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The girl you swore you’d never be…

27 Oct Posted by in Random Observations | Comments

mirror sphere in a night clubI’m in the gym today sweating through forty-five minutes of high intensity aerobics – okay, thirty minutes on the stairmaster – okay, so I was rowing, sue me, somebody’s got to use that machine and ten minutes is better than nothing. And they’ve got the music videos blaring from the TV above my head, and one of them is playing a song from back in the day and I had a flashback. No, back in the day is not the name of some new rap group, but rather a term I use to refer to the day when I was young, pretty (enough), athletic (or at least my thighs didn’t chafe when I walked), and I felt invincible. So, like I said, I had a flashback – no, not the one of me dancing on the bar singing Brown Eyed Girl to a group of rugby players from Jersey – but a flashback to my clubbing days.

Clubbing for those of you who led a less checkered past than I did, does not refer to the act of beating on some innocent victim with an oversized stick – but rather the art of walking into a dark club with a pack of overly made up women with whom you have just spent the past three hours getting ready to the beat of ABBA’s gold collection and a bottle of cheap wine. Clubbing refers to us strutting through the dark smoky club to the throbbing beat of disco hammering into our veins while the strobe lights cast intermittent shadows on the unidentifiable bodies twisting and gyrating to the beats of Aretha, the Bee Gees, KC,  the Village People – where one note was all you needed to launch into your favorite song about how you will survive, which you sang with a passion as if you had suffered at the ripe old age of twenty-two. Those were the deliciously vague days of my misspent youth. Anyway, I was busting a move in that flashback, and right when I was about to do the dance flip I was famous for, that I thought was sexy but was actually the start of my career in comedy, for no reason at all, she showed up in my flashback – completely uninvited, just like she was back then.

You remember her – the woman in the club who was about twenty-five years older than everyone else. The one who threw herself into a pack of twenty-somethings like she belonged – the one who had outgrown all the friends her age and simply refused to grow up – the one who eavesdropped on conversations and stayed until last call – the one whose highlights now highlighted  a face that showed what a lifetime of partying will do – and a raspy cough that kicked in every once in a while and forced her to sit this one dance out where she smoked and cheered us on from her stool on the sidelines  – the one who threw her hands up in the air and danced in the middle of the dance floor like nobody was watching – singing whether she knew the words or not – the one we swore we would never become. “If I ever show up in a bar when I’m that old, shoot me,” I said on more than one occasion. “That is just pathetic.”

So when did I become her age? When did I become the woman who would rather be home eating take out and watching reruns of Gray’s Anatomy – the one who doesn’t like to drive at night because she can’t see in the dark and there’s crazy people who come out after ten.  When did I stop driving down the highway singing at the top of my lungs to my favorite Meatloaf song? When did I grow so old? But even more important – when did I stop dancing?

Maybe we made fun of her then. But, God love her, maybe she was the lucky one after all. The one who knew life was short . The one who danced like it was her last dance – even if it meant looking foolish – who sang even if she didn’t know all the words. Now that I think about it, she wasn’t pathetic. She was living. I’m glad she showed up today. Good to see she’s still doing okay.

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