Ah music. Music! MUSIC!!! It is for me one of the highest pleasures in life.
Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Indie, HipHop, Dubstep, Kompa, Marengue….It does not matter, I do not care. If the music hits me I wanna move. I want to feel it flow through my body. I want to be one with the artist, one with the rhythm. And there are just some songs– we’ve all experienced it– that seem made for your soul. You’re riding some wavelength and this piece of music- the sound, the lyrics, everything, is made FOR YOU.
So then, what’s a lady to do when she’s out in public, say the gym or the mall, whichever public place you like to wear your headphones and zone the world out, and that song– that song comes on? Is it right to fight nature for the sake of decorum? Must we hold in our fire and tighten our hips so as not to reveal that the animal inside, our spirit, is riding a wavelength that is ready to overtake us? Does this behavior make us any better than the Victorians we so giddily mock with our bloated sense of our own liberation?
Does dancing in a public place when my song comes on make me look slutty? And if so, should I be starting some sort of Music Lover’s Unite Revolution?
I’ve watched countless movies where this cliched free-spirit girl comes into the life of some uptight tighty whitety and releases him from the hold of societies death-grip on his soul. And in these films there’s always the inevitable scene when the woman goes dancing. There she is, uninhibited life flowing through her to the rhythm of the music. The man stares at her in awe and fascination. The audience says “Yes. Yes, this is Life. This is something to aim for!”
I am proud to say that I have been that woman. I have stood up and danced when others lingered in corners or stiffened with indignation. I have danced with Life. But let me tell you something else. It isn’t always admiring glances that come my way. Breaking News: Life isn’t a movie.
Here’s a couple of the “letters” I’ve received from onlookers outraged that I had the audacity to swivel my hips in a grocery store aisle or other random location:
“I see you there swiveling your hips. I know my husband is exceedingly sloppy and seems only focused on sugary breakfast cereal, but I know you want him. He’s mine and you can’t have him. I’ll be sure to mention how slutty you are once we round the corner.” — Wife of sloppy man
“You have the nerve to dance in front of your children? I know what you’re up to. You’re trying to be the cool mom and make the rest of us look bad. Why don’t you contain that youthful inhibition, straighten up and fly right.” — Boring, worried mom
So what is? Should I be stifling my inner bird or should I let her fly? Am I being slutty for enjoying my music in public? Are you the sort who wishes public dancing was not so frowned upon by our “liberated” society? Where are all my freebirds?