While at a holiday party, after cocktails, a wonderful meal and unique entertainment, the dancing began. Sensing a gentleman surveying my friend I said, “Avoid eye contact at three o’clock”. She replied, “I know where to look and not to look”.
She was, of course, talking about this particular social minefield. But what I’ve discovered in the last few years is that glib or funny things my friends and I say have deeper, much more profound meaning. We don’t even realize it as we voice it in the moment, but then there is a pause as we both process the statement, followed by the acknowledgment that one of us has said a mouthful.
Our high school selves at the Friday night dance in the gym and our single clubbing selves in our twenties did not have the tools to work a room before it worked us. Now in our fifties, experience has graced us with a savviness we could not have imagined back then. Even with compromised sight we are able to see what’s what and act accordingly in a way that protects ourselves but also serves the expectation of the occasion. Neither calculating nor selfish, after decades of life it is inherent. Thirty years after that summer with Johnny Castle, Baby would have put herself in that corner, looked and not looked, and had the time of her life.