Is Adulthood Stealing Some of Your “Groovy?”

It’s Thoughty Thursday so y’all get to enjoy a slice of whatever’s circling my busy brain.

OK, here it is…

In the few years since Baby Girl was born, I’ve grown a little worried that motherhood — hell, adulthood — has stolen some of my grooviness. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still shag my honey at a moment’s notice. He still thinks I’m the cat’s meow. That’s not what I’ve been fretting about.

Shakira, channeling Jenny's leap toward the morning caffeine...

It’s just that the only thing I’ve been shaking lately is my kitchen rug. The only leaping going on is toward my coffee pot each morning. 

Back in the day you’d catch me dancing on any available flat surface (get your mind out of the gutter, people) – I’m talking bars, tables, benches, booths.

Come on, I know some of you were up there on the bars and tables in your town. Don’t try to act all innocent…

I’d dance to anything from Billy Idol to Garth Brooks, from Salt N’ Pepa to Led Zeppelin. If there was a beat and some words, I was shaking my cash and prizes.

When I saw this scene from Something Borrowed, I started laughing because this was soooo something I would do with my BFFs.

(Do you see that Kate Hudson, channeling me??? I know we kind of hated her in the book but this scene ROCKS!)

This whole fretting business started a few months back when we went out for my Hubby’s birthday. We did dinner at a local restaurant, followed by bar-hopping with a bunch of our friends.

It was our first time out for an entire evening since our baby was born and it was . . . effervescent. Intoxicating, lively, fun.

My girls and I were dressed up and feeling all groovy and sassy with ourselves. We kept trying to find a dance place in our part of Orange County that didn’t charge an outrageous cover and had enough room for us on the dance floor. With good music. When did that get to be such a tall order??

When we got to the third stop, the guys gave us that look that said “this is the final resting place for the night and we’d better whoop it up as hard as we could right here.”  I texted the babysitter that we’d be home in the next hour or so.

After the waitress brought our drinks, my girlfriend, Alicia, looked around at the 50’s looking dining room with the adjoining back room dance floor and said, “The only thing saving this dive is that they know how to pour a damn fine drink.”

I didn’t mind that it was loud. I didn’t mind that it was crowded with the reality TV replicas you see all over “the OC.” I didn’t even mind that most of the people I could see on the dance floor had no rhythm…that just makes it more entertaining.

What I minded was that the DJ had his mental channel tuned to techno, techno, techno and never budged the dial in the hour we were there.

Photo credit:

At one point, I went to the doorway of the room that held the tiny postage stamp of dance floor and peeked in. Through the smoke machine and the strobe lights (I’m not kidding) I spied a heavyset DJ wearing a helmet and headphones (still not kidding), bobbing his chin over his sound board. This guy was in his ZONE.

My other girlfriend, Clair, was already out on the dance floor, shaking it like a groupie. She loves techno. The only thing we can figure is that it must work like Ritalin and smooth out her A.D.D.

When Clair started twirling and waving to me, I waved back and did something I’ve never done before. Me, Jenny…the girl who loves to dance. I backed away from the doorway and returned to my table.

I just could NOT get any closer to music that made me feel like my eyeballs were exploding in their sockets. Looking in that room, I felt “older” for the first time and I started fretting…

Holy cow, what if motherhood stole my groove?? What if my “get-out-and-dance” got up and went during labor or one of the endless nights of teething? Yikes.

When I sat down, Alicia took one look at me and poked me in the arm with her mojito. “What’s the matter?”

“Oh my God…this music is making my eyeballs leak,” I said. “It’s kind of scaring me.”

She slurped the last of her drink and slammed down the glass. “I know!!!” Waving her hands in the air, she yelled over the music, “Give me some Gaga, some 80’s, some disco – something with words. But this techno, techno, techno is killing me.”

Is it just the two of us, or has dance music run amok? Have words left the dance floor? Are the responsibilities of work, family and this endlessly crappy economy sucking away our “inner hotties” and leaving a hot mess? I need some reassurance here, people!

What’s the status of the dance floors in your neck of the woods? What music gets your feet tapping? What’s the state of your “groovy?” Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell.


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
This entry was posted in Life's Challenges, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Is Adulthood Stealing Some of Your “Groovy?”

  1. Chris Devlin says:

    No, no, don’t fret. Hating on techno is a sign you have musical taste, not that you’re getting over in years. Techno has a beat, but it has no rhythm. IT HAS NO SOUL. It is of the devil and not the cool, sexy-jazz devil of say, Viggo Mortenson in The Prophecy or Peter Stormare in Constantine. But the yicky devil of a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

    Shake your groovy thing to some 60s soul or tight Busta Rhymes. Techno is for drum loops, not for people.


