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Hm. I have no icon that reflects "domestic blah blah blah". The… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
August 14th, 2005
04:40 pm

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Hm. I have no icon that reflects "domestic blah blah blah".

The mower is close, though.



Had - or am having - a good weekend. I intended to get a lot of cleaning done inside the house - it approaches a state of entropy really fast towards the end of a project at work. Years ago, back when Andy, Carolyn, Liz, Rog, and myself all lived in and around Boston, we had a weekly movie night which was often in my place, and it helped provide the incentive to keep my place clean.

Needless to say, time marches on.


I did manage to mow the lawn and do a tiny bit of weed-eater-ing. That's good. I printed out a 6 1/2 foot by 4 foot poster of Orlando Bloom. That's mischief. We'll see tomorrow how much my immediate supervisor appreciates it. We'll see how long it stays up in his office. Mental note: bring a camera to work.

I went dancing Saturday night - a place I don't usually go, which is good - meet new people, dance to different music, experience different social structures. The place I usually go gets two dozen people on a really popular night. I think that typical is closer to a dozen. Not big, certainly, but intimate. To the point where the DJ knows me well enough to play music for me without my having to actually request anything. He doesn't completely read my mind, but he's pretty good. Yeah, that's a little scary.

This place I went probably had a good 200 people - so that's different. And they were typically in their 60s, some in their 70s. Maybe. Perhaps I'm wrong, maybe it's 50s and 60s. In any case, not the hot single women a guy like me was hoping to dance with, by and large. However, there were probably 4 or 6 attractive women that were in their 30s (and one who was probably in her 20s). So that was nice. I'm not saying I don't appreciate the image of a 70 year old woman bouncing around to Hanson. Everybody enjoys that, right?

I was a little uncomfortable, though, at the phenomenon right at the beginning of a new song; a body of men (substantially white haired, of varying degrees of pudginess) would circle the area between the dance floor and the tables where people were seated, looking for their next dance partner. It reminded me a great deal of sharks looking for chum.

And, I'll admit, I probably participated in that phenomenon to some degree - I challenged myself to actually ask each of the women on that short list to dance at least once throughout the night. And I did, woohoo! And, having congratulated myself, I'll apologize for turning these women into a simple checklist. But hey, courage to ask women to dance, that's a good thing.

Another phenomenon that I found a little odd was that everybody on the dance floor was with a partner. Sure, we learned a little bit of West Coast Swing at the beginning, and people could be understood to want to try that out, and a number of the songs were selected for particular ballroom steps (oh, now I recall an exception - people danced the Electric Slide as you'd expect, in lines). But perhaps I've got an image of dances formed from a small sample size of high school dances, where many people could dance in an ill-defined group, or from dance clubs where people certainly don't do steps, they just move to the music. I somewhat expected that for some of the songs that weren't good ballroom candidates, that folks would simply take to the dancefloor and bounce around aimlessly.

I'm such the anarchist that way.

And I ponder the implications of the line from "Hitch", that women equate dancing with more intimate acts. What message am I broadcasting when I dance by myself?


Today, I intended to buy some bath towels, and got a little sidetracked. Oh, I got the towels, and quite a few handtowels and washcloths along the way. And I stopped by a local furniture store. Back when I had just moved to this area from Boston, I found a really interesting looking nightstand fashioned out of reclaimed wood from old houses or railroad trestles or the like. And, of course, there was a bunch of other furniture that I could have got at the same time, but I decided not to. And I kept thinking that I'd like a headboard / bedframe / something in the same style. But certainly 7 years later, they wouldn't still be making that line, would they? The salesman brought up my account, and found my original order, and yes, the people who made the nightstand were still making that line, and here's our binder of products.

I walked out of there having decided not to buy everything that the guy showed me, so that's a small triumph. But in 12 weeks, I should have a fancy new (but old-looking) bedframe delivered to me, and installed as well.

And, hopefully, I'll have the reason and wherewithal in the interim to order the chest of drawers that matches.



So domestic am I.

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[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:August 15th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
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Dancing and furniture shopping? As well as mowing the lawn? My oh my did you have a busy weekend. Now I feel vaguely lazy. I only did half of the lawn, and bribed my 10 year old with a new video game for the other half. I didn't finish any of the paperwork I brought home to work on, nor did I paint the kitchen (which I really should have done).

