Well, we did it. After eight weeks of Lindy Hop classes, the husband and I finally plucked up the courage to go to a 'Social'. This is the equivalent of learning basic French for a couple of months, and then living in Paris for the rest of your life. You know enough to feed yourself and basically survive, but anything else? Well, you're knackered.
Having told all and sundry we were going, we realised on Friday morning that there was no going back. The trouble was, what was I to wear?
After a bit of failed internet shopping on Thursday, Mrs S from Binland reminded me about the vintage shop in town. Oh yes, this would be one of my customers who just happens to sell retro clothes from the 1930/40's. How on earth could I have forgotten that? I ask this, but at the ripe age of 53, there's a lot which passes me by. Heading down there after work on Friday, I walked into WWII heaven. It was crammed with dresses, skirts, petticoats and everything you could ever desire for a Lindy Hop Social. Having tried on nearly everything in there, I finally settled on a green floral cotton dress and a white waspy belt. If you want to take a look, they can be found in Wallingford, and their website is http://sewveryvintage.co.uk/
Now let's fast forward a few hours. Son number one, who if you remember tipped up unannounced on Friday, offered to take us there and collect us later on. The husband had anticipated (rightly it turned out) that alcohol might be necessary to get us through the door, so the two of us swigged canned gin and tonics on the way like a couple of students. Talk about role reversal. This still wasn't sufficient, and fortunately, there was a pub next door to the hall where the Social was, so we headed into there for another couple. Oxford is a funny place. I walked in their looking like an extra from The Land Girls, complete with victory roll hair and blood red lipstick, and no one batted an eyelid.
So suitably lubricated, we finally plucked up the courage to go in. Lindy Hop events such as this have rules of etiquette, as it is normal for everyone to dance with each other, rather than just with your partner. So if someone asks you to dance, the correct responses are either, 'Thank you, that would be lovely', or 'I'm sitting this one out, but thank you for asking'. What you're not meant to do when a handsome 30 year old asks you to dance four minutes after you arrive, is put your head in your hands and shriek, ' Oh my god no! Are you mad? I've only been doing this a few weeks'. Anyway, he was very understanding, and went on to the next lady who was a lot braver.
It took us about an hour to actually get on the floor together. This was after a lovely gentleman called Eddie asked me for the pleasure, and took me for my first dance. He was very patient, and it gave me the courage (or it may have been the gin) to grab the husband and get on the floor. After that, there was no stopping us, and we danced for the next two hours till son number one collected us.
It's now Sunday morning, and my legs still haven't forgiven me.
But boy, it was worth it...