Six Reasons I Won't Dance at Your Wedding
All illustrations by Dave Watt
The wedding invitations are coming in fast now, and although we typically don't enjoy sitting in a church and staring at comb-overs, there are two things provided at weddings we can all agree are great: food and alcohol. I can live like the lord of the event center, alternating between sips of coffee and bites of three or four varieties of cupcakes I have chosen. Things are as perfect as they can be for a greedy sinner like myself, until I am dethroned by one simple request:
I'm asked to get up and dance.
There are a lot of people like me out there -- the joy-killers, the social alienators, the beings that will not leave their chairs for all eternity. We are those who do not dance. As a favor to all the nervous loners who sit at desolate tables in the corner, I'm going to tell you precisely why you won't find people like me tearing up the dance floor with the "Electric Slide."
6. I Don't Know Anyone Here
Dancing, I look like a dumpy undercover cop or perhaps a young Wilford Brimley. When I take the dance floor, no one here knows that I was in an independent film that won a festival in Germany or that I regularly shop at a co-op. My life's work of creating a mask of semi-respectable accomplishments is of no use here. All these people know is that I have many large veins in my head and I am sweating cheap tequila. A lot of it.
The only time I have ever willfully danced is when I've been outrageously drunk at a party, trying to impress someone because I saw it work in a John Hughes movie. For my kind, dancing is the boldest move ever -- a secret deceptive weapon in the arsenal of the uncomfortable. It fools people into believing you are a brave and fun-loving person, always up for some spontaneity.
However, this isn't some dimly lit, meat-hall dance club in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where you can blow nerd-minds by wearing a bolo tie -- this is a wedding. There are children and grandparents here.
Besides, guys like me already know how we're leaving before we even get there: quickly and alone, or with the person who dragged us there. Why even risk embarrassing myself by dancing?
4. There's Not Enough Disco
Movies taking place in the '70s and '80s such as Detroit Rock City and Freaks and Geeks have all taught me one thing -- disco sucks. But riddle me this: If disco sucks so much, why is the only good KISS song a disco song? I don't even care if it's Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" -- just give me some goddamn music with laser sounds in it and maybe I'll get out of my seat.
3. I Am Too Angry
The guy next to me is a 32-year-old doctor, talking about ending welfare and capping his opinion off with, "If people need to eat, they'll find something." If I enter the dance floor at this moment, it will become a one-man Slayer mosh pit mixed with the battle of Gettysburg. Brother would lay dying next to brother, the song ending with a pile of wounded parents with dislocated hips, broken reading glasses littering the dance floor. Tables would be flipped over and children would forever weep upon hearing the opening keyboards of "The Macarena." The reason I am not dancing at your wedding is because I value human life too much.
2. Seriously, I Ate Too Much
I ate all the appetizers. Then I ate the entire main course. And part of your food when you went to the bathroom. Then I ate four desserts. You need to understand, I am a caveman, so I forget that I have money and can buy food whenever I want or need it. I still gorge myself with the idea that I will never eat again. Please don't make me flop my gigantic body around in this suit that I bought when I was fifteen pounds lighter. I don't want to get in a fight after I cover some spiky-hair sideburns bro in a mixture of bile, cake and Bloody Marys.
1. I Am Psychologically Unraveling in Public
All of these people are religious, and they think I am weird. That guy said all of my stories involve people on drugs. Is he right? I am 30 years old and a freshman in college. I am insane and purposeless and people like me were not meant to dance or have fun. I will be alone forever. The Earth's temperature will rise by two degrees in 50 years, and the planet will be capable of only supporting a fraction of the life currently on it. If we were able to view our lives from a greater dimensional plane, they would probably have the same kind of obvious order as snowflakes or crystals, or the fractal art generator on my parents' old computer. I cannot dance because all things have been predetermined from the beginning of the creation of all existence, so really, the choice to dance or not is not really a choice at all. I am simply not dancing right now.
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