Now, in my 40 some odd years, most of which has been spent in California, a surprisingly rural state, I’ve never actually been to a Country/Western bar. I grew up with horse people and lived aggie-adjacent. But still… I’ve never actually line-danced. I’ve never listened to three straight hours of both kinds* of music. It was a night of firsts. To wit:
- I sat in my car for a couple of minutes in the (packed!) parking lot before going in, to handle my social anxiety and shyness. Took a deep breath, paid the $5 entry fee (really?) and walked in. The place was barn-like (duh), had a lighting rig over the dance floor shaped like a huge, metal cowboy hat. It was filled with white men in plaid shirts and young ladies (I use that term loosely) in Daisy Duke jean shorts and cowboy boots. My nervous fidgeting was alleviated almost immediately by finding a couple of friends and looking, really looking, at the almost hypnotic throng of bodies doing the exact same stomping motions at exactly the same beat. And, I remind you: they were all white. Except for a couple of Asians. In plaid. Asians in plaid. Excellent.
- Decided I needed whiskey.
- After doing the Electric Slide I mentioned to a girlfriend that it felt weird to do it to a County/Western song. Girlfriend (from Colorado): “What? I always thought it was a Country/Western dance…?” (face palm)
- Made a game with friends (tough-guy friends) about guessing how many guns were in the parking lot. I estimated 75. TGF #1 (ex-LA Sheriff) said, “Oh no, that only accounts for one gun per person.” (Silly me.) Me: “How many guns do you have in your car? Two? One easy to get to, one hidden?” TGF #1 (shrugging): “Yeah.” Me: “(TGF #2), how many guns do you have in your car?” TGF #2 (frowning slightly), “Two.”
- Best song: “Honky-tonk Badonk-a-donk.” Not kidding. Expected to hear, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” but I guess there’s no accounting for taste.
- Best outfit: skinny woman, in that taut way that horse-people get when they are scrawny and weathered, wearing what would otherwise be a cute top, unless it was jammed into her skin-tight, high-waisted mom-jeans; black cowboy hat suffocating her long, straight ponytail; thick leather belt with hammered silver, 5-6″ across, oval, belt buckle and further accessorized at her waist by a cell-phone holster and keys (clipped securely, yet accessibly, for use on the dance floor, if need be).
- Best ridiculous statement: TGF #2 trying to get me to make out with his girlfriend: “C’mon! Do it! You’re both liberals! You both love whales!”
All in all, fun. Certainly a grand experience in the walk of life genre. And, as we know, I’ll try anything once. Twice is absolutely no guarantee.