Well, hey there, internet. You’re looking good. Apologies for my recent hiatus from blog writing — November knocked me completely out. I spent every weekend in one Bloomington or another, witnessing weddings, funerals, and grad school interviews, battling tornadoes, complimenting my father on his lady’s lingerie. All of this is true. It was a topsy-turvy time. Chicago is quiet and commonplace by comparison, even considering the homicide outside my neighbourhood custard shop on Monday.
That sentence seems quite normal to me. I don’t know how I should feel about that.
Since funerals are depressing and my father swore me to secrecy regarding his stint in lacey pants (which, incidentally, is incredibly hard to resist talking about), I will instead regale you with anecdotes from the wedding I attended. It has led me to one conclusion: straight boys should learn how to dance.
This isn’t some sort of social commentary or a statement on gender differences and our culture’s obsession with body shaming. I could go on about that for days, particularly after a bottle of wine and a couple hours of yelling at the Twilight movies. This, however, is a simple observation on how heterosexual men kind of shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to this particular courtship ritual.
Let me drop a truth bomb on y’all: ladies love to dance. We just do. I have met many a woman who has claimed that she can’t/doesn’t/won’t dance. People can be self-conscious. A girl doesn’t want to start busting out her best dice-throwing moves only to discover an entire room of party-goers staring at her lack of talent. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t start boogying when her favourite MOVITS! song pops up on her iTunes playlist while she’s at home cleaning floors in her Batman jimmy-jams.
…Not that I would know.
I think the thing I most enjoy about life post-college is the fact that so much of the embarrassment I felt about my body and the way I move has fallen away, drowned in a delicious layer of who-gives-a-crap. I remember tagging along to my first Chicago wedding, hopping on the dance floor, and realising that nobody cared what I looked like. It was a theatre wedding, friends of a very good friend of mine from back home, and no one gave two vodka tonics about my one-woman recreation of that scene from The Breakfast Club. Everyone just wanted to have a good time.
I love to dance. I do. Not in the let’s-just-go-out-and-dance sense. I’ve never been one for loud noises and clubs make my palms sweat. But if I’m at a wedding with my girlfriends and Shout starts blaring, I’m the first one on the dance floor. If I’m having Fancy Lady Fun Night at The Green Mill and an older gentleman asks me to take a turn, I’m swinging with the best of them.
Grooving with my awesome friend Liz at a wedding last month, I found myself looking around the dance floor at the opposite-sex dance partners. From what I could tell, all of the men dancing were either happily coupled or gay (or both). This resulted in an unfounded observation, which will now be labelled as completely true because I’m putting it on the internet: straight men who dance get the girls.
Think about it.
It’s not so much a matter of talent, although a man who is an actually good dancer is more than swoon-worthy. It’s a question of willingness. It’s the ability to let go of insecurities and have a good time. It’s about touching and moving and flirting. There’s a reason why your mum was sighing while watching The Mask of Zorro. Antonio Banderas has got some moves.
And here’s the even better thing: we don’t really care if you’re a good dancer. We just want to have fun. It might even be better if you make an absolute tit of yourself! That shows you’re willing to be goofy and you’re having fun, too.
And you’ll definitely get bonus points if you do all of that in Batman pyjamas.