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I could have danced all night

September 27, 2015

Had the best night of my life last night. In recent memory at least, for sure.

It was my friend Louise’s birthday do. I didn’t want to go. REALLY didn’t want to go. In a rugby club, while the match was on? People drinking? Emotions running high? Had to dress up in a suit? Well…

But I couldn’t shirk it, 40th is a milestone and she’s a good friend, and I thought my discomfort in wearing a suit would be worth it to avoid her disappointment or hurt feelings that I’d passed. So I went to my mother’s first to check on the dog and to get changed, then head into a nearby town to get picked up by Alex to take me up.

AT mum’s, with ten minutes to spare after I’d got back from going shopping for a bottle of wine (that I couldn’t find), I realised to my horror that I’d forgotten a shirt. Luckily I’d left some at mum’s, including the one the suit actually came with, very high quality, fancy, wedding-attire style. Perfect, I though, that’ll work with the bow tie perfectly. Yeah that’s right, I wore a bow tie xD Because (all together now!) bow ties are cool! I also took my bowler hat (because I left the fedora on the bus the other day coz I’m an idiot), and was ready just before Alex arrived. I also wore a three-quarter length black cashmere coat. So black coat, black shoes, black belt, black bow tie, black bowler, and a grey suit with crisp white shirt. (and black walking stick because I don’t trust my legs anymore.)

I. Looked. The Business.

We roll up outside the venue and I immediately hear a woman gasp “look at that he’s wearing a bowler hat!” and her friend observe “oh my god he’s even brought a cane.”

I swear I could hear the hip hop that plays when the dude with a cane, long coat and feather in his hat comes strutting round the corner

So we get in, everyone’s impressed with the bowler. Order of the day, have a smoke with my friends before heading in coz “in” is where all the people are and I don’t know anyone besides Alex, Tora, and Louise. Tora came wearing a dress that if I was a cartoon character would have had my jaw drop to the floor and my tongue roll out like red carpet. A full length ivory strapless dress with a few wide frills down its length, lace-up back, form fitting. The woman is 50 but she looked incredible and my heart beat faster looking at her. She was cold so I offered her my coat, which she wore like a cape for the rest of the night, looking like the sexiest mob boss you’ve never heard of.

The bowler hat was requested within minutes of me going into the main room and sitting down. Billie Jo and her achingly attractive friend Diana seemed to take a shine to me. I danced with them both, Billie Jo had broken her rib so was limited to doing the robot, so I did it with her – I did tai chi without the smooth edges, more jerky motions. It got a good reaction, and the DJ gave us a shout out for our robot ^.^

I spent a lot of time alternating dancing like a dad at a wedding (between being overweight, not having strong legs so much anymore, not trusting my joints, and just not being able to dance ) and going outside to cool off. I did little more than shift my weight a bit, occasionally club or wave my arms.. if I was one of the women I was with it’d be fine but I’m nowhere near hot enough to pull off such minimal effort lol. It was too loud inside with the music to really converse with anyone, so I’d have a dance, then go outside to cool off and talk to people and have a smoke. I was smoking a lot to use them up, deciding it would be mandatory so no point trying to quit before the night.

It wasn’t too long before Billie Jo asked to wear my bow tie, and that was the last I saw of it until the end of the night :p There was some talk of who’d get my shirt and trousers and I felt… attractive. I mean Diana is married, Billie Jo is a single mother with her hands full with a mentally ill son, but all the same the way they danced with me and stuff, I knew it wasn’t a seduction but I still felt like if things were different it might have been. I couldn’t act on any such thing of course if they were seriously seducing me, I still have my lady waiting for me, but it was still a different experience and enjoyable. At some point Billie Jo kissed me, just a peck on the lips, I think when she first asked for the bowler hat. First time I’ve been kissed in four years, it sent a thrill through me. Yknow that flash of “I knew that thing, once. I think that was it again.”

The rugby went on. With ten minutes to spare, the score was 25 – 25 between England and Wales. The last three or four times I’ve seen them play, Wales would gain an early lead and England would let them have their fun, then pull it together in the last 15 minutes and slaughter us. But not last night. With ten minutes left, England screwed up and Wales got a penalty kick. Boom. 3 points. Finals core was 28 – 25 to Wales, embarrassing England on their home turf. The noise of the reaction, I thought the place would come down, it was incredible.

As the evening wound to a close I was outside with Tora and Alex when Marina came out and asked for a cigarette. She said some stuff about how she doesn’t smoke, but someone at work who smokes 40 a day judges her because she bought a new car, with the money she’d saved from not smoking often (her last cigarette being three months ago.) Me, with a little rum in me and fairly relaxed after the festivities, spoke to her of the two kinds of people: the ones who lift others up, and the ones who tear them down. I spoke of Geoff Thompson and how he saved me, got me through a lot of my anxiety. After the conversation she went to go back inside but hugged me twice, said I was lovely, turned to Tora and said “oh he’s so lovely, isn’t he lovely?” I felt wise and generally… human.

I was just saying to them both, the night’s been grand, but I’m disappointed the DJ didn’t play Time Warp. Not 30 seconds later Tora pauses and goes ” can you hear that? It’s the time Warp!” we ran back inside, she flung my coat across a chair, and we assumed our position in the circle.

After the lights came back up I could see the bow tie was deposited on the table. The bowler was returned to me, much hugs were exchanged. I gave the bowler to Louise, and said tonight has been fantastic, I’d like you to have this. She said oh that’s lovely, I’ll give it back to you when I see you next. I said no, it’s yours to keep, a souvenir of a really, really good night. She liked that a lot. I thought she might, since out of everyone she wore the bow tie and hat more than anyone xD

The main thing I took from the night though isn’t just how much fun I had. Not how attractive or smart I felt. It was that I COULD feel those things. I thought I’d lost the ability forever. To feel genuinely liked, to feel comfortable among strangers, to dance without too much worry of what people thought of my moves, to sing along with others (it was the Time Warp, I HAD to!), and to feel desirable and attractive. To feel part of something. To feel welcomed. I’ve spent my whole life trying to feel like I did last night. Like I was meant to be there, I was where I belonged.

Fun sidenote: By helping others we help ourselves. I replied to a post on a message board to someone desperate for help, she was going out with friends and was really anxious. I told her to use confident body language, force a smile, they cause feedback loops in the brain and make it real, that sort of stuff. I spent a lot of last night following that exact advice, without which I think I would have had a very different experience. So the moral: Be compassionate and helpful to others, and you’ll feel good, or have the opportunity to feel less alone and crappy.

I know this is long but I’m not just bragging, I Wanted to share it, it’s a genuine, and a huge, win for me, and indirectly I feel, to others. It’s proof that this good stuff CAN happen. I never thought it would or could, but there it is, it did, and it was awesome. No reason at all why it can’t happen for you too.

You just have to roll up to a party wearing a bowler hat and bow tie ^.

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From → Motivation, Personal

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