Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ignore Mom, Talk to Strangers

Last night, I did something that some may find unusual, but for me is completely routine. I went out sans friends on a Saturday night. After my usual begging of my friends to dance with me, I was turned down. The truth is that my friends don't dance. And never will, no matter how much fun I have or the crazy stories I tell, they will never be enticed to grinding their aging asses to the latest music.

Even though I love going out dancing alone, I have adopted strategies to try to find dancing partners. Dating sites have been the most successful ways I've met dancing partners. Generally, I play it off as a platonic thing, just friends. And after they watch me dance, which is not a pretty thing, the last thing they want is a sweaty kiss from me.

My dance partner for the night was Larry, a 30 year old who had recently transplanted from Western New York. He described himself as an aging raver, which made me wonder what I am as I'm older than him. He posted an announcement looking for something to do that night. And with very little to go on except his picture and his profile which stated "I'm weird" I went for it. I invited him to the monthly Live Forever party at the Barbary. I'm ashamed to admit I've never danced at the Barbary and had been dying to go.

After vetting Larry through 1.5 hours of IM and a 20 minute phone call, we decided to meet. Larry showed up earlier than me and was in full swing when I got there. My first reaction was displeasure that he was wearing a headband, but then I realized that was the theme of the night, "Get Physical" so party organizers were handing out colorful sweatbands.

I'm glad Larry was weird because he was such a good sport about checking out a dance venue with a total stranger. And a dance venue where people were wearing nerdy gym gear and leotards. We danced a lot until he got picked up by another woman. I spent about an hour sort of dancing sort of near them before I got bored. I ended up meeting this guy Brian who was a good looking hipster and we danced through acting out Wonderwall. Miming in dance is very fun. I highly recommend it.

Sadly, I completely lost Larry, who had become a dear friend in the 3 hours that I had known him. Oh well, I thought that I'd text him another day (sadly his cell was temporarily cut off do to lack of funds. Recession is a bitch). But happily, I ran into Larry at the bus stop (we both are too poor to have cars). He thought I abandoned him, which I didn't. We hugged. And now he's my new best friend.

Emboldened by my success in talking to strangers, I chatted up a guy at the bus stop while I was saying goodnight to Larry. On the bus ride home I chatted with Sam, who is a progressive activist in Philly. So am I (sorta) and he used to live in West Philly (me too). And we share a mutual friend, so we had tons to talk about. He's an organizer for Philly for Change, a group I've wanted to join but was too shy. So I guess I'll go to their next meetup upcoming on a Wednesday. I got his number before he got off the bus.

So there you have it, I met three strangers last night. And I lived to tell the tale.

So I'm going dancing next weekend, who's with me?


  1. Seriously, the only people who have a right to consider themselves "aging" at 30 are gymnasts and Olsen twins.

    That said, good for you for taking a chance and tripping the light fantastic with a complete stranger. What's that old saying? Dance like no one's looking?

  2. Great post! Kinda gutsy, but cool. This is how I've met people all over the world: just talk with them :)


  3. You can dance, if you want to. You can leave your friends behind! (and make new ones!!)

    Totally gutsy. Go you!!

  4. Anybody wanna go dancing? I'm planning my next excursion... not sure where yet...Barbary, Fluid, Pure, ???. I need ideas.


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