  2. You are NOT alone and (IMHO) the current music temporarily stole your (our) groovy, Jen. Because IT DOES NOT HAVE A GROOVY DANCE BEAT!

    Case in point: Atlanta, 2011. Dressing room at Bebe’s. I tried on a dress. LOVED it! Loved the music at Bebe’s. (Sherry, chime in here and remind me who was playing.) So, I DANCED in the dressing room hallway. Carole has video (which she promised not to publish). I had my dress for dancing at the M&M conference gala. But, they played THAT kind of music. The kind with NO consistent beat. My groove went splat.

    I two-stepped by myself in the square in Abbeville, S.C., at Billy Bob’s, at Cavender’s Boot City. Hey. I wasn’t buying boots and the music took over. You’re coming to Texas for the conference, right? I’ll be there. We will get some groove on. And, I will pester you mercilessly to go to Billy Bob’s for pics on that bull. You have been warned.


    • Sherry Isaac says:

      First, Gloria, another conference in Texas and you have not poked me in the cyber-rib yet? Strange.
      Second, Jenny, thank you for clarifying the feeling I could not put into words. Techno makes my eyes leak, too. But, I can tolerate a spin or two. Seriously object when that sound takes over, tho. Love to mix it up.
      Three, I am under strict orders to testify to Glo’s dressing-room diva dance at Bebe’s. IMHO, Carole should post the video.
      Four, I don’t know about your groove, but after four labours mine has stayed in tact. My ‘babies’ (now aged 18 – 28) still cower in horror when a catchy tune plays in the background at the grocery store, doctor’s office, an crowded amusement park. And the time I picked up youngest at a school dance? The horror!
      This momma (now grandma) still knows how to shake her groove thang! Growing older means I now throw belly dance moves into the mix. (Repeat on horror! Snort!)
      As for Atlanta, I was cool with the music. But dancing on carpet? My heels kept catching! Not good.


      • OH! Oh! Where is the shocked emoticon guy when I need him? I should have keys to YebbitVille for the number of times you’ve taken me there after my cyber-nudges about the Texas conference, Sherry.

        In response to Stacy’s comment (below) about clubs. I agree. Clubs and bars are Not My Thing anymore–with the exception of CW honky-tonks with HUGE dance floors. That’s why I (and, quite obviously, Sherry) break into spontaneous dance when it feels right.

        So…Sherry…about that Texas conference…? Free room, board, transportation!


      • Jenny Hansen says:

        I can take a few songs in stride but an hour almost exploded my head. No wonder I see so many angry people in their 20’s!! Geesh.

        p.s. I’ll expect to see that video up on Facebook with a note to me (ASAP!!!)


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’m dying to go to the DFW conference in May…we’ll see if I can afford it, but I’m trying.

      I’ve never been to Billy Bob’s! Obviously I’ve missed a huge part of Texas must-see’s!!! LOVE the stories of you sashaying around, Gloria. I can just picture it. 🙂


  3. I agree with the others. I think it was a sign of the music, not of your groovyness! Trust me girl, you still got your full 110% groove on…woot woot!
    I’ve never be able to get up and rock it out to techno. It’s just not my thang and absolutely makes my nostril hairs ache so I get where you are coming from!
    I live in a small city, about 75000 people so there’s not a huge amount of choice for dance bars but…we do have TWO dance bars that are specifically for people 25 years old and older which is nice. Because of the variety of ages at the bar, the music is usually a lot of oldies (but goodies) and a lot of top 40 so perfect for us. I guess we are kind of lucky here!
    Hubby and I…well we like to get out every one and awhile and shake booties into the wee hours. No, I don’t go out three nights a week like I did in my 20s when I was single but…I get my groove on in a million other ways now that I couldn’t have when I was young and silly!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Yeah, what is it with the smaller towns having the best dance places?? I used to live in Columbia, MO when it was about the same size as yours and there was quality dancing EVERYWHERE. For all ages.

      When Tameri and I trek from our corner to your corner, we’re shakin’ it. That’s all I’m saying….


  4. Gene Lempp says:

    I can’t even remember the last time we went out to a club. 2001? Maybe. We do go out for drinks on very rare occasions but I don’t think this is adulthood stealing my groove as much as it is adulthood teaching me a new groove. Sure it isn’t what I had in my twenties but it is more fulfilling in many ways.

    Great post, Jen 🙂


  5. Your Zoomer (senior category) reporting in – Jenny, your grooviness can never be questioned … you keep flashing it in every single post! It’s the music, girl … oh and maybe the economy. What’s with a cover charge when everyone is feeling the pinch? Here’s a quick fix – have a party at your place or rent a party room with a bunch of friends. No reason required. Play all the tunes you love to dance to and go crazy with your besties. Instant tonic, I promise!


