That Time I Lost My Sh*t On the Dance Floor

It’s Saturday at midnight in the bar and I’m out with the girls enjoying a 90’s cover band and some ice-cold beer.  The 90’s is my favorite decade, and every song brings back memories of high school and college, in such a good way.  I felt nineteen again, and although I wasn’t drunk on alcohol, I was definitely drunk on memories and music.

You know that feeling, when all your favorite tunes are being played and your body has an almost involuntary reaction.  It becomes this sort of instinct and rhythm combined.  My nineteen year-old self was really into rock music.  Imagine some air guitar, arms in the air, hair being thrown in every direction, and a complete and total disregard for the other bar patrons around me, other than my friends.  It was just me, the band, my girls and the music.

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I don’t do Zumba, but you get my point.

Now picture a middle-aged woman, married with two kids, who drives the weekly car pool and volunteers in the PTA, throwing her long hair and rocking out to Alice In Chains, Metallica and Nirvana.  The dance floor wasn’t overly full, so I stood out.   I think at one point I might have screamed, “I’m with the band!”  Except, I’m not with the band.

Good times.

It was so fun, and in the moment I had no regrets.  It was a great night.  I mean seriously, when anyone plays Enter Sandman by Metallica, you throw your hair to that shit.  It’s just how it’s done.  I think the point where I really peaked and just let my shit go all over the dance floor was when the band played Man in the Box, by Alice In Chains.  One of my favorite songs, and when I became aware of my environment toward the end of the song, there were a few dudes thrashing next to me, so I guess it was good.

Except, in the light of day, when I woke up with a very stiff neck and a screaming headache, I had a moment of thought that said, you-are-too-fucking-old-to-act-like-you-belong-in-a- White-Snake-video-and-oh-my-God-you-are-such-an-asshole!  I woke up embarrassed.  I know we all like to pretend that we don’t care what other people think, but the truth for most of us is that to a small degree, we do.

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeI’m a person who typically embraces the immediacy of a good time and enjoys being in the moment with my friends.  We’ve been at weddings where Dan and I are the only ones on the dance floor, while the other couples are engaged in far more dignified conversation and interactions.  Not shaking their asses to Baby Got Back.  I always look back later and self-consciously think, damn, did we take that one too far?  Shouldn’t we be past this sort of behavior yet?  So Sunday morning, as I reviewed the events of the previous night, I thought to my self, are you honestly going to be the crazy lady that loses her shit every time someone plays some AC/DC?

Fast forward a few hours, and Dan and I are in attendance at a lovely baby shower/brunch for our dear friends who will soon welcome twin boys into the world.  After a brief cocktail hour, where a few mimosa’s were going a long way to soothe my misplaced embarrassment, the father-to-be takes up the microphone and begins to welcome his family and friends to this celebration of babies, and also discuss some important events of the past nine months.  He said shortly after they discovered they were pregnant, he received a call from his doctor and learned he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

He said he spoke with one doctor who gave him “good odds” with a 60% chance of survivability.  He decided that wasn’t good enough, so he fired that doctor and got another one who told him with 100% certainty that he would live through this cancer.  That he could beat it.  And he did.  Over the past nine months, he fought his cancer while his beautiful wife managed a complicated pregnancy with unbelievable grace and strength.  They kept the cancer diagnosis to themselves, for the most part, telling only a few people.  Dan and I found out about a week ago, after he finished his last chemo and was able to share the good news with everyone that he was cancer free.  We were all so grateful for his outcome, and we celebrated his health as much as we celebrated the babies!

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeA short while later there was a moment during the party and the DJ was playing some great dance music.  There wasn’t a dance floor, just good music playing to keep the party lively.  Dan and I were sitting by the bar and the father-to-be, along with another friend began an impromptu dance-off in the space next to us.  Then the grand-father joined in, and these three grown men began taking it to town in front of everyone.  It was crazy and awesome and hilarious and I started to cry a little.  I was actually laughing first, and then found the emotion behind the laughter.

