we can dance if we want to…

Morrissey video wall
Morrissey rocking the dance club that is my front hallway…

This was a slow summer. We didn’t take any trips, we didn’t see many people, and we didn’t have much excitement. We were pretty focused on home: spending quality time with our visiting family, getting things prepped for a big garage sale, selling stuff on Craigslist, and – in Qunland’s case – taking an online math class so that she could jump a year of math and take Precalculus as a sophomore. It was incredibly productive, but we were a bit bummed that we didn’t do more.

Consequently, we decided we would start the new year in style by getting some friends together and … drum machine roll, please … having an 80s dance party. It was a spur of the moment idea that we quickly decided we could actually pull off. Throwing it together at the last second was probably a good plan, as it kept me from stressing out too much beforehand. There were some hysterics over a big Evite fiasco where I accidentally sent the invitation to everyone I had ever emailed in my whole life, then had to retract it before sending it again to people I actually know well, some of whom I probably missed and are now reading this and wondering why I hate them. (Short answer? I don’t. Say the word and you are on the list for the next one.)

Here’s a little excerpt from the invitation:

There is going to be loud music and lots of dancing. (We love you, but unless we are forced to go out on the deck to cool off from all the dancing, this won’t really be a hang-out-and-visit party. We promise to have one of those soon, though!)

It’s not a costume party, either (it’s a dance party), so don’t feel obligated to wear anything special — but feel free to dress how you dressed back then… which means you will see David dancing in Levi’s and a concert T-shirt (in other words, pretty much his regular clothes).  Wear comfortable shoes or be ready to kick your shoes off… and dance.

Did we mention the dancing? You should really come if you want to dance.

We wanted to be sure that people who didn’t want to dance could bow out, leaving space on the dance floor for diehards like us.

I got decked out in a paisley shirt from back in the day (thank goodness they were oversized so it still fit), curled my hair and tied it up with bows, and got out my oldest big-framed glasses. They had one lens missing, but I wasn’t going anywhere I needed to see.

And so… we danced. After an hours-long family powwow about musical choices, we had iTunes primed and a YouTube playlist ready to go. ABC. Bronski Beat. English Beat. Ministry. New Order. Specials. Tears For Fears. And more… said in my best Richard Blade voice. We threw in some JoBoxers and Roman Holliday, because you just have to. We cleared the furniture from our front room, cranked up the music and left our inhibitions behind. I danced for more than three hours without a break, although it might be a stretch to call some of it “dancing.” (I’m a gimp and I know it, so I take it easy when I need to.)

It was awesome.  We picked all our favorite dance tunes and got some great requests, too. Deb’s pick,  “White Lines,”  may have been my favorite part of the night. Freeze! Rock! The teenagers started the night all ready to laugh at us old folks “getting tipsy and making fools of ourselves” (especially when the many ska tunes came on and there may have been some skanking), but they ended the night dancing right along with us, because even the kids can’t resist Depeche Mode (or “Come on Eileen,” for that matter).

Speaking of things the kids can’t resist, THEY requested a little Harry and Alfie interlude while people took a break to cool off on the deck. It wasn’t my idea, I promise, but I’m not complaining.

This is the closest Hudson Taylor will ever get to our front door.
This is the closest Hudson Taylor will ever get to our front door.

I was absolutely wrecked the next day, but it was all worth it. I think this will be my new workout routine: put on 80s music and dance like a mad woman. I’ll let you know how that works out.

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