  6. Stacy Green says:

    Seriously. I can’t remember the last time we went to a club. When I visit my Twin Cities friends, we go to bars, but they’re usually either dives or restaurants where you can sit and relax. We did hit up a place last weekend that turned out to be college central and gave me some intense flashbacks, though. I think I lost my grooviness a long time ago. I don’t have the patience any more.

    Your grooviness is still intact! You’re the groovy queen:)


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Groovy Queen! hahahahahaha!!! I’m keeping it. I promise to find a way to work that into a post title in the next 6 months. 🙂

      p.s. You did not lose your grooviness, Missy!


  7. Laura Drake says:

    Another senior checking in here…the last time I had a couple of glasses of wine and got on the dance floor, I was hot. I mean I was smokin’. I was legend. Every old fart’s eye in the room was on me (Hey, it was a Kiwanis function.) God, that was fun.

    The next morning, my husband had to wheel me down to the hotel lobby in the office chair that came with the room. My my tendons were DONE. Thought I broke my ankle!

    But it was worth it. You know the old saying, “I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was!”

    What a memory!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG, thanks for making me laugh my ass off. I don’t know that I remember hearing this story before, but I can just imagine Gary wheeling you down.

      Oh man, coughing attack. BWAHAHAHAHAH. Thanks.


  8. Roni Loren says:

    The last time I really danced in public was at my wedding in 2001 and that’s because I picked all the music. Whoever said Def Lepard and Baby Got Back weren’t appropriate wedding music had no idea what they were talking about. We may have actually played Push It too. 🙂

    Mommyhood and age won’t steal your groove. My mom and stepdad are in their 50s and can still clear a dance floor and take center stage. (They prefer 80s music too.) But I hear what you’re saying. My kidlet turns 4 today and he just started a “real” school not a daycare. When I was sitting outside the school yesterday waiting for him, I looked around at the other parents and realized–whoa, I’m one of them. I’m at a school that I’m not attending. It was a weird “I’m a grownup” realization. I think I may need to spend some time this weekend playing Guitar Hero to offset that.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OH! Def Leppard and Baby Got Back are some of my fave wedding tunes!!! Congrats on 10 years. I can’t believe that school is coming soon in MY future…Mother of God.

      Happy Birthday to the little guy. I’ll betcha he plays a mean Guitar Hero, right alongside you. 🙂


  9. Roni Loren says:

    Oh, and if you’re not watching that show Up All Night, you need to. This blog post sounded like an episode of it. 🙂


  10. Julie Glover says:

    My version of that is a glass of wine mixed with water and dorky dancing with my kids in the living room. Am I a mom or what?! I gotta get out the Salt ‘N Peppa and find my groove. Actually, I think my groove got tucked away with the pre-childbirth string bikini undies. Where are those?


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I say pull out the undies and put on the Salt N Pepa, Julie!!! You owe it to yourself, and your groove. I feel mine seeping back in with every comment. (The groove, not the G-knits.)


  11. Great post Jenny. I’m with Gene here. I can’t remember the last time That Man and I went to a club. It was never huge activity in our dating days either. We’ve always been more of the go out to dinner and drinks type, the easier to hold a conversation, my dear 😉

    “adulthood teaching me a new groove” Love this line Gene!


  12. amy kennedy says:

    We all need to keep our grooves — sometimes it’s hard though. You actually have to WORK at it, until it becomes second nature again. I’m already thinking where my husband and I can go to dance. When I’m alone on a day off and I need to get some cleaning done, I crank up the dancing music and go to town…all by my lonesome. Still, it makes me happy.


  13. Do not tell me that you have lost your groove! OMG you’re making me feel old and I’m not going there!

    Groove comes from within. Groove comes from your soul. Groove is who you are. It does not come from outside evil forces!

    Please don’t tell me that the entire OC has gone by way of techno. God help us all!

    What happened to mixing it up? There is such a thing as a bad DJ.

    One thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter what age you are, we all need to fight to keep our groove! Use it or loose it honey!

    So don’t give up on your groove Jenny. Keep shaking your booty girl. You still got it going on!


  14. You asked if words have left the dance floor. Except for Nashville, words pretty much left music about the time the Beatles hit our shores. The music of the fifties and before was beautiful and had meaningful words.

    Alas, even Nashville is going the way of the rest of music. I tried to watch the CMA awards the other night, but it was 99% special effects and 1% music. How sad.


  15. timlobrien says:

    I used to say that there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music. Ever since I heard techno blasting through a stack of thumping speakers I realized I was wrong. There is a third kind of music – really, really, bad music. Techno stands alone in that category. In my blog thius friday I write about the difficulties we faced back in the 70’s trying to dance to a particular song..


