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.