Philip and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a networking event while we were at a conference that turned out to be one of the more pleasant such events ever and a bit disturbing. First — the fun.
This event was hosted by a LRV(Large, Rich Vendor) and we were guests of one of LRV’s clients, who is also one of ours. We got there, found our client and she helped us network with a few other people. However, this night turned moved immediately from “vendor networking event” to PARTY!
LRV provided a serious buffet with Kobe beef sliders, flat breads, dips and chips and cheeses and crackers and truffle flavored French fries. They also had an open bar, unfettered by the limitations of drink tickets. All of this overlooking a large dance floor and on the stage. . . a disco cover band called Le Freak.
I had Googled the band and was not sure how they’d be, given their satirical bent. I also know how many 70s things are flat out mocked in movies, but, free is good, and we were in town to network, so we would NETWORK!
When we arrived, the band had just started playing, and about 4 women were dancing in a group and one couple had hit the floor. Sounds like a Junior High Dance, doesn’t it?
But soon, all that changed. (I did mention the open bar.) The band was doing a very good job with the music, had a ribald banter that loosened up the crowd, and was playing song after song that scored a direct bull’s eye for the demographic of the room, which was 55 plus or minus a decade, for the most part. Early in the first set, people were hitting the dance floor in larger numbers.
People in their 50s, of various fitness levels and body types, flocked to the dance floor. Plump guys in pleated Dockers were getting down, and doing such a good job with the old Disco steps, you could almost see them at 17. Cowboys in boots and hats were swinging their partner, not quite Do-Si-Do but since it was Texas, there were people doing a country swing dance to a disco beat—and everybody in the place was having fun. In a very short time anyone who wasn’t dancing was singing along to every song.
This led to the disturbing part of the night. The group played KC and the Sunshine Band’s song with the deep and compelling lyrics:
That’s the way, unh-huh, unh-huh
I like it, unh-huh, unh-huh.
Like most people, the woman at the next table was singing along. And she was putting serious moves on her husband–very serious moves—almost embarrassingly serious moves, which he seemed to be brushing off. That was less disturbing to me than noticing that, as she was pawing his arm/back/neck in time to the music, The Dancing Queen is no longer only 17, and she has age spots! She was tall, slim, dressed in a top with just a touch of disco glitter and, on closer observation, she not only had age spots, she could be described as frail!
ACK!! Old ladies are not supposed to know all the words do disco songs (NOTE: given my age, when I think of someone as an old lady, they are pretty old). While I’ve long recognized that when I hit the nursing home, the music we’ll listen to will include Queen and ABBA. I just wasn’t expecting to see the first wave of the Disco Generation look so ready to check in to Shady Pines quite yet!
Of course, any 30 year old in the place was probably thinking the same thing about ME!