On Sunday afternoon, a few of us went out for drinks. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. The sun was still out and I was in bright red lipstick with stem heels, not my usual Sunday attire. As I walked out onto the rooftop towards the bar, my eyes began to dance. Though I was supposed to be looking for my friends, I strolled down the path doing anything but that. Women were wearing feathers in their hair, men were wearing suits & hats, and ohhhh, the music was playing. Romantic ideas of Parisian nights, Italian vineyards, and exotic beaches fizzled. This was old New York, dear. Where else would I want to be?
I think I followed the hostess because I was so enchanted by her frills and make up, without realizing she was walking us to our table. To our surprise, we were placed feet from the band. Did I have a guardian angel? As we looked over the menu, I found it difficult to sit still in my chair.
We were in another world, a world where casual clothing, lifeless music, and all that’s “practical” didn’t exist. A world of detail was before us; the conversation like the dim lighting seemed to wrap itself around us. Who can talk of commonplace ideas in a place like this? With Hot Totties in hand, every woman at the table seemed to have been inspired in a different way and it quickly became one of the those moments when you wish you had a pen to write all the ideas coming to mind down.
I think that’s the thing about New York, though it could be compared to any city in the world, over here we have a tendency to discuss ideas more often than we discuss people. Brainstorming seems to be appetizer that comes with the cocktail.
As the night set in and the band kept playing, the guests began to dance. One by one, couples began to pair up and take the stage, just as I had hoped. Immediately, I stood up to take pictures of the show before us. Just before I was about to sit back down, someone grabbed my hand. “Do you dance?” he asked. I was shocked, nervous, and stumped. You’d think that I smiled and said, “Yes!” but I didn’t. I get nervous in situations like that and I choked. So with a blank stare, I smiled, and said, “No, thank you.”
To my surprise, he said, “Oh comm’n, it’s just a dance.” F*ck. And with that, we began to sway to the sound of jazz playing as we overlooked NY skyline. He spun me a few more times than I would have liked, but other than that, it truly was a beautiful dance. At one point, he even tried dipping me. Who knew men still dipped. When the song ended, we smiled, I thanked him for the dance, and I headed back to my table. It was when I sat down that I realized that I could cross off #42 off my list of things to do this year. Yes, there is a list.
I almost didn’t do it, but when he insisted, I realized how foolish I was being. That exact moment was on my list of things to do, but it felt strange to not have planned it or pushed for it in any way. It felt odd to have it come so naturally. That short dance taught me something important: sometimes the things that we want to experience seem to come to us in the most unpolished of ways and you have to go for them. They may seem strange at first, unconventional, completely unaligned with your expectations, but I think it’s the way that it’s supposed to happen. I think fairytale moments just happen to you. As much as we’d like to dictate the circumstances, the universe is just better at the set up than we are. You supply the dream, it’ll figure out the time and place.
A slow dance on a rooftop overlooking my city, with a tall dark stranger dressed in 1930s romance, while a band plays. And to think, I almost missed it.