Rotary phones at the club

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Yes, phones were at the club back in the 70’s. They were chunky, rotary dialers that sat on the middle of round tables that sat about eight people each. Every table had a number assigned to it that was visible to every other table in the club.

Taking you back to southern New England and a phenomenon known as Dial Tone lounges. Simply put, the set-up eliminated the dread of having to walk to a table and ask someone to dance. A lady could just call up a table and ask to speak to the guy with the long brown hair, moustache and blue shirt.

Typically, the sexes arrived en masse and the women and men would sit at separate tables. The fun would (could) then begin. A young woman would call that cute guy, and hope he would dance when she asked. Or, it could go something like this. “Hey there … look over at table 6. I’d like to know if you would like to dance?”

The guy takes a look at the girl, is underwhelmed, and says, “Hey thanks for asking, but I just got a cold drink and I don’t want it to warm up. My buddy to my right (the sorry looking dude with an overbite) might be interested in dancing!”

“Never mind,” she says and hangs up.

The phone rings at table 6, and the caller is from table 3. The man asks to speak to the tall blond to the right of the one who answered the call. The caller is a former classmate that the blond would rather not be pursued by. She politely says that she can’t combine academics and a personal life, and isn’t quite ready to dance anyway.

By the end of the night, the friends that came with the tall blond have decided to ditch her the next time they go to the club, and the discriminating young men got much less so the more they drank.

The Dial Tone lounge wasn’t much different than the typical disco scene. It just put a lot more emphasis in the early hours on hooking the cute guy or gal than getting an opportunity to shake the bell bottomed hip huggers under the disco ball. What woman would say “no” when a reasonably clean and sober man came over personally to invite her to dance at a typical club? After all, it wasn’t a marriage proposal.

Shortly after 12 pm, the call comes in to the ladies’ table 6. “Hey, anybody at your table want to dance with any of us at table 2?”

Image courtesy Pixabay.

 

 

Cuffs and claustrophobia

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I would prefer this flannel shirt if it didn’t have buttons on the cuffs. Actually, I may start a fashion trend wearing my cuffs unbuttoned and just flapping at the wrists. I have also just rolled the cuffs up once or twice and felt less constricted.

Just like I could wear that dress that doesn’t have a belt around the middle, and the sweater that doesn’t touch my neck. Or the jeans that don’t cramp my ankles. Or panty hose that won’t rip when putting them on. Camisoles that won’t put one in momentary panic when they get stuck on your head as you pull them on. Please give me a zipper on those torture shirts!

Clothing that inhibits movement and breathing are causing me to lose patience rapidly. If I were a fashion designer, I know a few “non-negotiables” I would institute. Alas, I’m not, so I just have to be more careful with my choices, and repurpose things to fit my style.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Silence is golden

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To remain quiet on topics we’d rather not touch is good practice. It may seem ironic that my blog is about being personal. It’s quite consistent, really. I choose the topics and the content for this blog. I’m not responding to interview questions, and I’m not in dialogue with someone.

Poetry and other art forms give us the opportunity to disclose truths about ourselves, but not always. I’ve come to believe that art often allows us to enjoy a superficial level devoid of the messier emotions.

Consider the dreaded conversations with significant others. This culture makes us feel bad if we’re not airing our deepest thoughts and feelings to them. Are they interested? Will it make them feel more connected to us? Perhaps it will drive them to the hills and we’ll never see them again. Better to speak when needed.

“Should we renew our apartment lease?” he says. “Did you find somewhere else for us to live?” I say.

You get the point.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

 

Meditation for slackers and insomniacs

When you think of meditation, does the idea of eliminating thoughts come to mind? It’s really more about substituting one thought for another. A mantra, sound or vision can fill the vacuum that is typically filled with our “to do” list and other annoying thoughts.

Meditation is not so much a destination as it is a journey. Years ago I used to let my brain get a cramp trying to get somewhere. Now I sometimes use a mantra learned decades ago with TM or picture myself under a lovely evergreen tree. You can use the classic OM sound or picture something that gives you tranquility.

Other techniques that required me to remember successive affirmations have long ago been forgotten. I found them burdensome. When I’m awake at night I use the meditation tool to fall back asleep. I’m sure I’ll be scolded by some as you’re taught to sit upright so that you’re in a state of calm consciousness. I think I hit that zone during the transition back to sleep in my bed at night!

Ask Maddie: Advice for Dogs – The Christmas Sweater

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Dear Maddie,

Q1: There’s been a lot of noise around the house. A tree without a smell came out of a box and even has lights. I don’t like the dark, but these lights make it hard to nap. My question, however, is about a little sweater that they make such a fuss about. It’s green and red and everyone says I look so cute in it. My friends laugh a little when they see me in it. What gives?

A1: Well, I wanted you to feel in good company, so here’s a picture of me in my Xmas sweater. I’ve had it about five years now. Ever since my owners keep me trimmed up with an electric buzzing device, I get cold this time of year. Once you get past having something binding you, the warmth might win you over. Have you ever hosted a canine sweater soiree? They’re trending now.

Q2: This is a tough time of the year to keep control of myself. The wrapped packages look as if they’d like a little nibble, and the ornaments would be fun to catch. The temptation is unbearable. Last year they closed me in the bathroom just when I let my inner dog loose.

 A2: Haven’t you learned yet that some good things are better left undone? These thoughts of tearing paper, tossing ornaments and tasting tree boughs shouldn’t be repressed entirely. Look forward to a little doggie daydreaming and try to be satisfied when they toss you a small piece of poultry after dinner. If that doesn’t work, remember how cold that bathroom tile floor is.

Author’s note: Maddie is my daughter’s little Dorkie, and lives in Charlotte, NC. We raised her from a puppy.

Ask Maddie: Advice for dogs

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Writer’s note: First, let me qualify that this will be just a one-time, or occasional column to get a few laughs. We’re familiar with write-in columns for humans. I was imagining what kinds of questions a dog might ask and I knew humor was lurking.

Question #1: Dear Maddie, I don’t know why I am asked to sit and shake paws before I get a pet treat from my owners. Why don’t they just give me that treat they wave around in their hands?

Answer: It seems to have a bit to do with controlling our behavior. I’ve been sitting on the pillow when my humans are reading about dog psychology. A new term for me was “Nothing in Life is Free,” or “NLIF.” We have to perform, according to their wishes, to get what we want. Not the worst philosophy, I guess.

Question #2: Dear Maddie, I moved from Florida to North Carolina a few years ago, and I hate wet grass and cold weather! I just can’t get comfortable to do my business outside and then end up going somewhere in the house. Lately, I’ve been confined to the bathroom when my owners are out.

Answer: If your owners decide to cover your feet with boots in inclement weather, you need to wear them. It won’t matter if they are bright, fluorescent green or some other hideous color. Wouldn’t you rather do your business outside and earn the right to roam the house? If you don’t get gifted with boots, you might just have to learn to put up with wet, cold conditions. Life isn’t always like a warm comforter on a bed.

Question #3: Dear Maddie, I’m obsessed with ripping up my toys. When I get all of the stuffing around the house, my owners are so mad at me. Why can’t I seem to play with them without destroying them.

Answer: Are you holding some anger inside of you? I suggest that you try to channel this emotion somewhere else. Do you get a chance to play rough with large sticks outside? Perhaps when you come back into the house, you can play more calmly with the toys you love.