Swing Heil!

Just one generation ago, it was pretty standard to know how to waltz. You'd go to a dance and see people cutting a rug together, doing the Lindy, West Coast, Jive. You might see someone dancing without a partner - but that was because the tunes were irresistible, and their date was currently dancing with someone else (which was, miraculously, perfectly acceptable. With the escorts permission, of course).

A generation or two before that, this kind of dancing was a way of life. And though I can't claim to have been a part of that generation aside from coming from the fruit of its looms (have you met my grandparents? CLASSY!); I miss it.

Men were sophisticated, well groomed, gentlemanly. They knew how to wear fedoras, vests, and pocket watches. They stepped it up a little when they talked their women. And the WOMEN! Oh! How they knew how to dress their curves and set their hair to be both delicate and powerful. They wore their femininity as a badge.

I have to admit - though I crave avenues to display my femininity, most of the time I'm prancing around in flat shoes (work requirement), jeans, t-shirts and cardigans. I hardly ever put in earrings, anymore, and only when I'm going out with my Darling do I ever spritz some scented oil or apply a more daring shade to my kisser.

So...when my darling friend Ari suggested that we go dancing...I may have kindly suggested (see: forced) that we go all out.

I set my hair that morning in finger waves. Ari came over in the early evening so I could set her thick tresses into victory rolls and so that we could get ready together. It reminded me of times spent with my sisters getting ready for some to-do. Sharing a bathroom and dishing about the latest dream-boat, makeup technique, or book (we are nothing if not versatile. Just like the women of the 30's?).

Our men - in suspenders and spats - picked us up at our front door, roses in hand. Mine was a delicate purple and smells divine. Ari's looked like THIS.

We dropped off the Fish at my folks' (thanks, Marme and Dat!) where we indulged in a picture:

Isn't Ari's dress PERFECT? I swear, she walked right out of the 30's into my parents' living room. Bill, too. I dig those 'spenders.

My hair (please forgive the weird tint - the dance hall was lit like - well - a dance hall):


Ari's hair (if she's ever brave enough to let me try again, I'd make sure the pins were not visible. I read that the women of the day would NEVER allow themselves to leave the house and be seen with a hollow victory roll - being able to see through the back - and so I imagine they'd be equally horrified to show off their pins. Their hair just does that naturally, right?):


Please do note the daring shade of red that we wear blazoned on our lips. The first time I've gone out with RED lips, EVER. It was thrilling!

Jeff and Ari swing:
Bill and I swing:
Everywhere, a swing swing. The pictures are fuzzy, yes, but we were DANCING!

You may be able to see them behind us, but the dance hall (with a live big-band) was full of elderly couples - women that actually WORE their hair like ours in their day! - who waltzed and fox trotted around us newbies like only the weathered and experienced can. We felt honored to share their company for the night.

I could almost hear the airrade sirens...and feel the brave determination of those who refused to let go of a time when being able to take your sweetheart into your arms and turn her about the floor really meant something.

Oh, I loved it. I loved it so much. I must go again. Ari? Jeff? Bill??? You guys down? Anyone else want to go?

Notice: our men didn't really wear spats. But if they had them, I'm sure they would have.

6 comments:

b. said...

I LOVE this!! Oh, how I wish Hoss would take me dancing...

Mona said...

What fun!

Jeff and Ari said...

It was SO fun!! We'll have to do it again soon. And you are always welcome to do my hair ... it seems to like you better anyways :)

Tamsin said...

As always, you guys are adorable. And I heart the finger waves. I had my hair in finger waves and pin curls for my bridal photos, and have wished desperately for them ever since.

That Girl in Brazil said...

Well, you hooked me. HOOKED.

I, too, feel like I was born in the wrong decade. Have you BEEN to a stake dance lately?! Obviously the world was a much better place when we all learned the same dances.

And wore red lipstick.

Lizzie said...

Jazzy. I'm in.