As far as the check list goes, when men go to a bar/dance club/whatever, don't they usually have a check list of what or rather a specific female type (male type if they are gay) they go after?
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:August 15th, 2005 01:12 am (UTC)
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I'm probably a pretty poor representative of men, but my criteria for interesting dance partners are few:


  • Roughly the same age as me let's say plus or minus ten years
  • Preferably of European descent no good reason, but there it is
  • Preferably in better shape than me one day, I'll have got in better shape, and I'll loosen this guideline


I suppose that constitutes a checklist, but probably not a specific type.

But I certainly did accumulate a list of the women that I wanted to get one dance with before the night was over - which sounds like all that dreadful stereotypical male conquest drive.


Perhaps more revealing would be the women I danced with more than once - one cute office manager, and a funny, intelligent middle school teacher.
[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:August 15th, 2005 01:25 am (UTC)
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·Roughly the same age as me let's say plus or minus ten years
·Preferably of European descent no good reason, but there it is
·Preferably in better shape than me one day, I'll have got in better shape, and I'll loosen this guideline


Hmmm well that is much better than the just breathing, has all their teeth, and doesn’t smell mentality. (And no, that isn’t my list). You are limiting yourself with the European descent thing, I’ve dated some wonderful Japanese men as well as some nice Turkish guys (only problem is they are rarely taller than I am).

Perhaps more revealing would be the women I danced with more than once - one cute office manager, and a funny, intelligent middle school teacher.

It sounds as if you have, somewhat, eclectic tastes. Was the office manager at least intelligent and/or funny as well, or was she just cute? The next question is, will you be heading back to that place again, and if you see either of them, would you ask them to dance again?
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From:tsmaster
Date:August 15th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
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You are limiting yourself with the European descent thing

Quite probably, yeah. And I'm sure we could probe far more obscure portions of my psyche if we wanted to break the question up into what makes an interesting dance partner versus an interesting date versus an interesting girlfriend. Some criteria would be stricter, some would be looser.


It sounds as if you have, somewhat, eclectic tastes.

Somewhat, I suppose - in the first case, the woman got my attention based on gross physical attributes, and while we didn't much talk during the dances we had, I liked her smile and eyes. In the second case, we had more opportunity to talk, and so I actually got to know her.

will you be heading back to that place again, and if you see either of them, would you ask them to dance again?

I may or may not go back - I felt really uncomfortable early in the night being so much in the minority age-wise. This, I imagine, will be the case so long as I choose ballroom dancing as my social outlet. Or at least until I get 30 years older.

If I were to meet up with either of them again - whether on the dance floor, or some other venue - I'd be delighted to continue to get to know them better, which could be by dancing or not. But yeah, I'd certainly dance with them.

That said, did I get their phone numbers? No. Do I feel bad about that? Not really. Maybe a little bit.
[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:August 15th, 2005 02:40 am (UTC)
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And I'm sure we could probe far more obscure portions of my psyche if we wanted to break the question up into what makes an interesting dance partner versus an interesting date versus an interesting girlfriend. Some criteria would be stricter, some would be looser.

Indeed? Do tell… it’s not as if I’ve anything better to do tonight, and if you’re answering me, I could say the same for you. I’m always interested in seeing where the male psyche leads, even the mind of a 10 year-old male astounds me these days, so any insight gleaned is stored knowledge for later.

This, I imagine, will be the case so long as I choose ballroom dancing as my social outlet. Or at least until I get 30 years older.

Ballroom dancing? What made you decide to try that? Then again, when I think of dancing, I still picture the herd mentality, where everyone dances in this huge human circle, gyrating against one another. Actual steps though, speaks of concentration and timing.

That said, did I get their phone numbers? No. Do I feel bad about that? Not really. Maybe a little bit.

It’s a small world, and from what I’ve heard Washington is pretty small around where you’re at, so it is possible that you’ll run into them sooner or later. To continue on with my nose note, do you like Washington? I’ve been weighing the options of moving to Blaine, WA, and while I am a West Coast girl, I’ve not actually been that far north.
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From:tsmaster
Date:August 15th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
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Ballroom dancing? What made you decide to try that?

I forget where the initial itch came from - but it was back in fall of 95, I took a class on three different dances; Swing, Waltz, and maybe Foxtrot. I don't recall anything that I learned about Waltz, and I forgot everything about the third dance, including what dance it was. Foxtrot sounds plausible.

I imagine that part of the thinking at the time was to meet new people and to learn something interesting (and something that women would be interested in).

I grew quite rusty up until a few years ago - I've regained much of what I learned about Swing, and I'm picking up a few other steps along the way.