Here he is, grateful to be alive, lucky to have two beautiful babies on the way, and he wasn’t embarrassed by his super sweet dance moves.  He wasn’t concerned about what anyone thought of him, or whether or not he looked silly.  All three men were simply enjoying the moment, making the most of the mood and the occasion and the love.  It was quite simply the most amazing celebration of life I’ve seen in a long time.

Image result for dance like nobody's watching memeI found my perspective and some unnecessary but welcome validation in that moment.   The truth is that I AM the mom and friend who will dance in the bar, or in my living room with my kids.  I AM the person who sings at the top of my lungs when the song is good and the company is better.  I AM the person who isn’t afraid to live in the moment and  doesn’t care what strangers think because my life is not about them or what they may or may not think of my Saturday night amateur rock show performance.  I’m done feeling insecure about this, and as we all know, insecurity is an asshole, and we do not choose to be friends with assholes!

So when I ask myself  if I’m really going to be that middle-aged mom who loses my shit every time my jam comes on?

Well, this isn’t me, but you get the idea!

Labor Day weekend, a wedding and a lot of wine!

chicago-skyline[1]Labor Day weekend Dan and I went to Chicago without the kids for a wedding.  One of my college roommates was getting married and we haven’t had a grown-up only weekend in almost a year.  It was fantastic!

When I travel without my kids everything is different.  I can drink wine on the plane, only pack for myself, and read smutty chic-lit on my Kindle instead of entertaining two kids for four hours with snacks, Ipad games and constant reminders to stop kicking the seat in front of them.  I relaxed, enjoyed the flight into my favorite city, and did my best to get over the fact that I had to sit in the suck-hump-middle seat in order to sit next to my husband on the flight.  No one likes the middle seat, on any airplane, ever.

Chicago was amazing, as always, and the wedding was so fun.  I’ve been blessed in my life with the gift of incredible, life long friendships, and my college friends are some of the most outrageous, hilarious, intelligent, dynamic, beautiful women I know.  We’ve all gone on to do different things with our careers and family, but when we come together it’s like no time has passed and we’re all nineteen again with fake ID’s trying to sneak into bars and pick up hot guys, except now those hot guys are our husbands.

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Here’s the recap, and nicknames have been given to protect the guilty.

On the way to the wedding, TSGHLM’s (This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker-her requested nickname) dress split up the side.  Dr. Evil and I took turns sewing her back into her dress on the Uber ride into downtown Chicago.  Unfortunately,  Dr. Evil gets car sick, and trying to sew TSGHLM’s dress caused her to become extremely nauseated.  She managed to hold it together, I took over the sewing, and no pre-wedding car sickness occurred.  TSGHLM’s dress was repaired and I can now add car seamstress to my list of party tricks.

1338993291108_8649686[1]During dinner Dr. Evil kept trying to build a glass pyramid on the table with all the empty wine and champagne glasses.  The wait staff would calmly walk over and dismantle her pyramid without too much fuss and take the empty glasses.  She would wait until they walked away and we would drain our glasses so she could re-build her crystal masterpiece.  We had a lot of glasses.  When they finally reprimanded her for her inappropriate behavior, she responded by adding another tier to her tower.

Also, at some later point during dinner, someone who’s judgment was definitely questionable decided that the party favors on the table, which looked to me like crystal candle holders embossed with the bride and groom’s name and wedding date, were actually small wine glasses.  So they became wine glasses, and I’m still unclear on their actual function.

dirty-dancing-wallpapers-983074-2-s-307x512[1]During the reception, Trixie decided to re-create the Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey scene in Dirty Dancing by crawling across the dance floor, on her hands and knees, in her evening dress, toward another of our friends sitting at a table.  She completed the crawl but might have been too drunk to get back up.  I was laughing so hard I missed part of it, but I’m pretty sure she had to call for an assist.

Drevil_million_dollars[1]During an epic dance performance, I may or may not have allowed Dr. Evil to motor-boat my chest on the dance floor.   I’m super classy like that, and you may be realizing why we call her Dr. Evil.

