I hope you had a nice long walk down that aisle because when the DJ puts on some Kool and the Gang, commanding me to “Celebrate good times, come on,” it is a call I cannot resist. You have officially handed over the keys to the spaceship. You. are. not. ready.
The ceremony gets me in the zone. I stand when I’m supposed to stand, sit when I’m supposed to sit, and clap when I’m supposed to clap. It’s a ritual. You see me meditating? I’m visualizing success.
Even in the photogenic rose garden, I wear my cardigan and act reasonably. I wave politely at casual acquaintances and tell your parents what a beautiful service it was. But when the women in tuxedos start the hors d’oeuvres parade, I become blood-thirsty. I’m a cold-blooded predator, and this whole fucking party is in jeopardy.
I identify the hot spots and deploy immediately. Soggy mushrooms in puff pastry? Keep walking, sister; don’t waste my goddamn time. I’m big game hunting, and I know someone in that room has mini lamb chops. I engage some sucker in a conversation near the servers’ point of entry, staring through him when he tells me he has known the bride since kindergarten, but that’s not the point. I am a defensive lineman with a nose for taking down the man with the pigskin, or in this case bacon-wrapped shrimp or barbecue ribs. This is not a drill.
Listen up, clowns. If you’re waiting for the entree, you’re waiting too long. I promise you, there will be nothing more delicious than the single-bite of seared tuna with wasabi, so make sure the lady with that tray knows you’re for real. Snatch that shit with polite vengeance, and make sure you say thank you. And take a goddamn napkin. This is civilization.
By the time 8pm and the stacked catering trays roll around, you need to be fucking ready. I don’t waste my time on totally underseasoned steak and boiled vegetables that taste like morning breath. I’m out here plotting an inevitable mass homicide, but you’re too distracted by the table service to notice. Take it from a pro: when a wedding invitation asks for your choice of vegetarian, chicken, or steak entrees, just respond with a drawing of a stegosaurus with a boner. You’re too smart for this shit.
At some point soon, that DJ is going to switch over from classical piano to The Temptations. He’ll grab the mic and ask us all to turn our attention to the dance floor, where the bride will have her last moment as the center of the universe. The bride and groom will dance their first dance, followed by the awkward opposite-sex parental dance, which has an equal chance of being stoic and weepy.
But then I hear the deep, exaggerated voice of the DJ, and I know it’s time. He’ll start with the oldies, but I’m not an idiot. I take the floor immediately, in a land invasion that ranks somewhere between Beatlemania and Normandy in cultural importance. I’m out there with the fifty-something moms who don’t give a fuck. They’re not embarrassed to stomp their feet and get sassy to Aretha Franklin, and I promise you, neither am I. They instantly love me, cherish me, take me as one of their own. But while I do R-E-S-P-E-C-T my suffragette sisters, I know I will outlast them. At some point, this DJ is going to put on some fucking Pitbull, and when that happens, they will be the first to go. I have no mercy.
Yeah, I’m a good dancer. You’re going to tell me that, and I’m going to faux blush and say thank you, but I already know it. It’s like when you tell the soloist at the choral festival that she has a beautiful voice. Bitch, please. How do you think she got the part?
The wallflowers already spot me, but too many people are at the bar getting their mixed draaaanks to notice that there is a hostile takeover under my feet. They need to get a little tipsy before they cut loose. One more vodka soda, to lower the inhibitions. But I need to ask you something: what the fuck is an inhibition? Never seen one, never had one. Too busy lighting it up.
Someone call HGTV because I am absolutely demolishing this hardwood, and this whole house is about to get flipped.
By the time the sorority sisters have dragged their reluctant boyfriends onto the floor, it’s already too late. Towering in stilettos, the best they can do is a step-together-step-clap, while I’m out here as sure-footed as a mountain goat. You see, I’ve already changed into my dedicated dancing shoes, silver and sparkly and frenetic, like a torrent of hungry barracudas. Between the rubber soles and my low center of gravity, no mere mortal can handle this. God help you when the DJ throws on some Usher.
I already own Boardwalk and Park Place, but I’m a greedy real estate mogul, conquering this city block by block.
A circle forms and a few jolly seals bark and amble through it, because I fucking let them. I wait patiently for my time to strike, like a king cobra or a city garbageman. What’s that? Is that the sound of the crescendo? Why, that’s my cue, ladies and gentlemen. I step into the circle and pick people off like an assassin. It’s called Big Dancing. You better pray for an injury.
Dance like no one is watching? When you’re made of lightning bolts, that’s not an option. I dance like everyone is watching.
By the time the cake is served, the floor is already mine. Circles have formed and broken, as have alliances. By now, everyone is rooting for the underdog. They’re looking for someone to take me down. They’re tired of my malevolent rule, of my maniacal cackle as I crush dreams and sweat like a lunch lady.
There’s always one contender. One brave soul, shouldering the hopes of all the minions. Sometimes it’s a sweaty elfin dude, the kind who can do the worm or maybe even do a back handspring. He may have signature moves, but they are no match for my repertoire. You see, he will run out of ideas and steam, but I will keep going. Besides, he has been drinking tonight, and I saw him eating the steak. I’m straight zoning.
More often, though, it’s the ballsy, awesome ten year-old cousin. Pre-pubescent and basically genderless. Sensible shoes and boundless energy. Limber, agile, and up past bedtime. No friends in attendance, just parents who are required to love unconditionally. This kid’s got nothing to lose.
I give time to work out the kinks because I don’t want anyone to question my mandate. The kid wiggles and convulses, and the crowd loves it. Everyone is so excited: we will crown a new champion, here and now. But this little girl doesn’t know when the beat drops. Or maybe this little boy accidentally trips over his growing feet.
But when I take the floor, there is no doubt. I rotate and revolve. I pop and lock. And, in case that doesn’t move you, I krump like a motherfucker.
My body gyrates like it’s creating its own G-force, and you can’t help but anchor yourself to me. The kid had heart, but he’s no match for a cold-blooded killer.
There is no overtime, but there is sudden death. There are no prisoners. This is a massacre.
I take my place at the head table and look out over my kingdom, wiping my face with an unused cloth napkin. I’ve established a New World Order.