Dancing for The Rest of Us: Meg’s Big Idea

I have this great idea. I’ll tell you, but first I have to give you the backstory. I’m all about the backstory. (It’s not enough that you have to hear my every random idea; you must know where it came from, too.)

I really want to go dancing. I’ve had this urge for a while, but I don’t know where to go. The problem is that I am too fat and old for your average Southern California dance club. I don’t want to go where the clientele is barely 21, or even younger with fake IDs, and the girls wear Lycra Band-Aid dresses and five-inch platform heels. (Have you seen height of the platforms these youngsters are wearing? If I tried to pull those off, I would snap both my ankles within an hour. Orthopedists must love those shoes.) At a club like that, I would just feel like everyone’s mother. And worse, I would LOOK like everyone’s mother.

So where do grownups go dancing? I asked around and came up with two options: one for fat, and one for old.

Apparently there is a club in Costa Mesa called The Butterfly Lounge. It’s a size acceptance club. BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) and the men who love them go dancing at The Butterfly Lounge.

At first, this seemed like it might be an option. I’m not sure if I count as a BBW. I’m a size sixteen, which is right on the border of plus size—sometimes I shop in regular stores; sometimes I shop in a plus size store. In most of the country, a size sixteen is considered average. In Orange County, women are expected to wear a size four (and have D cups—it’s a tough crowd in the OC) so I’m pretty large by local standards. I’m probably closer to BBW than Band-Aid dresses. Still, when I checked out the Butterfly Lounge web page, there were lots of very large women, and guess what? They were STILL wearing Band-Aid dresses. And crazy platform heels. And bustiers! Lots of bustiers.

I’m all for size-acceptance and for women being comfortable in their bodies. We should all be able to shake our thangs, no matter how big our thangs are. But if the whole club revolves around body size, does it matter what size we’re talking about? Seems like just another way of defining the woman by her shape. It’s kind of a two-wrongs-don’t-make-a-right thing. Mainstream society glorifies one body type; glorifying another body type doesn’t correct that. I don’t want to go dancing in a club that’s all about size. And I sure as hell don’t want to wear a bustier.

The second option, for old people, was The Foxfire in Anaheim Hills. I hear this club caters to two sorts of folks: people who have been dancing in clubs since the early seventies and are still wearing the same attire, and Cougars/cubs. That makes for some interesting choices in dance partners, I guess. Shall I dance with the guy whose gray chest hair is nicely accented by his gold medallion and silk shirt? Or the young man with the Oedipus complex? Tough call! I have never had any Cougar instincts, but I guess if I were both drunk and ovulating I might consider it….for as long as it took me to do the math and realize that he was closer to my son’s age than my own. Ugh. Shudder.

Okay—that’s the backstory: there are no good dancing options for the likes of me. What I want is to go dancing at a wedding reception thrown by my awesome, ginormous Midwestern family. You know– lots of alcohol, lots of friendly people, and something to celebrate. Everyone dances with everyone, and everyone’s glad to see you.

Here comes the great idea: I should open a dance club like that. Genius!

If I could make a club that felt just like a wedding reception, everyone could come and dance. There are plenty of fat people and old people at wedding receptions, and everyone loves them because they are friends and family, not because they’re fat or old.  There are also young people at weddings, and skinny people—all sorts of folks, including your wacky uncle and ancient great-aunt, and even total strangers—like those hot, single friends of the groom. My club would have a great crowd.

People might look at you funny if you wore Lycra and platforms, but they would be perfectly accepting of mom shoes. And if you did look a little slutty, well, you could be that cousin, the one who makes questionable choices.

The DJ would play good dance music, but he would have to include “Celebrate” by Kool & The Gang and “We are Family” by Sister Sledge. Also “Shout”. Maybe even an occasional polka, so everyone could clear the floor and let the old gals take a spin. Oh, and “The Cha Cha Slide”…one hop this time!

This might be a club for dorky white people. I don’t care.

My club would be perfect for people who have courthouse weddings or those who need a cheap reception. Just show up; the reception is already in progress. We’ll let you do your first dance and your toast if you bring us some cake.

What do you think? Would you dance at a club like that? What should I call it?

I’m pretty excited about this. I need to shop.