The Bride, whom we shall call Ellie, got busted in the bathroom for smoking an e-cigarette.  The event staff had to reprimand her, at her own wedding!  She also had her sister cut the tulle out from under her dress during the reception.  Nothing says good times like vandalizing your own wedding gown on your big day!

There was a really beautiful moment when the DJ played Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.  Our small, drunk army of roommates and friends gathered around Ellie and circled her on the dance floor.  We danced around her, singing at the top of our lungs while each of us took turns dancing with her in the center of our circle.  It was a complete and total love fest as well as a gesture of loyalty and solidarity that has remained unchanged for the past 23 years.

10375120_10152852902922819_24777841281501259_n[1]I’m pleased to report that there were no public displays of nudity or pressed ham.  And  believe me when I say that’s progress, folks.  At this point in my life, with this group of friends, I could never run for public office.  There is way too much photographic evidence of the good times we’ve had in life.  Dan showed me cell phone video of me rocking out with the ladies like a wannabe 80’s rock goddess on the dance floor, and I said, “Oh, that’s the wine talking.  That’s ugly dancing!  Delete that and we shall never speak of it.”

I woke up the next afternoon feeling like road kill.  We spent the day like we would’ve in college.  We laid on the couch, watched movies, ate good food and made fun of each other and our epically bad behavior.  We’re forty!  It’s like all maturity goes out the window when we’re together.  We egg each other on and enable each other for the sake of entertainment and bragging rights.   When I expressed this to Dan his most wonderful and appreciated response was, “I love your friends.”

Yeah, I love them too.

Wanda Says…Silliness, Shenanigans, and Good Friends.

This past weekend one of my lifelong friends and her daughter, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, came to visit me here in California.

After three days of preparing my house for the festivities and four days of entertaining, along with pee-your-pants hilarity, I am exhausted.

1338993291108_8649686[1]My friend T (names will be shortened to the first initial of first names) and her daughter K are very special to me.  T is one of those friends that it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since we last talked or saw each other.  Every conversation or visit takes place like its been mere moments since the last.  When I’m with her I feel nineteen again.  And sadly, we often act like we’re teenagers when life allows us to have these brief but special visits.

T lives in my home state of Michigan so we only get to see each other once a year, if we’re lucky.  We met when I was fifteen and she was eighteen.  I knew the very first time I met her that we would be friends forever.  We’ve been partners in crime for 25 years, and every time we’re together we seem to have these unforgettable moments that take my breath away.  Like, literally, I’m laughing so hard I can’t breath.  And there are tears running down my face.  And I may or may not pee my pants.  That may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re laughing that hard so often, it begins to hurt.  Joy can be extremely painful.  And embarrassing.

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I love you, T!

 

This past weekend was filled with laughter, silliness and varied shenanigans.  Here are my top five favorite moments from the weekend…

1.  In our attempt to find one drink K would like on her 21st birthday, T and I got shit-faced while drinking all her cocktail rejects. We ordered her ten different drinks trying to find one she liked.  We failed.  K remained sober while T and I partied like it was 1999.

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2.  T smuggled a Moscow Mule out of the bar in her purse.  Her excuse?  “That drink cost $12 and I wasn’t about to leave it behind.”  She pulled it out of her purse when we got home and gave it to my babysitter, who apparently loves Moscow Mules along with delivery bar service. (Yes, my babysitter is over 21 and is a part-time bar tender.)

3. On one of our cab rides, our cab driver ran every stop sign and attempted to channel his inner Mario Andretti with us in the car.  I think he was showing off for K, who is an extremely gorgeous young woman.  While we were clutching the arm rests and hanging on for dear life, my phone rings and it’s the dispatcher telling us that the cab we ordered has arrived at my house.  I tell the dispatcher that we are in the cab, but obviously this isn’t the cab that was supposed to pick us up.  Who is this cab driver?  Holy shit, are we being kidnapped?  I attempted to communicate my distress over the cabbie’s driving skills over the phone, but the dispatcher seemed to feel it was just a mix-up.  I wanted to use a safe word so the dispatcher would know we might be in trouble, but telling the dispatcher our cabbie was fucking crazy seemed like a bad idea since I didn’t know if he was a kidnapper or not.  The dispatcher then told me to have a good night and disconnected the call.  Thankfully, the cabbie dropped us at our destination before we all died in a fiery crash, or we ended up at the bottom of a well with cabbie man using our skin as a cape.  I’m only listing this as a top five moment because now that it’s over, and I’m not dead, kidnapped or skinned alive, I can laugh about it.

