I come from a long line of men who simply will not dance. We can’t, we won’t, and we don’t. We refuse to dance for the same reason we refuse to compete in women’s tennis leagues: Because it would be silly, and why the hell would we do such a silly thing?
When asking me to dance, you’ll receive the same look you’d receive if you asked me to give birth to a platypus. And to be completely honest, those two activities would look rather similar with me performing them. Stephen Hawking has more rhythm spinning in his wheelchair than I do with two functional legs.
Nothing helps this affliction. You can get me so drunk that I can’t even remember my name, but I still won’t dance. Instead, I’ll walk an endless loop through the dance floor, pretending I’m looking for someone. I will continue this for hours, annoying everyone in the club as I squeeze past them over and over again.
On the rare occasion when a pretty lady invites me to dance with her group of friends, I will stand in one place, methodically tilting from one side to the other like a man who desperately needs to use the restroom. Sometimes, after five minutes of this “dancing”, friends will ask me if I’m all right, and if I’m feeling ill and need to be taken home. My answer to these questions is always a resounding “Yes“.
I can slow dance, but that’s only because slow dancing requires almost no movement or rhythm at all. I can also do such classics as “the shopping cart”, “the sprinkler”, “the microwave”, and “the Ickey shuffle”, but the novelty of those died out around junior high school, so they’re not much use. “The truffle shuffle” might be good ironically, but the last time I tried it, I pulled three muscles in my groin.
This problem isn’t my fault. My inability to dance is inherited, like diabetes or enormous nipples. The last time my father danced was before he married my mom, when he still had a need to impress her. I suspect he proposed to her partly because he knew that when that ring was placed on her finger, he would never have to dance again. And he hasn’t.
I’m not sure if my grandfather on my dad’s side ever danced, or if dancing was even legal back then, but I heard a rumor that he once smashed a guy’s face into a glass tabletop for trying to date his ex-girlfriend, so if he didn’t dance, I’m sure no one tried to force him.
Don’t take my family’s non-dancing the wrong way. We still love music. We’re still cool guys. We’re still fantastic in the sack, as far as you know. We’re just uncontrollably, painstakingly Caucasian, and dancing is as foreign to us as driving on the left side of the road or accepting dollar coins as real currency.
So what’s the point of all this explanation? The other day I read an article claiming the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is filing gender discrimination complaints against Twin Cities bars that have ladies nights. What this department doesn’t seem to understand is that for non-dancing men like myself, ladies nights are pretty much the only time we’ll see a woman in a dive bar who doesn’t resemble an old horse.
We’ve all been there. It’s Wednesday at 10pm, and even though the lighting is dim, it will never be quite dim enough to let us pretend that 50-year-old woman with skin like an old leather bag is the 24-year-old woman with a drinking problem we so badly wish were there. But her face kind of reminds us of the deep fried mashed potato balls at Hammond Spur, so we head over to buy some, gain 40 pounds by the end of the year, and drop dead of a stroke at age 32.
It’s okay, though. Wrongs must be righted, and ladies nights are certainly the most pressing human rights need in Minnesota. Everything else is just peachy. Women are paid the same as men, same-sex couples have the right to marry, and the 12 percent of Minnesota’s population that aren’t white are all college graduates with no connection whatsoever to drugs or firearms. It’s time to make sure attractive young women don’t sleep with dance-impaired men like myself.
Ladies night grievances, to me, sound like discrimination against men who refuse to dance. Perhaps the Department of Human Rights could next act on my behalf against women who refuse to sleep with me, since they’re obviously discriminating against men who have enormous Irish heads. They could then send cease and desist letters to women who reject my friend Steve, who has a habit of farting when he’s nervous.
Even men don’t want “men’s nights” at bars. If I want to get myself cheap drinks, I’ll stand outside a Spur station and buy booze for high school freshman too stupid to know a 12-pack of Miller Light doesn’t cost $22. And if ladies want a handsome man like myself to join them at a bar, all they have to do is show up. I’m there pretty much there 24 hours a day anyway.