I’m known for many things, but mostly for being frequently inappropriate. I, at the age of 40, single mama to two, held my own at a rave over the weekend. Yes, I am old enough to be the mother of many of the other attendees. But I refused to relinquish my spot from the dance floor. Stone sober, I danced for over four hours in ridiculous 4″ stiletto glittered heels to the most fabulous EDM and techno music my suburban ears had heard in years.
Had I known I would end my night at a rave, I would have worn more appropriate shoes. But as it was, I was happy to be out for dinner with friends. We do this periodically, Ladies Night. Moms from the ‘burbs–we eat well, we drink well, we laugh well. And we come home before their husbands retire for the evening.
But this night was different. One friend suggested we go dancing after dinner. I always knew we’d be good friends. She said she knew of a rave that night. I said Hells Yeah. I miss my days of youth, of sneaking into the city and hitting the dance clubs underage. I try to go dancing several times a year now, but it’s hard to find like-minded friends who want to go, who are comfortable letting loose on the dance floor with abandon.
So we drive into a warehouse district, and the rave happened to be in a nondescript neighborhood corner bar. LED hula hoops, white light-up gloves, furry hats and fairy wings greeted us. I was completely over-dressed, and over-aged. But I danced my feet off until they blistered, I danced my heart out until it sang.
I looked at one of my friends, and said, “You know why I’m so happy right now? Yes, there’s the dancing I miss so much. But look around. Everyone is so happy. Everyone is so full of life. Everyone here is alive.”
Granted, some people were drunk, some people were high on drugs, some people were both. But not all. There were all ages and ethnicities and styles there. But one thing united us all–we were alive. We all danced in our own styles, we danced with each other–as friends and as strangers. In this dark, dingy corner bar, we were all so full of life and light. There was no comparing or judging of others. There was no posturing of who we wanted others to think we were. Everyone was just there. In a simple state of being. Everyone was there to move to the music, however it moved them.
One of my struggles with living in the suburbs, working a stable job in a large bureaucracy, is that I am surrounded by people who mostly are not living, are not full of life, and certainly not full of light. I am surrounded by people who did what they thought they were supposed to do–get a good job, get married, have kids, get a dog, buy two roomy cars, mow the lawn, vacation in the Outer Banks, buy toilet paper in bulk, and compost food scraps.
Don’t get me wrong, those are all responsible things. We all have responsibilities and obligations to fulfill. But so many people I know lack passion, lack a sense of spontaneity, lack a well-fed soul. So their posture is a little stooped, their pallor a little gray, their smiles a little tight. They don’t emit joy.
This rave–this rave was so full of joy let loose in the swaying arms and fast footwork and undulating hips. The heavy beats kept time with our heart beats. I have not seen so much life that was so alive in one room in a long time. Being surrounded by such vibrant life is what made me so happy.
I’m well aware that some of you may judge me to be irresponsible or a bit absurd or asinine, to be a middle-aged parent attending a rave. To that, I say I am sorry you may be constrained by society’s expectations of proper behavior. To that, I say you are missing out on witnessing such a love-fest that is so full of life. To that, I say you’re welcome to come join me next time, because I am most definitely going to wear more sensible shoes to get down with Skrillex, and if the DJ is really talented, some AC/DC will be mixed in again too.