Actual steps though, speaks of concentration and timing.

Indeed! And it explains part of why I didn't get much conversation in with the cute office manager - much of what we did say was "one, two, three and four, five and six", which was one topic we had in common, but we didn't have much opportunity to go on from there.


more obscure portions of my psyche

Perhaps I'll leave most of the nooks and crannies unplumbed, but the quick treatment of dance partner vs date would be that the dance partner criteria selects mostly for this one physical activity of three or four minutes, whereas the date criteria selects for several hours, probably of conversation. I've been noodling about this a bit, and I think that I've come to a place where a dance is just a dance, and doesn't need to be the beginnings of any courtship ritual. However, clearly it's something more than just a two-person hobby, as my criteria for an interesting handball opponent (were I to play handball) would probably be different, much looser, than my dance partner criteria.


I don't think I ever got to an observation I meant to make in the original post: the circling shark phenomenon, the checklist, I'm awfully uncomfortable with that, in part, I think, because I don't like the selection process. (Now that we've said how many words about my own criteria for selection?) I wish things were more egalitarian, and there wouldn't be superstars of the dance floor. My checklist is evidence that I'm operating as some sort of gatekeeper, and that makes me very uncomfortable.

Is that why I like dancing by myself? Maybe. It rules out a bunch of dance options, but it also removes much of the baggage that ought to be left behind in middle school.


But I don't encourage you to extrapolate from my psyche to any larger group. Your mileage may vary.


Washington is pretty small around where you’re at

Smaller than Boston, but not all that quiet - the place I was dancing last night was a good half hour south of where I live, and that takes in Redmond and Bellevue, both fairly populous areas. And the office manager might well live in Seattle for all I know. Not that Seattle's a huge metropolis, but it's big enough.


do you like Washington? I’ve been weighing the options of moving to Blaine, WA

Washington's my home - and my folks' before me, and the chosen home of their parents before them. So, yes, I do like it, but that's understating things. Washington's where home has to be.

I think that my grandfather grew up in Blaine (hm, no, that was Lynden). I know little about it, but I think of it as a small town - perhaps only from stories that Grampa would tell me. I'm sure that it has much of the same character as most of the rest of Western Washington, and even more interesting with the proximity of Vancouver, BC. Saltwater on one hand, mountains on the other, forests in between - which is probably not terribly different than much of the West Coast. Where did you grow up?
[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:August 15th, 2005 04:27 am (UTC)
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I grew quite rusty up until a few years ago - I've regained much of what I learned about Swing, and I'm picking up a few other steps along the way.

Still, that is impressive! I can’t dance, even when I try! My Mum and sister were into country line dancing a few years ago, and I tried, but I’ve got two left feet. I’d much rather go and people watch.

the circling shark phenomenon

I think it is an apt commentary on a lot of aspects about life in general. Or, perhaps I’m just a cynic who sees things that way, especially when it comes to parents and their kids. My son bowls (shudders) and he adores it. I take him because he likes it, and it gives me four hours every Saturday morning to read a book or write whilst he is being manly and competitive. The other parents though, oh my, they circle, and prod, and berate their children at every turn, and not only their children, but their children’s team mates as well.

I suppose, from my stand point, it should be all about the kids having fun and learning how to deal with winning and losing in a graceful manner, and less about the parents forcing the kids to always win-win-win.

Where did you grow up?

Everywhere and nowhere. I’m a military brat, so I didn’t really live in one place for too long. We were mostly stationed on the West Coast (San Diego, Honolulu and San Francisco) but we also did terms in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (which is where I’m at now).

Actually, Vancouver is part of the reason I want to give Blaine a whirl. I’ve got friends that live there, and while a big city intimidates me, I could do a sleepy little town.
[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:August 15th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)
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I can’t dance, even when I try!

I don't consider myself particularly gifted with rhythm or coordination, but I find that with patience and practice, I can adopt certain moves into muscle memory. And there's room for variations and flourishes and whatnot which makes dance more interesting than, say, marching.


San Diego, Honolulu and San Francisco

Ha! My sister just moved from San Francisco to San Diego. I imagine that if she can be at home in those places, that bodes well for your move.
[User Picture]
From:celisnebula
Date:August 15th, 2005 02:20 pm (UTC)
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I imagine that if she can be at home in those places, that bodes well for your move.

I can be home pretty much anywhere. I just miss living near the ocean and mountains. Michigan is very flat... and well flat, and it would be nice to be closer to family (they're all West Coasters).
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