Soul Train Wreck

The other  Saturday I tried to win $100 in a dance contest.  Quit laughing, people.  I'm broke and I'm a fantastic dancer.

After incorporating a switch blade comb into my dance routine and dramatically collapsing on the judges' table a la James Brown, I managed to win their hearts and was chosen unanimously for the finals. All I had to do was beat a quirky friend that had amazingly freaktastic moves, a shaggy-haired boy with loose hips , and a pretty girl in a leotard who was dry humping a wooden column. In all fairness, the pretty girl was limber -- but her seduction of an architectural structure device seemed a little too bridge and tunnel for this sophisticated panel. There was no way she was going to win. I was kind of surprised that she even made it to the finals.

We all gathered around for the final dance and to my absolute horror, a slower number was chosen -- "because dancing isn't just about freaking out -- it's about sex appeal."
Yeah, yeah, yeah *yawn* duly noted and just great. GREAT. Boooooo! Sssssssss! This is exactly what an ex-goth that studied Prince and took hip hop dance classes for an entire  summer needed to hear. Do they really expect us all to dance sexy? Please.  I had BIG plans of doing my jump/split move. Now I can't. Now I'm shadow dancing like a dimwit. Seriously, you guys. Slow tempos are a big deal breaker for me. Whenever the music slows down, it's always been my cue to get the hell off the dance floor before some idiot male (they come out of nowhere) thinks he'll be able to "complete me" by asking me to dance.  I cringe whenever that happens and a gigantic stream of "I-need-some-air-I-need-a-drink-I-need-to-find-my-friends-my-leg-hurts-where's-the-bathroom-I'm-married-my-shoe-is-untied-I'm-a-lesbian-I-don't-slow-dance-I-need-to-find-an-atm-machine-my-husband-will-kill-you-my-period-just-started--------lies----truth----lies----truth---lies" come out of my mouth.  Instead of learning how to dance to this stuff, I've just learned how to gracefully exit.
Besides, slow songs are for couples and strippers. Everybody knows that.

Things took a turn from mildly uncomfortable to the "worst night evahhh" when two of the trashiest blondes I've ever seen decided to crash the dance contest. In their defense, they thought this slower number was some sort of mating call. Much like idiot males, slow songs attract idiot females trying to show off those fancy gyrating skills they mastered after months of watching "Flirty Girl Fitness" DVDs.  I also believe they were suffering from "hot blonde syndrome" -- a terrible condition in which hot blondes go anywhere they please and do anything they want because nobody EVER tells hot blondes that they can't do stuff. One of these girls had such a terrible case of H.B.S. that it caused a most unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.  For most of the evening, one of her floppy boobs continuously popped out of the cheap poly blend shirt desperately trying to contain it. In her boob's defense, it was probably trying to escape this terrible girl and her poor fashion choices.  Meanwhile, the other hot blonde -- all barefoot and dressed like the poor man's Stevie Nicks -- attempted to grind up on anything and anyone in her path. I guess the "no shoes/no shirt" policy applies to everyone except hot blondes.

Duly noted.

Needless to say, it went from Soul Train to train wreck and I suddenly felt ridiculously out-of-place and absolutely embarrassed to be a woman. This was exactly the kind of tomfoolery that happens when you try and "sex-up" a dance contest. For shame, people! Where are my marbles?

Feeling discouraged, I tried my best to get past the fact that dance contests, like EVERYTHING, are never really about who is better. It's always a beauty pageant -- a test of "who wore it best." In this case, the "girl who wore it best" happened to be wearing the least. Yeah, surprise-surprise, our favorite double-jointed column humper took home the $100 prize. I even saw one of the judges making out with her later that night. Whatever. At least they didn't give the prize to that one trashy blonde's floppy boob. I guess I should be grateful for that small feminist victory. That said, I think the boob was a better dancer.