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4.  My birthday gift to K was tickets to the Comedy & Magic Club to see Jay Leno.  It was a blast and Jay was awesome!  We had good seats, great drinks, and it was an awesome night.

5.  We treated ourselves to massages at the spa, and it was one of my favorite activities of the whole weekend.  Since I started working out with my trainer three weeks ago, my body has been in a continuous state of soreness and pain.  Everything hurts, but in a good way.  I can feel myself getting stronger.  But I have knots in my muscles everywhere and no amount of stretching can work them all out.  So I paid to have a massage therapist, aka torture artist,  work them out for me, and while it was 60% pain versus 40% relaxation and pleasure, I needed it desperately.

Overall the weekend was amazing.  We laughed, we danced, we had girl talk and reminisced about days past and our epically bad behavior.  We laughed hard, played at the beach, ate amazing food at amazing LA restaurants and giggled as K stalked and fan-girled over the LA Clippers basketball players working out at the gym.

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I’ve missed these girls, and I cried when they left.  They don’t make women in California like they do in the Midwest.  We are a breed unto ourselves and having them here made everything more beautiful and more fun.  🙂

 

 

Wanda Says…Blog awards, Rick Springfield, and other random stuff.

one-lovely-blog-award[1]Recently another great blogger, Weight2lose2013, nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  This is my second ‘New Blogger’ award since I started this blog four and a half months ago.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty thrilled about it.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with viewers and followers.

You think I’m lovely?  Really?   Even though I use the F-word a lot?  Awww, that’s fantastic!

Prior to blogging, I’ve never won any awards.  Not ever.  Not even a perfect attendance award in elementary school.  This was partly due to how shy I was as a kid, and I didn’t really outgrow that shyness until I was in high school.  Even then, I never liked to be the center of attention so I learned to fly under the radar.  I’ve always been social and enjoyed being included in group activities but I never really put myself out there to try and accomplish something I could be recognized for.

So having my silly, ridiculous little blog acknowledged in a positive manner by my peers in the blogging community feels pretty amazing.  I never thought anyone would read it, so I am beyond flattered that any of you enjoy it enough to keep coming back and checking in on Wanda.  I truly enjoy being a part of the WordPress community, and I want to thank Weight2lose2013 for the nomination and support.  All of you should go check out his blog immediately!

Now let’s get to the rules… 

In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  2. Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  3. Share 7 facts/or things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blogs

Here are seven random facts about me:

1.  I often read to myself, out loud.  I can’t help it.  When I’m engrossed in a good book reading out loud to myself just happens, and when I try and suppress the urge I get frustrated and end up re-reading a paragraph several times trying to concentrate.  I don’t like to read with other people in the room for this reason.  Does anyone else have this problem?

e2e9241c60145eca0ead8eaa485ad1dc[1]2.   I’ve had a white hot crush on Rick Springfield for about 30 years now, and I don’t see that changing, ever.  Growing up, I really wanted to be Jesse’s Girl so Rick would love me too.  (Sigh)

3.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask me if I’m wearing contacts.  I have blue eyes, and five out of ten people will ask me point blank if I am wearing contact lenses.  Here’s what irritates me about this…they don’t ask if I’m wearing colored contacts, just contacts.  I do wear contacts because I have horrible vision, but they aren’t colored.  Frequently, people just assume my eye color is enhanced with blue colored contacts, and when they ask it’s almost like they’re accusing me of something.  It’s the knowing tone of voice they use, like they just out-smarted a used car salesman that annoys the shit out of me.  I usually reply by saying, “Yes, I wear contacts because my vision is horrible, but how could you tell that just by looking at me?”   My point is that people shouldn’t assume that because someone has an interesting feature that they’re fake in some way.  And even if they are, why should you care?

