My friend Lizzie and I met up in Boston this past weekend and decided venture out to paint the city green, give them all a taste of our insane Saturday night dance moves, and feel the overall freedom of our youthful womanhood (oxymoron?).
We begin our people-watching, search for adventure extravaganza at a jazz bar that scammed us into paying for nine tickets, when there were only two of us. Somehow, we fell for it. But thankfully, due to our VIP memberships, we could roam the entire toilet-smelling club at our leisure. Though even then, we were stopped several times to ensure that we had paid doubly.
Lizzie and I both enjoy talking to, staring at, and patronizing fellow members of our race, so with both of our troublesome tendencies at play, we got our fair share of dirty looks at a club as we were trying to explain our reasons for cutting to the front of the line (which wrapped around the entire block, for no apparent reason other than to make people cold and wait).
Lizzie: “Um, I’m meeting a friend, we have a friend in there.” (insert voice influction here)
Bouncer Dude: Silence (had we not been in the city, we would’ve heard crickets)
Lizzie: Best befallen expression I’ve ever witnessed
Doorman: Expression of zero sympathy
Thinking perhaps her lying skills were rusty, or maybe he just misunderstood her perfect English, I decided to give it another go. It was a possibility, in my idealistic mind, that he could have forgotten what just went down with Lizzie and let us in NOW.
Emily: “Uh, yes, excuse me sir, we just really want to dance.”
I realize, looking back, that I did not express my self enough in this sentence. What I should have said was, “I wanna get in there, shake my fingers and my toes like it’s 1929. Only if it were 1929, I would probably be depressed like the rest of the country and burning my dollar bills for warmth. But I am trying to keep this short and to the point in case your previous denial is recanted in my favor.”
Bouncer Dude: Silence
So, after two strikes with the first two pitches, we nab a cab, and move on. To where we are sure to be embraced….The Ritz Carlton. Where apparently, the Yankees were making an appearance. Neither Lizzie nor I know who any of the Yankees players are so when one of them literally came and hit us on the head, we just thought it was some guy with oversized thighs being mean. We sipped our 15 dollar cocktails and watched men and women of all sizes, shapes, and colors enjoy their evening. Our thesis questions being respectively, “What is an evening out to these people?” “Who are the people in our neighborhood?”
The only caveat to the people being various shapes and sizes was that everyone looked THE SAME. What on earth is happening these days? Are we all morphing into Face Lift Barbie and Florida Tan Ken?? Is this just the way it is in a city? The woman all looked like their makeup was done using the same picture as a guide as the last girl. The diet appeared to be that of an active Amazonian jungle dweller, and the hair, the clothes, the overall appearances….Lizzie and I were speechless with chatter.
I fell into a deep existential, primordial, apocalyptic slime…perhaps this drinking and going out and dressing up business is that of the “old way” and soon we will all be forced to truly connect and mind meld with one another in a real, primal, down-to-earth-less-alien abducted kind of way. Or maybe the “old way” was when we all went out and actually connected with each other and this “new way” involves my iPhone buzzing in my pocket every five seconds and subluxations in my spine from sitting at a bar with my laptop and Skyping the people I wish I was with from across the world. I always thought the purpose of a night out with your friends was to find those magnetic bonds and strengthen them. To put a string of super glue from one heart to another, and be real and expressive with one another. I think I am missing something. Oh that’s right, there are my dentures right there. These people appear to be looking for something else. But what? What are we looking for, people?! My question melts into the deafening roar of the crowd…
Lizzie’s theory is far more complex and better thought out, she thinks that women are beginning to conform to a societal “norm” so that they can present themselves as what men are seeking, an easy object that will do whatever he wants. This is because women are giving away their power and prowess in society.
Watching these people in comings, and goings, and social interactions was a small pitter patter of a sampling of where our society is headed. I would have to do a few more studies to be certain. I like to believe things do not go from bad to worse. I imagine, had I been not following the crowd myself that night, I would’ve found a herd that is dancing to the beat of a drum more compatible with my own.
Numb yourself. Dumb yourself. But whatever you do, don’t be yourself. There are some grains to munch on that are not wholesome and most certainly meant to be gone against.
My challenge to you is to stay awake. Though I imagine if you are reading this you’re probably already there, or halfway there…or living on a prayer.