Monday, 23 November 2009

T Dancing

I'm thinking again about whether there is a story in the tea dance 'circuit', as she put it. My (old) mate Jeff the other day was talking about how it was a shame that no-one is into it these days, I didn't spoil the idea by saying how Going Out now is just a euphemism for getting trashed. It wasn't even like he was trying to romanticise it; I asked him which was his favourite dance, he replied nonchalently, and I don't think it was to compensate for his bad knee. I think he probably just honestly thought 'dances' were a good way to meet women, have a feel about innocently and decide which one to go for. And forget your self in the war.

So potentially I could zip around London and go to around 4 different venues a week, appearing as The Serial Young One. I felt increasingly suspicious at the Opera House last Friday, like a gold digger. What must they think of me, there especially, amongst the sequined beehives and backless dresses, party attire unashamedly clinging-or-not to rolls of loose skin. I'm here for the dancing, with no hint of irony or postmodern trend, I'm here for me. I wonder grandly as the spins pass before me, pairs of feet making new pairs, whether this world could be reignited. A world when a double Scotch is naughty, tea is special, and biscuits are just a treat. I like your shoes, she said, I like your trousers, another. Hobbs and a jumble last Saturday, I replied, feeling fake even though I was so so true.

I balanced my cup and saucer awkwardly, feeling under my chair for something I didn't need. Clockwatching and waiting. Jeff seemed tense. We had a dance and he smiled. He seemed to buy the Scotch in celebration, I couldn't try it as I had lipstick on, but it smelled so good. James Bond's drink, he told me, try it! It carried on smelling amazing, creamy and warm, as I swigged tincture from my Sigg bottle. You were born in the wrong era, he informed me, I disappeared into the middle distance in agreement. I often wonder how I would be if I was born in the first half of the century. Getting on and being happy, I imagine, truth within my means, married to a local boy and living by good rules and healthy limitations. Little possessions and real passions.

A man asked me to dance that I wasn't expecting, it turned out to be the partner of trousers lady, I expected they had talked about me. Let's Face the Music and Dance, and we gossiped about the bouffant he'd nicknamed The Duchess, and I'd secretly plumped for Sequined Glamazon. The Cobalt Silver Foxes were missing from the quickstep, unable to do their sick jive to this beat. I span with lightness I didn't expect, pleased to hold conversation and keep up at the same time. My 33p trousers did me proud. I don't want it to be spoiled, I like being an undercover tea dancer...

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