coffee cup4.  Coffee is my favorite beverage.  I worship coffee.  I could drink it all day, especially when it’s cold and raining.  I don’t like black coffee, though.  I like my coffee like I like my ice cream…sweet and creamy.  When I travel, I even pack my own sweetener (Stevia) and non-dairy creamer.  So many people and hotels don’t have Stevia or the cream I like, so I never leave town without it.

5.  I love books of all kinds and I read books from every genre.  Historical fiction is my favorite, but paranormal romance is my secret, guilty pleasure.  Sometimes, after reading something heavy and thought-provoking, I need a book that doesn’t make me think too hard.  Something that just makes me laugh, takes me to the edge of my seat, and makes my heart race with the anticipation of the two main characters finally getting their shit together and realizing they belong to each other.  Some of my favorite series include the Fever series, the Immortals After Dark series, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the Charley Davidson series.  All of these series are sexy, smart, action-packed and hilarious.

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6. I really do have a weird obsession with the zombie apocalypse.  Last month my husband was cleaning out the garage and he knew to pile everything he wanted to get rid of in the driveway for me to look at first, just in case I wanted to save something for my zombie stash.  He wanted to get rid of a Brita water filter tank and several new, replacement filters.  I was like, “What if the zombie apocalypse comes and we need a way to filter water for drinking?”  He calmly put the water tank and filters back in the garage, without saying a word.  I think he appreciates the fact that I’m thinking ahead.  😉

7.  Sometimes, I spontaneously start dancing around my house.  Sometimes with music, most of the time without music.  My dancing is usually motivated by doing something silly with my kids.  I think I’m a great dancer.  My kids think I’m ridiculous and my husband just thinks it’s funny.

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Now for the blogger nominations!  I don’t know fifteen new bloggers to nominate, so I will nominate the bloggers that I do know and believe you will enjoy as much as I do.

http://jurassicmom.com/

http://lindsaysmiles.wordpress.com/

http://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/

http://redcarpetsquare.wordpress.com/

That’s it!  Thanks again and I hope everyone has a fabulous week!  🙂

Wanda Says…Silliness, Shenanigans and Air Guitar.

I have very little sympathy for my kids when I embarrass them, especially when the embarrassment takes place in the privacy of our own home over silliness and varied shenanigans.  I also feel that occasionally embarrassing my children is a necessary action of parenting.  It’s a public service really, because I am preparing them to deal with the insanity of the real world.

Last night, my husband and I had a date, and I was in my room getting ready.  I was listening to the Journey station on Pandora and Bryce was laying on my bed talking to me.  And then it happened.

Pandora began to play one of my favorite jams…Jukebox Hero by Foreigner.

I am not physically capable of restraining myself during that song.  Every Midwestern, rock star wannabe cell in my body rises to the occasion and becomes the music.  I ran to the remote and cranked up the volume.  I did not care that Bryce had a slightly alarmed look on his face.

I sang.  Loudly.  I danced.  I threw my hair around. (I grew up on 70’s and 80’s rock music, so my hair banging skills are exceptional).  I rocked the air guitar and I embraced the moment.  My guitar solo was totally badass.  Or, I imagined it was as I rocked that shit all over my bedroom.

At one point I saw that Bryce had his hands over his ears with his face scrunched up and he seemed to be shouting something to me.  His eyes were wide and his face was red with the tell-tale signs of mortification and agitation over my less than mature behavior.

I kept singing to him and playing my air guitar.

Then I heard Bryce shout to me, “Mommy, what are you doing?  Stop it!”

He was embarrassed of his mother. It’s more likely that he was embarrassed for me, but regardless, he was clearly not appreciative of my sweet dance moves, less than perfect rocker voice, or my expert hair thrashing.

So I turned up the music and sang louder.  🙂