This past week I forced myself to go to a dance. I love the idea of dancing– the dressing-up and touch and music and skill involved. As I’ve written before, though, I’ve enjoyed it less and less over the years and resent getting dressed up and taking the time to go out and paying to get in somewhere, only to spend most of the evening on the bench.
Despite these misgivings, I made the effort once more. The entire drive there I kept considering turning around and going home, as I was tired and feeling like I’d been down this road enough to know it probably wasn’t going to be worth the effort. I will say there are one or two places where I do get asked to dance repeatedly and do have fun, but for the most part it’s been a losing endeavor.
I arrived and took a seat and a nice woman in a darling dress sat down next to me. We sat and sat. At some point she leaned over and said, “Look at all those men just standing around over there, not asking anyone to dance.” Every one of them was a decent dancer but I guess preferred to sit out a bunch of numbers due to fatigue or fear of asking someone new or disinclination to dance with anyone they considered beneath them. The woman next to me said she used to regularly attend this particular dance but had quit out of frustration and hadn’t been back in a long time. I shared her frustration, as this is something I’ve observed numerous times– men standing around not dancing, oblivious (or not) to the long row of women who have been sitting, sitting, sitting, waiting to dance.
I kept thinking that this is why I only participate in ballet and belly dance and other solo dance endeavors now– because when I go somewhere intending to dance, I want to dance! Somehow this seems like a good metaphor for my whole life at this time. If I want to do something, it’s entirely up to me.