After accepting I have been over indulging in fatherhood and under-indulging in self I decided to do something for myself. I seem to collect hobbies rather than actively partake in any of them, our tiny little house is full of remnants of hobbies gone by. Bikes, surf boards, snowboards, tennis racquets, fishing rods and camping gear all jostle for space and serve the purpose of allowing me to present to myself as a sporty daredevil living life to the max (rather than the Max)!
I read a review about a Hipster gathering called No Lights No Lycra. The premise is simple, take a large room, fill it with 20 something alternative types, turn off the lights, play deafening music and everyone responds by dancing like mad folk. A nightclub/gym if you will for those who are too cool to go to nightclubs or gyms and are certainly too cool for Lycra (unless it’s somehow ironic Lycra purchased from American Apparel). That sounds like just the ticket!
I have a strange relationship with dancing, I’m absolutely terrible at it and often get pointed at or openly laughed at when I throw some irregular shapes but like a Dad to beer I keep going back for more. My parents used to send me to ballet classes when I was a lad, the lure of 50p pocket money was dangled to good effect. Surprisingly I was the only boy in the class and the girls took great delight in laughing at what I will generously call my pirouette. I also inextricably found myself opting to go on a dancing holiday with my school, as if that wasn’t enough fodder for the playground bullies I had to perform the “piece” I had learnt at assembly. I may as well have just walked around in a t-shirt saying “punch me I thoroughly deserve it”.
Go and do something for yourself they said. You’ll meet new people they said. It’ll be fun they said. Never one to turn down a challenge I fish through my wardrobe looking for something that suggests I’m young, hip and know it, in the end I have to settle for I’m getting on a bit and know it. On arrival I am confronted by a posse of Melbourne’s trendiest young things (I think posse is the collective term for trendy young things?). At this moment I knew I should probably have jumped right back in my car and sped back to the sanctuary of home but the sadist in me convinced the sensible me that it would be fun to get down with the kids. Could I just say that I am a shoe in for having a midlife crisis, I will be writing a post one day about my blonde highlights and Harley Davidson, you have been warned.
Suddenly my fellow exhibitionists start stretching and contorting their bodies into all manner of shapes, I opt for a fairly conservative touch of the toes, except I can’t actually reach my toes and have to settle for just below the knees. The stretching becomes more frenetic until I can’t actually decipher if we are stretching or dancing, I think we might be dancing. I find a suitable spot to let go of myself and loose all my inhibitions, a quiet corner facing a wall. One of the alpha trendies starts the music, I resisted the strong urge to ask “could someone please turn that down a little?” Okay then body, it’s just me and you, don’t let me down. I start off gently with a nice foot tap, the left foot, and throw in the occasional shoulder dip and perhaps a nod of the head. “Slow down Rossy, don’t reveal all you’re magic in one go, try to hold something back.” I move fairly seamlessly into alternate foot tapping and things are going swimmingly, perhaps I will invest in some black rimmed spectacles for the next class and get an angular haircut?
Without warning a couple of females enter my corner, I made it mine the second I threw down that first foot tap. One of them makes a beeline towards me, I wasn’t sure what game she was playing but I didn’t like it one little bit. Standing opposite me she then shakes her fists and screams “COME ON!” Come on what, this is all I’ve got? I now decide that I am completely out of my depth and want to go home immediately, unfortunately my route is blocked by her side kick who is writhing on the floor. I consider asking if everything is okay but it dawns on me that she is exhibiting some sort of uninhibited form of dance. The corner that was my little oasis and best friend is now very much turning into my idea of hell. The sadist in me is crying quietly to himself and leaving the sensible me to pick up the pieces.
I wrack my brain for a way out and after a little bit of wracking I come up with a cheap but versatile trick that has got me off many a dance floor in the past. I clutch my head and feign dizzyness, I am worried that this may be taken as a contemporary dance move and even convince myself that I get a nod of approval from a suitably alternative looking chap opposite. I shuffle discretely along the back wall and reach for the door, I push through it and run the first few steps until the music becomes distant and a feeling of elation surges through my uncoordinated body.
I promise myself that I will never again listen to ‘them’ and from this point forward will go back to living life to the Max rather than the max.