The July Wrap-Up Edition

Photo Kindly Borrowed from SoulBounce.comSo July was an extremely busy month for me. That and August are so busy that I will be forced to delay any possibility of being sick until mid-September. Sorry cold germs for the inconvenience. The last two weeks of July were quite awesome. On Friday, 19 July I went to see one of my childhood icons. When I was younger, Jody Watley was the perfect pop star to emulate in my bedroom. I would take my mom’s slip, clip it to my head, put on a flouncy skirt and strut like her videos. The 80’s were great in that women were so prominent on the music charts and videos (though it took a minute for black artists to be featured on MTV. Remember Michael had to sue? And music videos were never the same, thank goodness.) Jody was a solid fourth in my 80’s female singers list. There was my beloved Whitney, my adored Janet, the super fun Madonna and then Jody. Madonna eventually lost luster into the 90’s for me, primarily after the Justify My Love/Sex period. She was replaced with Mariah. However, Jody created two classic albums that I played over and over again.

Jody said that it was her first time in D.C. in 25 years. After the mega success of her first two solo albums, she kind of slid off the mainstream radar. Now, she mostly releases club dance music, which explains the large number of gay men at the show.  She sang her classics along with songs from her recent album, that I surprisingly really liked. But who can hate fun dance music. I got the tickets through a Goldstar deal and was a bit irritated that the show wasn’t full. I mean Jody still dances reminiscent of her Soul Train days and had a group of dancers fanning her in a circle. Why would you miss that? The funniest part is that the couple at the table with us weren’t familiar with her music and just purchased the tickets because of the deal. They stayed amazed how excited we all were and how we could sing along to every song with absolute glee. I think they were pretty converted by the end.

Portrait at the Ambassador's ResidenceThat Saturday I went a lovely garden party (well, it was extremely hot) on the grounds of the South African ambassador’s residence in honor of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Wouldn’t it be cool if this was an exclusive invite-only shindig? But no it was a paid event. It reminded me that I never became rich. By rich, I mean the fun kind of rich that goes to Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, Nice and fabulous events with gorgeous clothes and perfectly coiffed hair. I do not desire to be the kind of rich that requires arguing with other women at galas and necessitates tons of plastic surgery like on the Real Housewives franchise. I will admit I spent much of June and July on health watch seeing if Mandiba would make it to his 95th birthday. But he endured and we celebrated with live dancing, a DJ playing Black-Eyed Peas, which seemed off, and an old fashioned barbecue. Did I mention that the DJ’s music selections seemed off? I was hoping for an opportunity to hear South African contemporary music. Otherwise it was a beautiful event.

The last weekend in July I attended a wedding. Two down and one to go. I was very concerned since I was attending alone as I only knew the couple. I always hate to bring random plus ones to what I know are quite expensive events, so I usually attend solo.  I have attended weddings like this in the past with mixed results. At one wedding, the reception was held at the banquet hall of a church, which meant no secular music. And my friend sat me at a table with septuagenarian family members. Don’t get me wrong, I find a lot of senior citizens highly interesting and entertaining. However, these people were not it. I was bored to tears with no opportunity to dance, no available libations and listening to stories about World War II. The other was an absolute blast. As the groom’s family is of Indian descent and forced me to learn (yay!) all of these wonderful dances.

This wedding turned out to be the latter. As an introvert, I devised a strategy. I found another seeming singular introvert and convinced her to be friends. Turns out her husband was a groomsman and she didn’t know many people either. I also made friends with people at my table, who were staying at the same hotel. Cab score! The reception felt like an episode of Fame as the bridal party had numerous line dances that they performed. I started to feel bad as a native metro Detroiter as I only knew a few of them. We teased my new buddy’s husband as he missed rehearsal and didn’t participate in any of the dances. Slacker. There was also a dance battle with a 40+ year old, who I discovered attended the aforementioned Jody Watley concert! See how circular this post is! He battled a teenager. This terrible idea should be featured in one of those Direct TV commercials: “Don’t get caught in a dance battle with a teenager.” The reception was great and I am so happy for the couple. They met in college and reconnected years later, so they came out to “Back Together Again.” What an inspired choice.

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