On a Friday night, we went out after 9 pm in Westport, and not to hear a bar band.
I mean, here I am complaining that at 10 pm, every suburban couple in this bedroom community is either sitting at their computer, or trying to stay awake long enough to watch whatever TV show they're addicted to. Or any of the guilt making titles they ordered on Netflix or Pandora. The "New Yorker" Magazines pile up, but the eyes are print-weary at 8 pm.
I've been carping and moaning since I tried to order takeout in Weston in 1978 when I moved there. Couldn't even find the category "takeout" in the 20-page phone directory.
Now, we are going out late, like people in cities. Going out like the dolled-up, great-looking single women, and too-confident-for-my-taste dude men trolling for company at the new Gray Goose, the cool bistro (noisy, but alive after dark) in Southport.
We are going out late! The blood is pumping into my suburban-sprawl veins again — oxygen to the brain, to the heart. Yay! Put away those pep pills!
Nancy and Jeff are dragging us to Four Brothers Pizza and Greek restaurant in the Fresh Supermarket strip mall. How bizarre is that? We all think it, but don't say so out loud.
Nancy and Jeff, who have always been late night folks stuck in a dawn-to-dusk community, start the evening as if we are living in Paris or NYC. Cocktails at 7:30 on their deck in Old Hill.
Actually, better than cocktails! Very much like a movie script for our generation, our host opens a 1989 St. Estephe wine he bought when he was a bon vivant, with no kids in college. Only toddlers needing swing sets.
The men commiserate, and congratulate each other on how little they paid for wine in those days.
I am sipping my one, only one, cold, cold martini, and instead of getting sleepy and stuporous (and without the driver having imbibed), I'm wide-awake as we are chauffeured up Post Road with the top down on Nancy's convertible.
It is 9:15 pm, and WHEEEE! I feel like we're in a Noel Coward play. Smart, sassy, wise-ass Westporters, on their way to do what?
Watch a belly dancer?
My husband brings my belly dancing scarf that I got in Zumba class, where I have only learned how to shake the little coins by doing the twist. Other things shake, but not what is supposed to.
The restaurant is BYOB and we open a 2001 Justin Isosceles. Ahem, California wine. I'm dropping name labels here, (but the men need these affirmations.)
The belly dancer's completely unblemished body is molded from some pictorial journal of perfection. It's humbling. She is the entertainment, the intermezzo course between the platters of Greek appetizers that fill us up, and make us groan with gourmand pig snorts when the waitress says there's more food to come. Is this really happening in a suburban a strip mall?
I declare snottily that the belly dancer's boobs have to be fake, but I reconsider this jealous statement as she undulates, slithers, contorts, shakes so gracefully, remarkably, deservedly eliciting dollars to be thrown to the floor like we are in a Taverna in Mykonos.
All in good taste, but outrageously sensual, sort of halfway to Sodom and Gomorrah and back again to semi-nutmeggers. The melodrama of the belly dance, the astounding control the dancer has over her naked mid-section muscles — the looks on the sedate crowds faces as a few joyous men and women allow the dancer to pull them onto the floor — hey, I think to myself, "We Are Alive at Night in Westport!"
The Mouse in the House will be getting out a lot more after the sun goes down, but before the 11 o'clock news. Yep! There is life after dark.
There are plans to light up a few weeknights, antidotes to the evening doldrums that can lead to household depression. It’s not just the sun that can lead to brain activity. Ah! Resurrection!