At what age do we unlearn how to dance? When I go to clubs now and see people my age (mid-50’s) dancing, they look so…so…horrid. So awkward. So uncoordinated. So uncomfortable. It’s almost painful to watch. You’ve seen them; you know what I’m talking about. I mean, they were probably good dancers…once…in their youth. But what happens to our groove? Do we lose it somewhere along the way? I’m sure that if I got out there on the dance floor I would look just as geeky and, you know, wrong as other old people.
Which brings me – sort of naturally - to my friend Hal Johnson. He posted this on his Facebook page tonight:
"Doing the prep work for my wife's fab lasagna, listening to Son Volt, and wishing my rotten kid would quit laughing at the way I dance in the kitchen."
See? Even him!
This post generated the kind of snarky, sarcastic comments you can imagine, which is about all Facebook is good for, let’s be honest. And I envisioned this big, tall moose of a guy writhing around spastically in his kitchen as he’s layering strips of pasta into a glass casserole dish (at least, I hope it was glass). And I’d bet that when he was younger, even Hal was a good dancer. Err…nah, on second thought, strike that – Hal was always tall. Tall people don’t make good dancers no matter how young or old they are. But I’ll bet he at least had rhythm. When I think about Hal fast-dancing now, the mental image I get is not pretty.
I live alone. I like to listen to music - dance music predominantly, sometimes very loud. And sometimes I catch myself in the mirror (the singular mirror that’s not in my bedroom) dancing to some ‘80s popsong (Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," say). It causes me to immediately stop and make a solemn vow that I will never…no matter how funky the tune and no matter how much alcohol I’ve consumed…do such a thing in public. Or in private for that matter.
We can only hope that Hal lives in a place where his neighbors cannot see in his windows.