I see myself as a homebody; others disagree and say I’m somewhat of a recluse, the point being that I don’t partake in what others consider normal social behavior. I went to dance clubs when I was 18, but the novelty soon wore off and I got tired of watching young girls get drunk and become sluts on the dance floor, and of seeing men prey on such weakness. I all but wrote off modern interaction, and stopped drinking all together.
It’s been 2 years since I gave the strobe lights up for books and the comfort of my bed, and I have no regrets. But in my sanctuary I forgot the danger of comfort zones; that the world passes by real quick when you’re too comfortable. So when a friend of mine invited me to the CD launch of House Hold Funk, I very reluctantly agreed. Firstly “House” music does not appeal to me at all, and secondly the people who do enjoy the thumping and buzzing tend to annoy every drop of kindness from me.
There was one beacon of hope though, I love dressing up! And this presented me with the first opportunity in ages to feel glamorous, and I dove right into that glitter pot. While getting ready at my best friend’s place I completely forgot my apprehension and actually started feeling the tingle of excitement! Still, I stuck to my skepticism and remained convinced that the evening was doomed. But in life’s infinite wisdom I was taught a pleasant lesson (for once!) and to my surprise I had an absolute blast! A real unlikely adventure! The photo I attached is proof of my enjoyment, just look at me smiling!
Being an academic by trade I started to theorize and constructed my own hypothesis on why I was enjoying something I previously disregarded. The party was a no-under-21-event in Johannesburg. In contrast to the social atmosphere in Pretoria: which is dominated by naïve and reckless high school graduates alone in the big city for the first time. Each one of them ready and willing to get as drunk as possible on the little pocket-money they receive. Now, I acknowledge that getting black-out drunk and dancing like you’re a go-go girl is an important coming-of-age ritual that even I indulged in. It is not however the most attractive social ritual to witness when you have come of age. Johannesburg’s social vibe on the other hand is dominated by 20-somethings who earn their own salaries and who have developed somewhat of a social filter. This already lends a bit more class and sophistication to an event. The men I spoke to, spoke to me, asked me what my interests were, and practiced real interaction. Even more shocking was they didn’t speed off to the next skirt when I told them I was in a committed relationship. People were just chatting, not trawling or picking up. All in all it was a very satisfying experience.
Proof-reading this post I realize that I sound terribly prejudiced, but my theory is just this: one should grow with the world, and not think you have out grown it. I forgot that grown-ups have fun too, I, in my arrogance, thought that I had experienced it all and that I was “too good” for others…how horrible is that?! I know now that scenes change and I have a whole peer group who grew up with me and that it is my responsibility to seek them out.