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LMAO, Tim!! Obviously, I agree. I just don’t get why they ever used it for anything but a porn soundtrack. I must read your blog tomorrow!!! I’m sick, so if you don’t see a comment from me, nudge me – my mind’s a sieve.

      Oh! How was your big birthday celebration???


      • timlobrien says:

        I should have given everyone sound financial advice to buy stock in Miller Lite beer. I’d be surprised if you can find any left in Maverick County, Texas. We solved many of the worlds problems and wrote a blog titled “Solving the World’s Problems – One Campfire at a Time.” We all had a great time, our livers did not.


  16. Aw… I love this post! I agree with the others—you’ve definitely not lost your groove! Now if you stop sassing it up with your girls, I’d worry. Also, techno and hip-hop dancing both require some quirky genes in my opinion. These Swedish hips refuse to move like THAT. I couldn’t even keep up with the hip hop aerobics class at my gym! 😉


  17. Hi Jenny,

    I echo the sentiments of previous commenters. It goes back to that saying, “You’re only as old as you feel.” I make time for me so I don’t become a boring adult. I focus on creativity, learning, and fun. That’s groovy, as far as I’m concerned. So what if I can’t move like I used to without paying for the next morning. Like Laura said, it’s worth it.

    BTW, I follow your blog because you are one groovy gal. 🙂


  18. Jenny! You are the preacher to my choir, sister! My hubs and I went out the other night…cause all of our friends either want to be home and in bed by 10pm, or just plain won’t go do anything…so anyway, AFTER celebrating his friend’s birthday (and yes, everyone went home at 9:30pm!) we decided the night wasn’t over…so we hit up some bars near our house.

    I. Felt. So. Old.

    Everyone in these places had to be barely 21…and watching these people on the dance floor was just sad. At one place there was this young girl, who’d obviously had WAY too much (and it was only a little after 10pm at this point), stumbling around everywhere…knocked a tray of glasses out of a waiter’s hands…and yes, had the sweater tied around her waist ~ she was THAT drunk. I felt so bad for her.

    The music was mostly that techno-crap…I only heard a sad few of the songs I used to get out and shake it to.

    And I love my hubs…but he won’t even stand near the dance floor, never mind actually dance with me on it (and honestly, after seeing a bunch of guys out there during this outting, I’m glad he doesn’t! LOL). Needless to say, not only do I feel old and misplaced, but also lonely. My friends may as well be 80yrs old the way the live now (I apologize to any 80yr olds out there who still know how to live it up!). Yeah, I’m married with two kids, a dog, a full time day job, AND I write…but I still want to let loose every now and then! And please, when I do, is it too much to ask that the DJ play something remotely close to an actual dance song…and that one of my friends can get out of her PJs and stop yawning long enough to have fun with me?!?!?!


  19. Stealing! Stealing? Adulthood stole more like. I’ve a vague memory of some sort of g-word (word, dear, word), but it’s only vague. One minute I was jetting round the world, spending money like water and I thought I’d sleep when I was dead. The next minute I haven’t gone out of the house for a year, and if I don’t get some sleep I think I will die. Oh, and I’m still spending money like water. I would ask where did it go, but I’m pretty sure I know where, I just don’t have the strength to go and get it back!

    Great laugh as ever, Jenny.



  20. Marcia says:

    Late to the party again. Jenny, you’ll have your groove thang on for the next 40 years! There is no losing it unless you get too wrapped up in something to notice sneaked off to a more happenin’ girl.
    i was thinking the same thing recently…the past year that I’ve been wrapped up in writing, we haven’t really gone out and done anything fun. the hubs works on restoring this 100+ yr-old house and I write. So my New Year resolution will be to pull my groove out of the deep hole it’s dug for itself and go dancing now and then, travel even if we can’t go as far (stinkin’ economy) go to more concerts, etc. I guess what I’m saying is you have to keep your ‘groove’ out where you can see it and keep an eye on it. Motherhood, jobs, creative projects can all shove it under a rock if we take our eyes off of it.
    Rock on , Mama!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love this line, Marcia: “ have to keep your ‘groove’ out where you can see it and keep an eye on it.” Like it’s gonna slither off somewhere. Thanks for the late-night laugh!


  21. Piper Bayard says:

    I recommend belly dancing. 🙂 Also, as the kids get older, you start to get it back. You get in touch again with teen world. I recommend engaging and enjoying. Otherwise, it will only give you gray hair. Great post, Jenny.


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  23. Jane Sadek says:

    When you’re in your mid-fifties it’s all about finding someone to groove WITH. The husband doesn’t even WANT to be groovy. Still I throw on my leather pants and do arty things or shop in outrageous little shops. But yes, I would love to dance on the bar at Studebaker’s just one more time. I wonder if the last time I did it, I had an inkling how much I’d miss it.


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