What was that I was saying about needing to go on dates in order to gain blog fodder? I'm not sure what I was thinking. Obviously there are plenty of equally ridiculous things I could do in the name of having a story to tell.
Like take up Latin dance, for instance.
What's that? You don't really see me as the Latin dance type? Well, then. That makes two of us. But I've been curious about the Zumba class enthusiastically advertised on flyers at my gym, so the other night I finally cut out of work early to give it a try.
Do you know what Zumba is? I didn't either, so allow me to explain it to you. It is sort of like the cantina at Senor Frog's, except without the giant margaritas. Lively music? Check. Tiny Latin American woman in tight pants shaking her hips in front of a crowd? Check. Bunch of awkward pasty-skinned Midwesterners? Check. Margaritas? Alas, no. Which is unfortunate, really, because I could have used a margarita after that class. Come to think of it, I could have used a margarita before that class. In fact, I'm pretty sure most of the moves in those routines are intended to be done solely under the influence of alcohol. Part of me kept expecting the instructor to come around to each of us, pour a shot down our throats from a big plastic bottle, and shake our head between her hands while blowing an obnoxious whistle. Yes, I've decided right now: that is what Zumba really needs. Tequila poppers. Any Zumba instructors out there? Take note.
Basically, in short, Zumba is another attempt to disguise exercise as fun. And it is fun. If, unlike me, you do not lack basic coordination and rhythm, or possibly even lack a specific pivot point in your pelvis that makes simultaneous hip swaying and booty shaking physically possible. I'm telling you: my body does not move like that. It's as if I'm built like a Barbie doll--my legs and waist bend and rotate on specific trajectories, but try to force my frame to move in a way not allowed by those trajectories, and I remain stiff as a board. (By the way, that is, more than likely, the first and last time I will ever compare my own figure to Barbie's. We may both lack the necessary anatomical structure that makes Zumba moves possible, but I will never topple over from the strain of my impossibly narrow waist and dainty feet being unbalanced against my perky, ample, wedge-shaped bust.)
I knew right from the warm-up that I was in trouble. There is no actual instruction. Our tiny leader simply whistled and pointed when we were to change direction, but in most cases, I hadn't yet gotten the last move down when we moved to the next one, so it's a wonder I never actually trampled my neighbor. I was certain the instructor was going to stop the music and banish me from the class for lack of talent, perhaps even channeling Johnny Castle in the process. "She can't even do the merengue! She can't do it. She CANNOT. DO IT."
After a while it did get a bit easier... and then it got harder, and then I honestly didn't care anymore. I looked ridiculous, I am more than certain, but the room was dark and crowded, and I told myself (whether it was true or not) that no one was focusing on me. I made it through the class, worked up a productive-feeling sweat, and figured, "Well, I tried that, at least... I made it through the whole class, and I didn't even step on anyone once. Let's call that a success, shall we?"
But then last night I did something crazy and unexpected. People, I went again.
This class was with a different instructor. Her routines weren't any easier or harder, necessarily, but one notable difference is she left all of the studio lights on. I still think I prefer the anonymity of the semi-darkness, but I'm also sort of glad the lights gave me a better chance to look around. Because when I glanced at my fellow Zumba-goers, I realized that yes, there were several women inexplicably able to make their pelvis vibrate just like our instructor's did, but there were also plenty of women only slightly more coordinated than I. Plenty of middle-aged suburban women with mom hair and last decade's workout clothes, swaying awkwardly and missing steps, just like me. Suddenly we were all the hapless vacationers at Kellerman's, shuffling our way through Penny's dance class in the community room while she cried, "Come on, ladies! God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to SHAKE 'EM!"
Eventually there were brief moments where I forgot that I had no idea what I was doing, took my eyes off the instructor for more than three seconds, and just let my body do what the music was telling it to do. I didn't care that my arms and legs were flailing haphazardly. Like Phoebe jogging through Central Park, I have realized that's the only way dancing is any fun. Usually I confine my ridiculous dancing to the privacy of my empty living room, but it's important to branch out of one's comfort zone now and then, don't you agree?
In other news, I am still without a bathroom sink or fully usable shower. But (BUT!), the tiling in the shower area is finally complete and ready for grouting and sealing, and if all goes as planned, I may be taking a shower in my own home as early as next Monday. Hurrah! The other components of this remodel are another story, and I choose not to dwell on them for fear of sinking into a deep depression over the tiny light at the end of the tunnel that still refuses to flicker into view. A tiled shower is progress! And it looks beautiful to boot. It will all come together eventually. Patience, grasshopper. Indeed.
In other other news, I have a new post up at The Greenists today. This one's about borax. It's a science lesson! It's a cleaning tip! Stop; you're both right! Sounds exciting, doesn't it? You know you want to pop over and read it.