Some time last Friday night I became middle-aged. One minute I was standing at the bar in my leopard print pants dancing to Blurred Lines like the 30 year old I think I am and the next minute I was a 42 year old mum.

I know exactly when it happened too. It wasn’t when I had to come inside because it was freezing in the courtyard and despite my sensible outfits layers, I needed to stand in front of the open fire. It wasn’t when I realized that all the guys that caught my eye [in a harmless, non-cheating kind of way] were beardless, looked a bit tired and all had grey hair. It wasn’t even when I ordered a gin and tonic because I understood that if I had another glass of pinot gris, I would feel queasy and not be able to sleep well and I knew I had to be up early in the morning. It was precisely at the moment that I watched a young woman gyrating between two equally young men in a very tight, very troubling kind of human sandwich.

I had been watching this girl [I know technically she’s a woman but I’m middle-aged now and that makes her a girl] randomly throughout the night. She was young. Maybe early to mid twenties. Blonde and fresh and confidently attractive. She was dancing around with a group, I couldn’t tell who exactly she was with but there were at least two other girls that I think she was with. She was having a lot of fun and I had been watching her with a mix of admiration and envy. Admiration at her ability to dance –vigorously – without spilling her drink and envy as I remembered that feeling of abandon that overcomes you when you’re young and out and feeling gorgeous. She was wearing a short playsuit with stiletto heels and a deep, plunging, ruffled neckline. She looked gorgeous. She was drinking but I couldn’t tell how drunk she was. I know this is all sounding weird and you’d be forgiven for wondering if I’m actually some sick kind of stalker but I’m going somewhere with this.

I watched her dancing up against one of the guys in a suit who did his best to keep up with her funk… and failed. Still he pulled her closer and as she spun around and backed up to him it was obvious that she wasn’t wearing a bra as her top gaped and showed just a bit too much to the gathering onlookers from time to time. Still, her hands were in the air and she was smiling and singing and it looked like she was feeling fantastic. I stole kind glances at her in between having my own good time with a great group of chicks and then I noticed that another guy had started dancing with them and that she was now sandwiched between the two. And it was tight in there. The boys could’ve kissed each other when she squatted between them and shimmied her way back up. Her eyes were closed and she looked like she was really happy to be there. With them. Like that. I watched on as another mate took photos or video on his phone of them dancing. I watched on as both the guys she was dancing with had their hands on her. Competing for space on her small torso. I watched on as her girlfriends clapped with encouragement and as she turned it up when they did. I watched on.

I can’t reconcile how it all made me feel and I am still confused. The young, empowered woman in me wanted to high-five her and say ‘You go girl! While you’re young and happy and without the burden of responsibility. Feel gorgeous. Be sexy. Flirt to your heart’s content’. The middle-aged, protector in me wanted to march over, eye-ball the guys, erase the phone footage and tell her ‘You go girl! But remember that the minute you want to stop – I’m here, and I’ve got your back’.

There was nothing wrong with her behavior and I sincerely HOPE this is not being misinterpreted as judgemental but it just made me feel so uncomfortable. Maybe she didn’t want to stop. Maybe she wasn’t drunk. Maybe it was playing out exactly how she wanted to. Maybe her own friends had her back. Maybe all those guys were her friends and this was just how they all partied together. Maybe. But maybe not.

I left not long after [it was already 11 o’clock!!!] so I don’t know how the night ended for her. I hope it was exactly as she intended. And, regardless of what that may have been, that she still felt that way in the morning.

I remember being young and single and gorgeous and drunk. I remember dancing on packed dance floors. Hot and sweaty and sexy. Pushing myself up against guys and feeling their ‘appreciation’ at doing so. It’s a heady time and I loved it. Did I think I was doing anything wrong? No. Would I have appreciated some old bag keeping their watchful eye on me? Fuck no. Weirdo. So why can’t I shake the feeling that I somehow, just a little bit, let that girl down?

 

Author

Seventies Baby writes the things we think... but don't say out loud! A gloves-off perspective of womanhood, parenting and modern family life in a world obsessed with being perfect and politically correct. You can (and should!) follow her blog at www.seventiesbaby.blogspot.com or find her on Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s just the middle aged woman in you that made you react this way. I think it’s more the sisterhood in you.

    I remember in my mid twenties I was out with my husband and his friends. Most of the guys were single so they were just having a good time hanging out with one another, not even fussed with the hot young girls in the bar. Most of them are smokers so we would go out the back as as group just hanging out chatting whilst the smokers smoked.

    During the night I noticed two young girls (19-21 year olds) trying really hard to get some of the guys attention. It was cute and we’ve all been there. They started doing the odd shots and the guys politely obliged when they were asked to join. However, it was clear the guys were more into catching up with one another than entertaining girls.

    Near the end of the night, one of the girls clearly had one too many trying to keep up with the whole bar. I was at the back with the guys and we were sitting around chatting, smokers smoking. The girls stumbled out. What happened next angers me, even to this day.

    The more sober friend was basically throwing her friend at my husband’s friend. Saying that she’s so wasted and that she need a guy to look after her after and share a bed with. The sober girl was playing it out as the better catch between the two and clearly wanted to get with a particular guy in our group.

    The guys were being polite and one of the went in to grab bottles of water. Told the sober girl maybe they needed to flush out their system a little and can it a night. Not use to being rejected, sober girl amped up her game and ultimately revealed her desperation… Basically pimping off her fiend in the process.

    My sisterhood instincts kicked in, sloshed girl obviously clueless to what her friend was doing. I stood up, walked over to sober girl and looked at her in the eye and basically said “be a f*ckng decent friend, take the water and make sure she drinks it. When she’s a little better help her home, not with random guys but just the two of you. Also, stop f*cking pimping her off.”

    So yes, sometimes a fun night turns out bad because your friends spurs you on to have fun and you think they have your back.

    • I was twenty something and night clubbing, I went upstairs for a breather and a quiet drink. I noticed a 19-21yr drunk girl pined to the wall and a man with his pants down engaging with pleasures, I will never forget the look on her vacant face. I looked around he seemed to have friends watching over him encouraging him further she didn’t, not sure what to do I went to the bar and reporting what was happening as I figured no self respecting women would be having public sex in a crowded bar when drunk like that. The bar staff laughed so I used the words duty of care and they called security. Security broke-up on the moment and sent them outside. I will never know what happened next but have always been proud of what I did.

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