One of the many benefits of having a boyfriend who works for Hearthside Books is the big little perk of complimentary tickets to various events. Since I'm going to assume that every single reader of this blog lives in Juneau, I don't have to tell you that Hearthside sells tickets for just about every show in town. At the very least, every show that the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council puts on. So on Thursday night, Danny and I went to see John Lee Hooker Jr. play at the Rendezvous *for free.* We enlisted a couple of friends to go with us, and it was generally a very fun night of heavy dancing and light drinking--until I had to shake my booty.
John Lee Hooker Jr. played a lot of really enjoyable music on Thursday night. Save for a cover or two of his father's songs, all of the music was new to me--but that didn't matter. I got down on the dance floor and had a really good time. At one point near the end of the evening, there were very few people dancing. I was the only woman on the dance floor, and that was the moment when JLH Jr. decided to announce a 'booty shaking contest.' As he was announcing the contest, his eyes were locked on me. He pointed at me, and smiled.
Now, those of you who know me at ALL know that I'm not the type of person to draw attention to myself in a public setting (unless I'm like, really drunk). I prefer to fade into the background and do a whole lot of observing others. Normally, at the announcement of a booty shaking contest, I would have literally bolted toward my seat in the audience, but this situation seemed abnormal. He was looking right at me, pointing at me! It seemed that the only logical option was to shove my neurosis into the back of my mind, and do the damn thing.
Three other girls (one of whom being a friend I brought, who I kinda sorta pressured into joining in) hopped on stage, one at a time, and shook their asses, but I didn't pay any attention to the girl who went before me, or the two who went after me--I was kind of preoccupied with my own, somewhat mortifying, experience.
Here's how it happened: Girl #1 gets on stage, drops it like it's hot (or whatever the young people are saying these days), people clap. I get up on the stage, JLH Jr. puts his arm around me, tells me what is going to happen, fondles my butt a little (seriously, ew), music plays and I dance with my backside toward the audience. All the while, the look on JLH Jr.'s face is one of utter satisfaction (again, eaw--this guy is nearly 60). After the music stopped and I got off the stage, he threw out a few derogatory compliments and it was over.
Despite my hesitations about shaking my ass on stage, I've never been terribly concerned about my dancing ability. Even when I look like a complete dumbass, I have a lot of fun. And when it comes to booty shaking, there is a certain amount of genetic ability that comes into the mix. That said, I did not win the booty shaking contest. A really drunk, horny girl did--and it was for the best.
At home that evening, I think I asked Danny about twenty times if I looked like an idiot on stage. His biased, boyfriend-response was "no. no. NO." He tried to convince me that I shouldn't feel so dirty about the whole experience by saying that I should stop thinking like a prude and start thinking like a "1990s feminist and own your sexuality, like 'I am Woman, hear me roar'"--whatever that means. The embarrassment is difficult to shake (no pun intended), but I guess I'll have to get over it. I stepped out of my introverted bubble, got a little bit objectified, and survived the whole experience. Things could definitely be worse.