Evacuate the dancefloor

I’m 41 next week. Forty-bloody-one. I still feel 36 on the inside – a notion that my bathroom mirror, in league with the incoming Northerly light, seems keen to disabuse me of. Each morning when I stare into it, I look just a fraction more like this…

Marionette lines are appearing at the corners of my mouth. My eyebrows are starting to descend like half-drawn blinds. I can imagine my face on a poster pinned up at Clinique HQ: ‘THIS is What Happens When You Pull or Drag on the Delicate Eye Area’.

Ageing must ultimately be embraced, of course, and I am more than ready to hand on the baton to the next generation. But ideally, I want to pass it on with dignity, rather than cling to it, shrieking, while some gorgeous 16-year-old breaks my fingers one by one. And that is why I do not want to go dancing on Friday night.

Yes, we are having a mums’/ladies’ night out, in a bar where Young People go. My plan is to limit my alcohol intake and sit serenely on the sidelines, and if you need to ask why, you’ve obviously never witnessed my jaw-dropping, wedding-dancefloor-clearing interpretation of ‘Centrefold’ by The J Geils Band. Or my athletic rendition of MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’, which usually culminates in me attempting the splits and my episiotomy scars bursting open.

Must not drink. Must not drink. Must not jump up when Justin Timberlake comes on – ‘You’ve only got four minutes to save the world… Ma-don-na!’. Must not dive onto the dancefloor and start vibrating like an outboard motor, sucking hapless twentysomethings into the slipstream of my jiggling bingo wings. Must not attempt any moves seen in Usher videos, or ‘Step Up 2 The Streets’.

Must not have any fun at all.



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42 responses to “Evacuate the dancefloor

  1. Love it! I demand that you drink, do the splits (safely though, no reopening of wounds thankyou) and thoroughly disgrace yourself and then produce photographic evidence and/or a vlog of the incident.

    Funny as….xx

    • notwavingbutironing

      Will get someone to film me on their mobile. Expect to see me on You’ve Been Framed in the coming weeks, falling over mid-spin and showing my granny knickers.

  2. ha ha ha, but you know that you’re going to though, huh?

  3. Ha Ha – we need to see evidence. Step away from the drink.

    Last time I went to a “disco” I had my portable breast pump in my handbag (as you do) and lost a bit of the tubing on the dancefloor somewhere. Nice.

  4. I’ve got a girly night to look forward to on Friday but as we’re all over the hill we will be just having a meal – sensible option!

    Lovely photo of your 41 year old self there – didn’t realise gravity affected the ears too. Unlucky!

  5. notwavingbutironing

    Yes, it’s an unfortunate trait shared by all the Not Waving family. You should see my Grandad….

  6. Brilliant. You MUST dance. I live in the town where my husband grew up which has got just one dodgy disco full of young’uns. My husband refuses to be seen dead in it, stating that he used to look at the oldies and feel sorry for them and doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for him.

    Feck that. I don’t know them. I don’t care what they, with their flat tummies and perky boobs think of me, Mother of 3 and possessor of neither of the above. But who cares. You’ll have a whale of a time – just remember the old ‘one glass of wine, then one glass of water’ trick really does help with the hangovers….

    • notwavingbutironing

      I’m just going to pretend I’ve come to collect my daughter. And I’ve turned up pissed. Wearing stupidly high heels and a glittery top. That’ll fool those gullible young folks.

  7. You dance, my friend. Dance your socks off. Actually, wear some tights, and dance them off. With some other clothes, obviously.
    WISH I could see rendition of ‘You can’t touch this.’ Reminds me a little of me and ‘I will survive’.
    Or Mustang Sally. LOVE Mustang Sally. Guaranteed to look like complete plonker
    Oh, please have fun. Because then you can blog about it and that’ll be good. Really.

    • notwavingbutironing

      All you wanna do is ride around Sally (ride, Sally, ride)…
      Would be interested to know what your signature moves are, Ladybird. Maybe we should both vlog our favourite routines? I will keep a bucket near me during ‘You Can’t Touch This’ in case my bladder gives out.

  8. I totally understand what you mean when you refer to feeling younger on the inside. I swear I have aging dismorphia. I get really shocked when I see photos of myself because in my head I am so much younger and skinner . Go nuts on your birthday night – show those young things what it’s all about.

  9. Would just like to add my voice to the chorus above.

    We all want to see Notwavingbutshakingherbooty!

    You’d better!

  10. I just can’t get drunk enough these days to think dancing is something I’m still not bad at. I can’t figure out if my liquid capacity has dropped, my alcohol threshold has increased alarmingly or I’ve just killed too many brain cells for “pissed as a parrot” to be distinguishable from normal.

    I was a pretty dang enthusiastic 4 times a week dancer in 1985 and I think that’s precisely where my moves should stay.

    I think you should go for it though.

    It’s always a good idea if someone else goes for it.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Gappy – I will shake it and think of you. That sounds a lot pervier than I meant it to.

      Mrs W – Oh, I was a dancefloor liability in 1985, too. ‘The Lovecats’ by The Cure always brought out the worst in me.

  11. Last time I was plied with drink I ended up singing ‘My Rifle, My Pony and Me’ to the regulars of the Bridge Inn (a grotty little dive that the Father of This Lot frequents). It wasn’t Karaoke Night, or anything….just me.

    Apparently, I was quite good, because I was invited back to do a turn the following week….

