Last night was exceptional. Not only did I go to a social event but I went to a social event that didn’t start until 8pm in the evening! This is exceptional because not only do I rarely enjoy going to social events but I am usually in bed by 9 or 10pm at the latest.
One of our neighbours who lives in the hamlet here was playing in a band he is a part of. We have been hearing him practicing his trumpet for months! When he told Ben and I about the upcoming performance, we were both sure we’d like to go as it’s a jazz and swing band playing music from people like Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
Ben’s grandpa loved Glenn Miller and I remember when Ben still had his old red Ford pickup truck and he would drive us somewhere with Glenn Miller playing. It felt like stepping back in time to a time I have never known but can somehow feel. A time which, in my head at least, was classier than the current day.
I wore my winter dress and Ben put on his best black jeans and a shirt. I wore my purple boots and Ben wore his purple shoes. We always seem to end up matching a little. In fact, one of Ben’s nicknames for me is ‘Miss Matchy Pants’ 🙂 As we were getting ready we commented on how we each basically had one good outfit to choose from for a night out like this, though obviously that’s not much of a choice. And I said I quite liked it because it was reminiscent of the days when we had fewer things but more respect and care for the things we had.
The concert was in a local village hall and it was already busy when we arrived, with people gathering around tables with their own drinks they’d brought with them. There were young people there, middle-aged people there and older people there. The atmosphere was so lovely and it gave me that feeling that I sometimes get that actually, in the right context, I quite enjoy social things.
The band were incredible. It felt like we’d been transported to a totally different time. Towards the end, people were invited to get up and dance if they wanted. One couple came to the front and started dancing. Oh, it was so beautiful to watch them. Him in his blue shirt, her in her red top. They had so much class as they moved around the floor. Such incredible posture. Such elegance. It really gave me a wonderful and somewhat emotional feeling to watch them.
Then some of the younger people got up and began dancing, but in a totally different way. Just in a big group, throwing themselves around. At least, that’s what it looked like to my eyes. Afterwards, on the way home, Ben and I talked about how, on the one hand, those younger people were having a blast and it was wonderful to see that happening at a swing band event in a village hall. On the other hand, it felt like a representation of how, in the modern day, we have lost something of the class, respect and care of earlier times.
In many ways, it’s rare for me to have strong opinions on something as it’s natural for me to see things from many perspectives all at once. There’s space for all kinds of dancing in this world and what’s beautiful to one person isn’t necessarily beautiful to another. It’s also true that if I want to be free to express myself in the ways I’m called, I have to allow other people that same freedom. All I know is that I saw and felt something of the sacred in that first couple and I am always drawn to the things that connect me to that feeling.