You know that dream where you walk into a party and you’re naked? Well, in my dream I’m underdressed, which, if your a woman, can be just as awkward (It’s been my experience men don’t give a hooey how they look. Whatever; this isn’t about men.)
When a woman walks into a room fabulously dressed or horrendously under-dressed, it’s all about what the other women are seeing (and judging), and I was so fucking lucky to have that experience tonight. . . .
Tonight was tango “practice.” Notice the word “practice” as in casual, put your feet up, break out the chips and beer/diet soda. Do you dress up to go to the gym? Walk the dog? Go running? Do your homework? –the answer we are looking for is “no”, if your answer is yes, go away. I’m annoyed by you already.
Practice used to be a casual night of hanging out and practicing, low key, drink beer, throw moves around the dance floor, show up as you are. And tonight, I did, kind of–does a woman REALLY ever go anywhere w/o a swipe of lipstick or a fluff of her hair? Still, I felt very under-dressed. When I wasn’t looking, practice night became fancy party night. Nearly every woman was in a nice dress, heels, earrings, makeup, drinking wine, in wine glasses. No jeans, no pony tails, no come-as-you-are, unless you always look like that, then once again, go away.
At my very heart, I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I grew up in the mountains and I’ve never gotten over it. I like to dress up from time to time–I really do–but at the end of any party, dinner, occasion that requires heels and lipstick, I’m ready to pull on my jeans with a deep “sigh. . . .”
So, in my feelings of underdressed-ness I couldn’t escape fast enough. If I didn’t feel completely ridiculous, I would have turned five feet in the door and left, but I stayed, eased in, danced a dance, drank some water, smiled some, laughed when I was supposed to and slid out the door.
I miss the old studio. It was a downtown dive, a converted art loft, rickety old building, ridiculously steep, smelly stair well, a single bathroom down the hall, bring your own toilet paper style. It was for the brave, the slummers, the anti-glitter crowd. I loved it.
Last week, I was running errands with R. when he about wet himself at the sight of this:
He was so enamored over the thing he made me take a picture. It’s a car. It’s black. Yes, it’s a Ferrari and it’s worth a ridiculous fortune, but honestly I couldn’t care less, which is why R and I don’t date. He likes his women to look like this car (he denies this.) But I like my men to look like . . . a Toyota truck . . . with kayak racks . . . and a dog. Which brings me back to tonight (honestly, it does) and practice, and all the fancy dresses and fancy women, some laughing a little too hard and the lack of . . . ease, I guess is the right word.
Men would not understand this, let alone see it, but the women were working the room tonight. Feathers were being strutted, preened and shown for each other. It’s feeling a bit ridiculous, showy, cumbersome–and there lies the big bummer–or not. I’m just not that party girl anymore. I just don’t care that much.
R. love to tell me, “loosen up,” and the next time he tells me this I’m going to grab his gonads and tell him he needs to leave. me. alone.
I love dancing tango. And real laughter. And good friends. But I’ve done the “scene” and I’m done with it. The joy has fizzled in the all-too-glittery room which is a bit sad, but my cue to leave. This mountain girl may need to find new digs for heartfelt fun and true laughter.