It’s date-night at the Senior Center and Babe and I are perched at a table not much bigger than a Frisbee. If we can manage to squeeze onto the microscopic dance floor we plan to boogie all night long. My man loves to dance.
When the band starts up with, “Sixty Minute Man,” Babe connects with the song and immediately yanks me on to the dance floor before I can say hula-hoop and poodle skirts.
Delirious with a fresh case of Saturday Night Fever, Babe swings me around and right into a senior couple fresh out of a ballroom dance class, probably Arthur Murray’s. She is clutching a patent-leather purse the size of a Barcalounger and so help me, she is wearing Bobbie Sox and Saddle Oxfords. They are both counting steps like Arthur taught them to do.
Wearing a goofy nirvana expression on his face, Babe dances like nobody’s watching but within 30 seconds, the Sixty Minute Man crashes into an elderly gentleman who is using a walking stick for his partner. The fellow wheels around, bares his teeth and growls, but Mister Saturday Night Fever totally ignores him. I have one thought in mind and that is to get that fool husband of mine away from Cujo before we both have to take rabies shots.
“Move out of that man’s way,” I shout to Babe in hopes of being heard over the earsplitting music. He stops dead still in the middle of the dance floor, cocks his head to the side and stares at me.
Zigzagging through a blaze of white hair, polyester pants and patent leather pocketbooks, we make our way back to our table where two frosty mugs of Budweiser await us. I take a big gulp of mine while Babe knocks his back and then gazes at me as if wondering who I am and whether he’s about to get lucky.
“Babe, you need to be more careful out there on the dance floor. That old guy you just plowed into was fixing to whack you upside the head with his walking cane.”
Babe shrugs. “No freakin’ way.”
“Way! That nutty old dude jitterbugging with a wooden stick was all set to clobber you with it.”
Babe stares across the room at the snarler. “Am I supposed to be scared of that little twerp? I could put his lights out in a New York minute.”
I look over at the pint-sized man and then at my 200-pound-plus husband. “Ya think?”
Babe suddenly drains his beer, gets up and starts to walk toward the old dude.
I grab his elbow. “What are you going to do?”
He looks at me like I’ve got popcorn for brains. “I’m getting another beer. Want one?”
Before I can answer him, the band starts up with the best beach music song ever written, Ocean Boulevard. Before I can say Myrtle Beach or Carolina Girl, Babe is pulling me to the over-packed dance floor while shag music fills the room. When we find a spot, we both dance like nobody’s watching not even noticing the crowded shared space because at that moment something magical begins to happen. It fills the room.
Without trying, we Saturday Night Seniors are thrown back to the summer of 1958 when high school girls wore crinolines, ponytails and hoopskirts under their formals. Boys wore varsity letters, I.D. bracelets, ducktail haircuts and no ponytails. Little Richard was little, Fats Domino was not, Elvis was only a prince and Lady Ga Ga was not even a gleam in her daddy’s eye.
Songs by The Drifters’ drifted into our lives, and long before we knew of an organization known as AARP, we drifted into tomorrow.
Laissez les bons temps rouler! Let the good times roll.
Editor’s Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com. www.simplycappy.blogspot.com