    Dance, I say! Like nobody’s watching (or any other inspirational quote you can think of).

  12. Christ. You have energy for dancing? I’m only 40 and I have no energy for dancing. Or jiggling my bingo wings. Or going out after 9pm.

  13. notwavingbutironing

    Mother: Am fascinated – My Rifle, My Pony and Me? I need to know the lyrics. And hear you sing it on a vlog.

    Coffee Lady – glad to see you out and about. I would far, far rather just climb into bed on Friday night with my hot water bottle. Don’t want to go, don’t want to go…

  14. Shake your booty girl and DANCE!

    I shall not transcend into mid years and oldness well, and I’m ahead of you @ 44. Rather I shall follow the example of Miss B Cartland by wearing pink chiffon and too much rouge. I also plan to drink cocktails in the morning while writing saucy fiction (non fiction if I’m lucky!) and I may occassionally breathe over younger men….just don’t tell my husband!

  15. Lovely post as always. The look on my girls faces is enough to tell me that I can’t dance and my taste in music leaves a great deal to be desired… but then it’s a long time since I was 41. Youth! Clearly young enough to go for it and be dammed!

  16. myf

    wish i could be there, honestly… i really did want to join you on the dance floor… shame i had previous dinner invitation…
    it would be worth going through all the anxiety of being a wall flower again just to see your moves. i would have joined in of course once i’d consumed enough tequila but it wouldn’t be for long cause it’s a fine line between that stage and passing out.
    have fun.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Oh but you COULD be there, Miss ‘I’ve got a prior dinner-party appointment’. I know you’re only washing your hair. It’s not too late to don your impractical pointy shoes and join us! Maybe you can’t take any more, after ‘that night’ in August, huh? Was it my Shakira impersonation that did it?

  17. Those young people need to be shown the way. They do. Honestly.

    What are you wearing? Does it ride up or ride down? Details like this are important (experience experience experience) Remember the old days when it was just a big coat and a couple of tassels underneath? Or – if it was somewhere with a notorious cloakroom – just the tassels and plenty of bacardi? I don’t go out without 14 sewn-in layers over the goose fat now. I’m getting over-excited on your behalf!

    Have you seen Lady Ga Ga’s latest video – the Telephone one? Oh do that! (I would be your Beyonce but I’m afraid I have a baked beans jigsaw that won’t finish itself……)

    We need pictures!!!!!!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Just watched it – that bitch Gaga has stolen my rhinestone thong and microbra! I’ll have to put them through the boil-wash before I wear them tomorrow night.

  18. The J Geils Band. Whatever happened to The J Geils Band?

    But you’re only 41, and therefore too young by far to remember the days when people danced with their hands somewhere between hip and shoulder level, and not waving above their heads. You need to be my kind of age to remember that. And the foxtrot.

  19. notwavingbutironing

    Rubbish, Iota – I’ve gauged from your cultural references that we are the same age, give or take a year or two. My arms NEVER went over my head on the dancefloor. The only time anyone raised their arms in a nightclub in the mid-1980s was if someone had slipped in a puddle of snakebite and their mates were calling for a medic.

  20. I’m afraid I have to confess to arms above head waving and I am even more ancient than you – it was the dry ice pumping out bit that used to entice me to such ridiculous antics. I even remember leaping into the white shouting ‘CREATION!’

    Why do I always reveal more than I mean to on your comments list? You should charge £30 a session.

  21. Since I can remember enthusiastically dancing the Twist , and not in an ironic way , I’m not too sure that I’d get past the bouncer . I’m putting my feet up and listening to Acker Bilk tonight . But I look forward to hearing all about it …. the bits you can remember .

    • notwavingbutironing

      Thanks for visiting, Geraldine. I’m sure your Twist was a lot more dignified than my middle-aged attempts to ‘pop and lock’. At least you only went from side to side.

  22. Going to bars-where-young-people-go sounds far too scary when you’re 41 and look like a basset hound…

    …by the way you really should do something about those bags…very unbecoming

  23. Anne

    What a wonderful woman you are!! Dance, Pleeze, the last time ( a decade ago I think) I was in a club, I looked like the bouncer (trousers and waistcoat) failed to drink due to effort required to get to the bar, and was horrified by the resemblance to Neanderthal man that all the men suffered.. The girls were all Lolita look a likes, just demanding to be corrupted. Dreadful. Havn’t looked back since, I leave clubs entirely up to my kids now, who are just about ready. I think. You have a marvellous mind , erudite wit, I think I like you!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Aw, thanks, Anne [puffs up with pride].
      Can’t link to your site, so post your address if you get a minute.

  24. Listen, I’m so old that I used to use the word “boogie”.

    I love Geraldine’s comment about dancing the Twist, but not in an ironic way. Young things these days, they take themselves so seriously, they probably haven’t worked out how to dance to the J Geils Band in an ironic way.

    • notwavingbutironing

      ‘My blood runs cold, my memories have just been sold, my angel is the centrefold (angel is the centrefold)…’ How can anyone resist that? C’mon! ‘Na na na-na-na-na…’

  25. Oh, one of my real life/blog friends Make Do Mum made the DJ play MC Hammer at my wedding. I love to dance too, but have a suspicion that my moves are becoming rather ‘Mum’ dancing. I cannot wait until Piran is old enough to get embarrassed!

  26. notwavingbutironing

    My two won’t let me dance in the house, at all. Probably because my jowls start flapping when I do Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’.

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