W is for Why Not?
Ah, the Why Not. It was a grubby club where my army friends and I used to dance in Hinesville, Georgia, just outside of Fort Stewart. A cinderblock hulk with cement floors, it was the hottest non-country & western dance club in town, and we loved it. Every Friday night we’d shed our uniforms, get dressed up, parade in like the fine young things we knew we were, and dance until we literally couldn’t dance any more—until our muscles would no longer respond to our brain’s commands. All that dancing burned off the alcohol we drank like brandy in a flambéed dessert—sizzle, hiss, pouf! Although many came to the Why Not looking for a mate, my friends and I went in a big group, and that’s how we danced, just a blob of happy, bobbing humanity. Good times.
And why not? We were young, carefree, strong, and could bounce back from a night of carousing with minimal pain. Why not spend our money dancing and drinking and whooping it up? Come to think of it, why not do that now?
OK, I’m a lot older now. I was twenty-one when I danced at the Why Not. My alcohol consumption was limited by my skinny wallet, and also by my skinny body—too many drinks made me too dizzy to dance. Today both my wallet and body are thicker, but I don’t burn off the booze like used to. More than a few drinks and I go to sleep. And my creaky knees don’t like dancing as much as they used to. And my husband doesn’t dance so well on his new knee. Oh dear.
Well, if I can’t dance the night away, why not…
- Sing the night away. I sing better than I used to, and I’m learning to play the ukulele! It’s great fun to get together with guitar-playing friends and sing for hours.
- Clap the night away. There are so many venues in Tacoma where we can hear excellent live music of all sorts, and even dance a bit. Tonight we’re going out to hear some excellent jazz.
- Play the night away. Cards Against Humanity, Catch Phrase, Blitz (a card game)—it’s so much fun to get really silly and profane around a table with friends. I doubt any group of youngsters gets sillier than we do.
- Throw the night away. Hubs has installed a dart board out back in his Man Cave (a big shed), and my aim is getting better and better. Soon we’ll be ready for a dart league.
- Read the night away. Now that I’m retired, I’m burning through books like a fire in the library. I love staying up late to finish a book, knowing that I don’t have to get up early in the morning.
- Well, yes. There is that. It doesn’t take all night, but it’s still fun.
What about you? Do you still dance the night away? If not, what fun activities have taken the place of those wild nights on the dance floor?