When British authors go dancing

I agreed to the wine tasting. That was it—just a wine tasting.

When a friend asked me to go dancing at a local restaurant that turns into a complete pickup joint every Friday night, I turned her down in no uncertain terms.

“No way. I met a guy for drinks there once and it’s heinous. In fact, heinous is too kind a word. Wild horses couldn’t drag me there.”

“Come on,” she yelled. “Why are you being so difficult?”

Nonsense, I thought. I’m nothing if not delightful.

After wheedling and cajoling with no success, she came back with another offer. “How about a wine tasting?”

Sold. Count me in.

Three of us met, on a cold Friday night, at the wine tasting. It was filled mainly with middle-aged couples and women of a certain age (that we haven’t reached yet—but it’s out there in the distance). I could see the disappointment on one of my compadres’ faces. She couldn’t be bait because there were no fishermen.

I, on the other hand, hate being bait. Which is why I will have to meet my future soulmate anywhere other than an arena in which I’m being looked up and down with the end result a rating from one to 10.

We finished our wine (mediocre, at best) and our conversation (better than the wine), then headed out to our respective cars. That is when the night took a strange turn. As if on cue (I swear they rehearsed it), my fellow oenophiles each grabbed an arm and threw me in the backseat of their car.

“You’re going dancing.”

I protested as we drove. “I’m tired. I have to work tomorrow. And besides, I’m dressed for a winter wine tasting, not dancing. Look at me. I’m a perfect British author. I’m the modern-day Emily Brontë.” And I was—black turtleneck, ruffled gray skirt to my ankles, pointy black boots.

Twenty minutes later, Emily Brontë was busting a move on an overcrowded dance floor, smack in the middle of the heinousness. Because she is nothing if not practical. I mean, when you have at least an hour to kill in a middle-aged meat market—you can either try to avoid the awkward staring or you can dance with your friends.

Let’s just say I was the only black turtleneck on the dance floor, amid a bevy of one-shouldered, how-can-you-sit-down-in-that sequined dresses. I got to meet my friend’s new boss, who—in an awkward moment—realized she had spotted him. After assuring us he had dropped by for the “first time ever” because someone had told him this place had “good salads” (I’m still trying to figure out what that might mean, in guy talk), he then proceeded to slink away. We politely did not mention that his salad was four hours ago. We also politely looked away when we saw him making out with a woman he had just met, an hour later.

All this by way of saying: The place lived up to my memory of its ick factor.

I danced with my friends. I met a lovely dental hygienist with a broken foot who had accompanied her divorced brother so he wouldn’t have to fly solo. “I’m married 20 years,” she said. “The fact that I’m here shows you how much I love my brother.” As we bemoaned feeling like fish out of water, I looked around. Man, there was a lot of loneliness in this place. I realized I’d much rather granny it up fireside on a Friday night, reading a really good book, instead of being here with a pulsing beat and men in search of “a good salad.”

To top it all off, as I danced up a storm, a lone cocktail napkin brought me down. Suddenly, I was flat on my back, staring up at the ceiling in a sea of dancing bodies. Before I knew it, four pairs of strong hands lifted me back to my feet. I turned to find what looked like the Russian mafia smiling at me. I thanked them as well as the sequined woman who picked up the culprit—a lone cocktail napkin that had caught on my spiked heel.

When British authors go dancing . . . you just never know what might happen.

Unless you do.

My boogie nights will now be limited to weddings and my own family room.

Black turtleneck optional.



33 Comments Add yours

  1. Ouch! Sorry about your fall, but at least you learned something that night, what you like and what you don’t!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I already knew:). But it’s nice to know I’m consistent, if nothing else . . .

  2. Yessss. Rock that black turtleneck!

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, Maybe again, come October :-). Summer in Chicago does not make black turtlenecks very comfortable.

  3. Amy says:

    Emily Brontë, you are bona fide delight! I’m sorry you were felled by a cocktail napkin, but I’m grateful you emerged unscathed. I’m proud of you for busting a move even though you didn’t particularly feel like it. You’re a good friend. xxx

    1. candidkay says:

      Well, finally. Someone who recognizes my delightfulness:). And yes, I’m laughing as I type it. I am sure you would have been a good friend in this situation also . . . despite having to break out our 80s dance moves:).

  4. Haha, great fun and I can perfectly understand why you’d rather sit by the fire! Those Brontes were party girls 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      I had a feeling you’d understand😉

  5. Masha says:

    You’re hysterical, LOL, brought me back to my hanging out days and remembering all the shananagans from both men and women and the ones I myself participated in. Thanks for the memories LOL

    1. candidkay says:

      Glad I could help you stroll down memory lane:). I’m sure it was less painful than my actual experience in this club! 🙂

  6. srbottch says:

    A fun story. Let me ask you, do you think women go to these joints to size up men, 1-10, too. Our daughter will be 40 soon (she’s so depressed), single and says she doesn’t need a man to be happy. Well, she sort of does and it worries us that she hadn’t found one, yet. She’s a good looker, smart, has a nice job …but she doesn’t go dancing. I won’t suggest she does! By the way, are you British, or did I miss a point?

