For about 20 minutes every Friday evening, I am home alone.
This is not a frequent occurrence in this life I've built. It only happens if I time my work departure well, if I duck out a few minutes early and catch the right train. If that happens, then I get home before my husband and my toddler, who are jamming away at baby music class. I walk in to an empty apartment, a tornado of toys and stuffed animals and sippy cups on my living room floor, to lights on in every room.
There is always a text from my husband: I left a mess. Sorry. I'll clean it up.
But I don't care about the mess, it can wait. Instead, I put on music and I throw myself a solo dance party, because goddammit, I deserve it.
These days I am all into Carly Rae Jepsen, because her new album is poppy and bright and makes me feel like I am running through a field of technicolor daisies, and I blare it and I shimmy and I jump and I slither and I laugh. I get excited.
I am an old lady but I could move well, once. As a kid I danced and tumbled and cheered, and in my twenties you could find me in hotel bars, moving to whatever beat was playing, powered on dirty martinis and youth.
When I was pregnant and on vacation with my friends I danced, we all danced, and I realized I had lost my rhythm. My balance was all off, what with my belly and all that excess energy and heat. And I don't think it's come back, because I can't quite find that rhythm-is-gonna-get-cha groove I used to find so easily. But I don't care.
I love getting older, but if there's anything sad about it it's that your opportunities to dance just decrease.
So I'm making my own opportunities.