Sunday, November 8, 2009

Experiment: The Singles Dance

Life is different since I lost weight, in a good way mostly. I have been trying to push myself to be brave and try things that I hadn't done because of being "too fat". Back in the "olden" days, I used to go to singles dances through Church a lot. Sometimes because it was my calling to go, sometimes I had lost some weight and thought what the heck who knows? A really, really long time ago when we had the singles ward here in my stake or even back at the U of A in Tucson, I really enjoyed them. That was mostly because I had a lot of friends who were single and you could have fun with the guys who were your friends no matter what.
It is different when you go by yourself. It is even more different when you go by yourself and you are big. I hadn't been to a dance in maybe 15 years. My memories of those occasions was showing up and being very scared. I would stand there and try to look nice and approachable. (You know they always tell you not to stand with your arms folded across your front!) My memory was I almost never got asked to dance. (There was one guy I met at a dance and dated for about 3 months) I would try and ask a few guys to dance. Mostly, I just thought it would be fun to dance. It was pretty much a miserable time. And after I broke up with the one guy, I stopped going. I didn't like running into him there. He was pretty angry with me.
So it's now a million years later and I have a new me. I have been dating but we don't know where that will go at this time. So I saw the flyer for the BIG Singles Conference. They have one in the Spring and Fall. I couldn't go to anything but the dances. So Friday, I get up at 4:30 am so I can be at work by 6 am. Then I work a very busy 12 hours. I come home and feed the dogs and decide maybe I can make it out there. It is so far in the east valley that it is almost in Apache Junction, 30 miles from my house.
It starts at 9pm and if you haven't been to a singles dance, what you don't know is that only the losers and the people putting it on are there at that time. Everyone else shows up between 10 and 11. Being the loser that I am and having gotten up at 4:30 am, I show up at about 9:15. There were probably only about 20 people there when I got there. I walked around the room and found a nice piece of wall to hold up and did NOT cross my arms across my chest. I was asked to dance on the 2nd song. AMAZING!!
It was a swing and it had been years and years, but I used to really like to do the swing. Probably the only "dance" I knew anything about. I think the poor guy was a little put off as I started to remember what I was supposed to do. But I had FUN doing it! So I went back to my wall with a genuine smile on my face.
A couple of songs later and another guys asked me to dance. So things are looking up I think. He was a sweet guy with some sort of developemental disability. At least I was dancing.
I held up the wall a little longer and this "older" guy came and asked me to dance. I believe the people at this dance were about 31 and up. He was on the up side. He REALLY liked me. He said he noticed me the minute I walked in. He immeadiately told me his name and "credentials" (his degrees, what he had done for a living and was retired). A little odd how a man seems to do that.
He kept me for 3 dances. Which was fine, I was enjoying the dancing. I was a little noncommittal and answered only what I needed to as far as his questions went. I lived in Phoenix. I was a nurse. I was not divorced, but never married. WELL...he was just amazed at the never married part. "A pretty girl like you?" It made me laugh inside. If you only knew buddy.
So I stood along the wall for a while more. All during this time, the room is filling with more and more people. And they also seem to be getting younger and younger. After awhile I feel like the old one. Lots of younger women doing things on the dance floor that I was surprized to see at a "Church" dance. Some shoulder and booty shaking. I wouldn't even know how to do those things, much less be uninhibited enough to do them!
But the cool thing for me, was that I felt confident and self assured. I wasn't particularly worried about standing there. I felt attractive whether anyone asked me to dance or not. And I had enjoyed the dancing I had done.
So the "older gentleman" comes ove again with a pen and paper and asks me for my phone number. No one has ever asked me that before and I had never thought about how to say no. So I gave it to him. I thought if I didn't have the guts to tell him no, it was just mean to give him a wrong number. He said he would like to take me out to a movie or something. I just smiled pleasantly at him and didn't know what to say. Honestly I think this guy is probably 65 to 72. I try to keep an open mind about who I might be interested in, but I knew I was not interested in this guy. And he was getting more and more earnest.
He danced with me another 3 dances in a row, all the while telling me more and more about himself. He told me he wrote poetry. I asked what kind? I was thinking, I don't know, maybe he writes cowboy poetry, he looks a little "western". He said love poetry. Inside I went "Oh no. Oh no no no no." Out side, I did nothing but smile pleasantly and avoided any eye contact.
The dance was getting pretty crowed by now and I was thinking maybe it was time to go. I was tired and the last few times I had danced, I had gotten a littly dizzy. My gentleman caller, came over again for a slow dance. He told me when I was ready to go he wanted to walk me to my car. I had enough sense about me to say, oh no, that is really not necessary. While we were dancing, he suddenly had to sneeze. He turned his head and covered his mouth with his hand. Then took my hand again. I have to say I was really grossed out. It wasn't wet, but well, just the idea I guess. I am not sure what people would ordinarily do. (Excuse me I have to go wash my hands. In the middle of a dance?) I don't know but I didn't like it. And I didn't like being the subject of his intense interest.
I moved away from where I had been standing most of the evening so that when I left, he wouldn't see me go. As I looked around the room at all the folks there, I just really missed the guy I have been seeing. A lot. So that was in and of itself an interesting peice of information for me.
So I left, just as the party was really getting started. It was only 10:30 but I was ready to go and had 30 miles to drive home. I don't think I will be in a hurry to go back, but it was fun to dance a little and it was nice to feel better about myself!


Anonymous said...

So esentially, the "dances" really haven't changed much, nor a few of the "creepy" guys!:)

Cynthia said...

Not bad, for a first dance in 15 years. Glad you had some fun.

Auntie Em said...

I laughed and laughed... and want you to know that "i feel your pain" I always seem to attract the odd balls. I LOVED your post.


Heidi said...

That is hilarious!! I couldn't stop laughing. It really is an art to appear available to the guys you want to be available to and discreetly disappear when the creepy ones come around. :)

Dana said...

You are a marvelous storyteller! I had such vivid memories of similar circumstances. Did you wash your hands before you left the dance????

We all miss you and think of you often, especially as Gracie is a Wizard of Oz addict just like her mama. Gracie has nearly worn out a dvd already!

Cecelia said...

I love your stories. You are the bravest woman I know and with such creative writing skills. I am glad that you went to the dance and had several dances--I don't know if I could have ever left THE WALL. Cecelia