Sunday, June 19, 2011

80s Night: Or, A Manifestation Of My Not-So-Latent Inner Dork

Oh, how fucking original.
I freaking love Portland. In Portland, no one is a dork and no one is a loser, except maybe those Trustafarian drainbow shitheads who ask you for money and act all entitled to your money they didn't earn and then have the gall to bitch at you because you didn't give them any money.

But that's just part of the scenery.

The rest of the scenery involves adorable bungalows and self-consciously organic landscaping and look-at-me-borderline-Puritanical dietary habits and loads and loads of trees.

Shades of green
So many fucking trees, and underbrush and wildflowers and thrilling mosses. It all smells so good and it's always dripping with some sort of fragrant moisture falling from the sky, whether it's the actual wet kind or the oh-no-that's-not-rain-you must-be-from-out-of-town kind.

You will never know how many shades of green exist in nature until you come to the Pacific Northwest. Unless you're British, of course. But then you don't have the microbrews and coffee. Instead, you have kids' play areas in your pubs and curry so it all kind of evens out.

Anyway, last night was 80s Video Dance Night at the Crystal Ballroom. The Crystal Ballroom is great because they have proper ballroom dancing floors on either springs or ball-bearings, that give in wavy deliciousness while dancing.

Which is like a little slice of heaven in Stranger-ville. I admit I didn't really get into the videos because I take off my glasses while dancing. They get all sweaty and steamy and also not wearing glasses helps me believe I'm the only person on earth because I can't see clearly past the end of my arms.

Before getting married I used to go dancing a lot. Like, it used to be okay to answer "What shall we do?" with "Let's go dancing!" Marriage pretty much killed that, for a lot of reasons I don't want to bum out my blog with going into.

I hate exercising with the white hot fire of a thousand suns (except swimming, which, even with the two free, clean pools available on my posh hotel-like university campus, is just too time-consuming to get into, what with the job and the boy and everything). I haven't actually exercised, per se, in about I don't know how long because exercising sucks. I always feel intensely guilty about this and I tell myself, to no avail, that all the walking I do is exercise. Dancing, apparently, also counts as exercise.

Which is why somewhere in my Istanbul neighborhood seriously needs to start hosting an 80s night because I danced like a fucking moron for four hours with only a few breaks, one for pee, one for water, and one for a vodka tonic. And I didn't even feel for a second like I was exercising. Only the smell of my bra and a stiff neck (the result of a Def Leppard hair-swinging infelicity) told me any different. Some of the hair-swinging was, to my delight, posted on Facebook, which will no doubt, among other things, send BE into some sort of predictable yet nevertheless boring-ass dither.

Out of business?
Before 80s night started, I had myself a seared ahi with wasabi mayonnaise sandwich. That's because I'm almost 40 and I'll be damned if I start dancing with Bob's Big Boy either before or after, if Bob's Big Boy still exists which I think it doesn't so just insert IHOP where I said Bob's Big Boy for a similar effect.

Dinnertime conversation included, "What was the worst haircut you had in the 80s?" in which it was agreed that hairspray and a blow dryer on the sides at the same time was only for special occasions. Then there was "What was your favorite outfit in the 80s?," wherein I found out I wasn't the only one who drooled over a yearly trip to the Esprit outlet in San Francisco, and my mom wasn't the only one who imposed Draconian Guess jeans rules, and that knowing what Generra is defines a certain generation-within-a-generation. The conversation shifted before I got to bring up my much-beloved Firenze T-shirt.

And then the dancing. As I said, there are no dorks in Portland and any gathering attracts the sort of people that render the notion of "demographic" irrelevant. The only people that annoyed me were the owners of bony little elbows that clearly were born so well into or out of the 80s that I felt they ought to respect the oldies by keeping their bony fucking little elbows to themselves or go to other bars that welcomed their shorty kinds.

Middle school: Gorgeously fraught and awful
One of the best things was how much like a middle school dance it all was, closed-in and low-ceilinged like you were at the rented Elks' hall, and there was a pause between each song before the next song started. Not that I don't love a proper DJ but I've always a little bit missed that thrill of wondering, "What song is next?"

And I know it means I'm fucking old (and I'm totally cool with being fucking old because if almost-40 looks like this, then I've been woefully mislead my entire life), but, after the 70s, there has never been a decade of fantastic one-hit wonders like in the 80s. I'm just so glad it's not the early 90s anymore, when the music sucked and I felt like I had to pretend Men Without Hats and Spandau Ballet and Frankie Goes To Hollywood weren't cool. And also Ah-Ha and Right Said Fred.

Because they're really cool and I embrace that. On top of that, you know what I'm watching right now? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Oh yeah. Gene Wilder can snap my white checkered suspenders any day.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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