyone I know who’s lived there tells me they love it there.

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