Okay. Perhaps I'm being too judgmental.  The winner seemed like a lovely person and she was certainly flexible and gorgeous. No dispute there. It was just disappointing because as lovely as she seemed, there wasn't anything particularly lovely about her dancing. She was just another normal hot girl bending over and the crowd wasn't buying it.  She may have won the judges' hearts but I was the people's choice. One after another, total strangers whispered to me, "You  should have won -- that contest was bullshit -- I love your dress."

It was a great dress.

Unfortunately I have not worked out a way to pay the bills with compliments and I really needed that $100.  Later a friend informed me that the girl who won needed the $100 more because her purse got stolen that night.  I had little sympathy.  I didn't even bring a purse because it's not like I have anything to fill a purse with.  Do you put money in those things? I don't have that. Those are rich girl problems.

Bummed out and feeling like the Al Gore of dance contests, I decided to leave.
As I said my goodbyes, various friends attempted to make me feel better with backhanded compliments -- my favorite kind.  One suggested that the only reason the column humper won was because she was attractive and thin.
Wow. So I'm not? Thanks, man.
Another one insinuated that I enabled the column humper to win.
Rully? And how did I do that?
While another mentioned that had I shown a little more skin, I would have won.
Fair enough but I'm a feminist. I may not have been showing an inch of skin but my dress was pretty spectacular. Does taste and style count for anything these days?

Also - not meaning to get all caps and shit - THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A DANCE CONTEST! Why is everyone talking about looks and skin? I bet nobody went up to the guy that competed and said "you would have won had you shown a little more skin" or "if you were better looking...." Please.  I did hear an acquaintance go into an elaborate conspiracy theory about how these dance contests are rigged.
"I don't mean to be sexist but..."
Oh boy -- here we go...
"they HAVE to let girls win -- even though guys are better dancers."


The night came to its climatic conclusion when one of the hot blondes fell on me before puking on my Italian boots. It was the least she could do.
This was an appropriate metaphor for the entire evening. It also reminded me of something that has been bothering me for quite a while. Normal people.

Can we talk about normal people for a second? They are everywhere and have control over the government, our cities, our neighborhoods, advertising, the airwaves, the job market, newspapers, Hollywood, music, clothing, television, social networking sites, architecture, the internet, dance contests, our evenings out, beauty standards, puke, column humping... EVERYTHING. They question nothing and ruin it all. There used to be a time when kindred spirits could look a certain way and go to certain places just to get away from this overwhelming state of norm. This didn't last for long once the norms found out about these safe places. I mean, dress codes have been reasonably successful in scaring off a few norms that don't own shirts with collars -- but most of them just figured out clever ways to appropriate our form of dress while using our own music against us.  You see, norms are greedy grabbers and they want our scene too. They go to our clubs, get drunk at our shows, write for our music weeklies, and wake up in your bedrooms.

Umm, and about that. WHY, people? WHY? You're better than that. Why are so many of you sleeping with these fools? Why are you encouraging them? They're not that cute. I'm not just talking to the ladies here, I'm talking to you gentlemen as well. Why do you choose the easy ones over the complicated ones? It's always sluts over style. What gives? I thought you were supposed to be enlightened. I thought we were all on the same page about this stuff.

Clearly this is all making me cranky and I'm starting to give up on any hope of a good night out with people I can relate to. Even my own subculture has let me down. Where is the style? The wit? the substance? The charisma? The excitement? I'm hungry for fascinating conversations and decent dance partners. I want to have my mind blown for a change. I want to feel something. I want to laugh. Why is everyone so drunk and boring and conservative and humorless? Why is everyone always playing it so safe? American Apparel again? Irony again? Leggings again? Denim again? Glee AGAIN? Are you guys really watching that show? Why is Bitch magazine always blogging about it? Why is everyone watching so much TV? I went out a few months ago and some guy was sincerely trying to talk to my friends and I about "Everybody Loves Raymond." Are you kidding me??? Is this really what's on people's minds?


More importantly, why do column humpers win $100 in dance contests while girls like me walk home alone in the rain -- broke -- with some idiot's puke on their shoe?