Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – Dancing Lessons with WhitePal

Dear Diary,

The party invitation was terribly misleading.

When I saw the evite for “an engagement party at a castle in the Hills,” I thought:”Perfect! I’ll be in good company.” Why was I so confident? Three key words.

  1. Engagement Party – A social setting where guests are forced to stare at two 72317672people make awkwardly public announcements about their love while pretending that the divorce rate isn’t soaring well above 50%. That  screams Stepford.
  2. Castle – Who lives in castles? English lords, insane Bavarian royalty and the Pope, kind of. ie: White people.
  3. The Hills – Lauren Conrad. Spencer Pratt. Heidi Montag. Enough said.

Imagine my surprise then, when WhitePal and I were greeted with not only an engaged couple of color, but their 45 guests of color as well. From shades of light ethnic, to Southern Baptist, to extras on The Wire, we were surrounded.

I tried to take refuge behind WP, but then…the music started.

A note about WP: He is a great dancer. Amazing. “Ill” as I’m told the kids say. He took to the floor and was immediately the center of attention.

The concentration of so many ethnics made me want to run to the nearest Land Rover dealership and knit a cardigan while doing some hot yoga. But there was something to the scene that looked almost…fun?

Maybe it was the beautiful setting overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Maybe it was the free and happy expressions on the dancers’ faces. Maybe it was dram of gewurtrameiner I had been offered and found necessary to consume. Whatever it was, I wanted to try what I saw on the dance floor. I figured I had earned enough O-points to indulge this one infraction.

As indicated by WP, I have transcribed our conversations accurately to this point. Below is a record of our conversation, and its subtext.


OreoWriter hugs the wall while WhitePal finishes a dance battle. Under the sound of applause, OW begins to move timidly toward the dance floor.

OW: I kinda want to come out there (TRANSLATION: I am probably very drunk)

WP: Then do it! (You are probably very drunk.)

WP makes room on the floor and motions for OW to join.

OW: No, no. Don’t call attention to it. (I’m not THAT drunk)

WP: C’mon. Just move. (Because what you’re doing is certainly not “dancing.”)

OW: I don’t know what to do! (There really should have been a disclaimer on the invitation)

WP: Don’t worry about it, just have fun. (What is wrong with you?)

OW: How did you learn this? (Huh…maybe I don’t look totally dumb after all)

WP: You don’t “learn” it, you just…do it. (You definitely look totally dumb)

Another song started and suddenly, the room erupted into a unison chant of all the lonely_goatherdlyrics. How they all knew the words, I don’t know. Even at the best Sound of Music sing-a-longs, we still need the captioning for “The Lonely Goatherd,” and these songs had significantly more complicated verbiage than “laydee-o di laydee-o di lay hee hoo.”

As the guests all turned toward each other in the communion of JayZ, I decided to make my way off of the dance floor and out from under the shadow of shame.

I took a turn on the balcony to collect myself and checked my Blackberry. I saw a new email: an evite to a Pampered Chef Cotillion Ball at a beach house in Laguna. Hopefully that will go better.


  1. Jay-Z lyrics are tough. I know, because I once tried to learn the Jay-Z part of the Beyonce “Crazy” song. I wanted to be able to do it at karaoke, see. (Karaoke is a tense cultural experience for Bananas. I should write a dissertation on it.) An excerpt:

    The genuine article I go I do not sing though
    I sling though, if anything I bling yo
    A star like Ringo, war like a green beret (pronounced “buh-RET”)
    You’re crazy, bring your whole set.

    Do people sit at home and play Jay-Z songs over and over for hours until the lyrics sink in, as if by osmosis? That’s the method I employed to memorize the Lonely Goatherd lyrics when I was twelve. Odilay odilay odilay hoo!

    1. I can imagine that karaoke would be particularly challenging. I once had a dance floor cleared for me when Baby Got Back came on. I followed up that horrible moment by singing Jewel.

      I asked WP how people learn the words to all those songs, because yeah, I learned the soundtrack to every musical by sitting on the floor of my room, libretto in hand, CD playing…I can’t imagine the population of your average club doing the same thing.

    1. Posted on I am curious to find out what blog plafrotm you are working with? I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

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