(Nostalgia. This is nothing new to you, yeah, I know. But every once in a while, a song comes on that reminds you of times past and you just want to reminisce. Also, I needed a break from writing about cancer. You probably needed a break too).
The Dance Party years. My mid-to-late twenties, living in that small white house on Loren street with my roommate, Caleb, the Martha Stewart of party creation. I threw these parties too, but he’s the one that did all the work to make them perfect. We had this great long living room with old, weathered hardwood floors so that when you push the furniture back and remove the coffee table you’ve got the perfect dance floor. And dance we did. When I look back, I wonder if other people had the same experience as we did. Our parties were full of people you wanted to be around. No d-bags, no super drunk “woo” girls, just friends and friends of friends and sometimes strangers, but they were cool.
We would sip beers on the porch or in the kitchen, chatting and starting to feel the effects of the alcohol. Then a certain song would come on and like a siren’s call, we could not resist. We all moved toward the dance floor and it began. And we would dance all night. All of us. Sweat-soaked and drunk(ish)* jumping up and down, twisting and turning, moving closer to that person you maybe want to make out* with later except that it was okay if you didn’t because we were all there, together, and it was great.
We had theme parties and no one showed up in plain clothes like assholes**. We threw a masquerade party, which I had always wanted to do. We made masks by hand, with plaster or whatever we could come up with, but everyone had a fucking** mask. I bought cheap white fabric and draped the ceiling while Caleb strung up white Christmas lights and paper lanterns. We didn’t take it down for months. Maybe we loved it, maybe we were lazy. The answer is both.
Caleb planned a black light party where we changed all of our light bulbs with black light bulbs and drew on each other with highlighters. And danced; of course we danced. My future husband was at that party but we never met. Later, I looked at photos from that party and there he was. How did I not notice him back then?
As true members of our mixed generations of X-ers and millennial’s, we, of course, had an Internet meme party. I went as Pedo-Bear**. There was everything from standing cat, kittens by kittens, a Rick-roller, Sad Keanu to Nic Cage “my hair is a bird; your argument is invalid.”
We had a communist party where we wore red and shared all of our booze. A frat party where we dressed up like preppy frat boys and slutty sorority girls, drank too much and put our Greek letters up on the house, “LOL.” Then there was our Sin City party we threw when Sin City was in the cultural zeitgeist. I was one of the girls from Old town.
But some of the best dance parties just happened. We’d be at a bar or seeing a band play, bars would close and we’d end up at Sophie’s loft (it’s always someone named Sophie). We’d file up the steep steps already sweaty and in the cups. There’d be a table with huge jugs of cheap vodka and rum. A fridge full of PBRs. No fancy bourbon or gin cocktails like today’s parties. Just the basics. Whatever gets you drunk. But it wasn’t really like that because we were different. We were artists. (Well, they were. But they took me in. They took us all in). We show up dancing. There’s no warming up. We’re ready, soaked with the night, already smelling like beer and cigarettes. Maybe weed***. The loft floor is sticky with sweat and booze. People are hovering over the stereo (ipod/iphone) making sure the music is perfect and it was. And then it would happen. A song like LCD Soundsystem’s, All My Friends would come on and the room would swell as everyone crowded in together because when asked that question, “Where are my friends tonight”? The answer, at this moment in time, was “here.”
*my parents read my blog
**sorry mom and dad
***other people’s weed, mom and dad
More Dance Party Pictures – I warned you this post was a nostalgic indulgence.