My days of night-clubbing long since passed, I still often have the urge to dance -- even though I'm now in my fifties (My daughter's right. I'll never grow up).
Nevertheless, I was pretty good in my day. Come to think of it, in my mind -- my world -- night clubs were the meeting place in the late seventies and early eighties. Uncle Sam's Disco was my second home, and the place where I could show off my new "moves" every Friday and Saturday night.
While churning on the dance floor, I caught most eyes in the room. I had many offers to dance, and even numerous date proposals. I laughed most off, however, except for Brad's -- Brad Tatro.
In a bar full of drooling idiots, Brad stood out with his six-foot, manly physique, dark hair, unbuttoned shirt, and tight polyester pants. Every weekend, the women would eye him from the moment he walked in the door to the time he left. He'd sneer at most, however, and ridicule others. Basically, he had a snooty, standoffish manner.
But I liked that. What can I say? I was twenty, and still making up for my strict upbringing. To say that I got out of hand in certain situations is putting it mildly.
So one weekend, not unlike any of the others, my girlfriends and I bet on who could get Brad's attention first -- if at all. Hey, fifty bucks is fifty bucks... And after two attempts by two of the other girls, I took my turn.
Good looks did nothing for me. But it sure was fun to attract the attention of attractive men, I must admit. Other than one of my high school boyfriends, however, most of the men I dated -- or that caught my interest -- were rather simple looking. It was a man's intelligence and kindness that beat the drums in my heart (After all, looks only get ya so far).
Back to the bet, then...
My getting Brad's attention was simply money with which to drink in my mind -- nothing more. His behavior would test the patience of the most tolerant. And I hadn't the energy in those days to put up with such things -- or so I thought.
As I approached him, I could see the sneer on his face: Oh no, not another one, was surely his thought at that moment. But, I didn't frighten easily.
"What's so great about you?" I asked when we finally came face to face. "Why are so many girls asking you to dance?"
"'Cause I dance great," he said with a smirk on his face. He then turned to his friends and they all smacked each other's hands while chuckling in amusement.
"I doubt that your talents equal mine," I replied and I walked away.
Once I arrived back at my table, the other women seemed rather content with themselves. One said, "I guess you didn't get very far." And I laughed saying, "Give it time. He'll be over."
Within ten minutes or so, he was.
We spent the rest of the night dancing. He wasn't all that bad. Nobody's perfect, right?
My girlfriends pitched in, handed me my fifty-dollar prize, and soon after I went home.
Two days later, Brad called admitting that one of my friends gave him my phone number: A fact that, at first, left me with an uncomfortable feeling. I wasn't sure about the whole dating thing. I was living on my own and enjoying my own company for the first time in years. Plus, my daughter was only eight months old at the time.
Yes, I was a mother at the tender age of twenty.
But that never kept me from my dance-weekends. Hell, it didn't keep me from doing much of anything. My daughter can attest to that.
My craziness led me down the road to numerous mistakes -- poor judgments. Brad was neither the first nor the last.
And if there's any justice in the world, he's currently bald, fat, and lonely (never mind that my temper had quite a bit to do with our breakup). Somebody that egotistical should be knocked down a peg or two.
Our relationship lasted for two years. And ended with a screaming match on the street where he lived. As I drove away, I knew my anger was the main cause of our end. But there were many others things -- many other reasons...
I know I've paid for the rage and arrogance in my youth many times over. And, perhaps, that's a big part of why I altered my behavior.
But it didn't happen overnight. It took years. It took almost a lifetime.
Now, I live my life on the opposite end of the psycho-bitch scale. I think I'm as far to the right (the low end) as a woman could possibly be. Oh, that's not to say I don't do crazy things. I most certainly do. Ask my husband.
But, today, I'm grounded by a man who brings out the best in me; by a lifestyle that surpasses all others in my mind; and by the new family God bestowed upon me.
And even though my childish follies caused more harm than good for countless years, I am at peace -- at peace with most things. After all, nobody's perfect.
I still dance. But these days, I dance in the garden; in the car; and down the street. I often get strange looks -- odd stares. But that's okay.
I never said I was normal.