    1. candidkay says:

      I was born here. Part of my ethnic heritage is British :-). But, if you look at where I describe my outfit, I say I look like a certain British author:). And your daughter! She doesn’t need a man. None of us do. But it is nice to have a partner to go through life with, isn’t it? You are one smart father not to suggest she go dancing :-). She’ll meet him in her own way!

    2. candidkay says:

      Oh, and as far as the sizing up goes, absolutely. There are plenty of women that do size man up with a number. I, thankfully, I am not one of them!

  7. Very fun recap of your dancing adventures! I would have to be dragged to a bar too, but the dancing would be fun. Kudos for rolling with the tide and making it fun.

    1. candidkay says:

      I did say Wild horses couldn’t drag me there. But I guess my friends are stronger than wild horses :-).

      1. The price of friendship. 🙂

  8. markbialczak says:

    Sometimes the reminder of what’s best for you and what’s worst for you is a good thing, except for that lone napkin and dance floor spill, of course, Kay. The next things in life will occur in the right manner for you, I have the feeling.

    1. candidkay says:

      I like that feeling you have, Mark :-).

  9. I love dancing, but my friends and I are livingroom specialists. My favourite line though… “I’m nothing if not delightful.” I was glad to have swallowed my coffee first 😂

    1. candidkay says:

      Nothing like moving the furniture, cranking the tunes and dancing in your own living room :-). I’m glad the art is not lost on you!

  10. Roy McCarthy says:

    Haha. We have a similar joint here in Jersey (C.I.) which is colloquially known as Jurassic Park. The last refuge of the ageing and/or lonely. It does a roaring trade 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, the name! Ouch:). I think I will skip a visit to that place!

  11. lol…oh the world we live in. I must admit to wondering just what it may feel like to be in a place where the eyes of the male population dances over your body, and to make it worse, not knowing if its friendly fire or just full of lust. Don’t get me wrong, it is part of the attraction game, but if you are not a confident person in any way it must be torture.
    I have heard that if its just a ladies night out you really have a great time. Males seem to just spoil the inclination to ‘just be you’ and enjoy…too much riding on it…like maybe ‘he’s the one’ 😀
    Great post, suss friends…but I bet you enjoyed it anyway, it does feel good to just let your hair down occasionally and be free 😀

    1. candidkay says:

      I love to dance. That’s the thing. So dancing was wonderful😊. It was the setting I wish I could have changed. Where the feminist in me gets going as-my male friends walk out of their house in the morning with a splash of water on their face. I am not sure if most of them even look in the mirror. My female friends have these rituals in order to make themselves presentable to the world. Which iinvolve painting their face, fixing their hair and just the right outfit. And society doesn’t seem to think twice about that. It puts females in a position of being in a beauty contest every day. And for those who weren’t raised with a mother like mine-who emphasized self-worth other than beauty-that can be a challenge each day.

  12. Perhaps a black turtleneck with sequins?

    1. candidkay says:

      NOW you’re talking:).

  13. Dale says:

    Oh Kristine!

    You had me in stitches on this one… And bloody hell can I relate. Having done the dating sites, I can tell you that it ain’t gonna happen no mo’! It’s so much work and frankly, not worth the effort.

    However, I would go dancing with girlfriends and have a great time – ignoring the meat market part…. Usually when I’m there with them, I’ll just enjoy myself, not giving a rat’s patootie…

    When I make it to Chicago (and I will) wanna go out and have fun, Emily? I’ll be Charlotte!

    1. candidkay says:

      Ooh, the Bronte duo! I love that:). I’m in, for sure. And you’re right–the dating sites are hooey. But I hope your dashing man is still in the picture?

      1. Dale says:

        I thought you might 😉
        They suck. Um… dashing man from before May? No…. He was a nice guy and all but just not for me.

      2. candidkay says:

        Darn. I thought I remembered a man who was handy helping you with your repairs–and I was happy you found someone who was of such help . . .

      3. Dale says:

        So much help that my house is for sale thanks to him. I shall forever be grateful for his huge help. That said, we had very little in common. Like I said, nice guy but a tad too simple for me.

      4. candidkay says:

        I completely get it! But so glad he was able to help . . .

      5. Dale says:

        Me too. And there was no anger. I still see him once in a blue moon at the golf club.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Drop me a line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s