On Friday night, I went to the Half Note Restaurant and Lounge in Bowie, Maryland. I had not been there for several years but I remembered the ambiance and the pleasing sounds radiating from the featured bands that energized and excited the crowds. I desired freedom from the stresses that had been weighing on my mind and knew that dancing would deliver a fun release.
I had asked a platonic, male friend to meet me there so that I would not be alone. Half Note is like a full on night club, and I knew I wasn’t ready to face that atmosphere alone. A female friend was also supposed to join me, but backed out as I was leaving the house. Immediately after hearing her decision, a bitter fear oozed through my body provoking me to stay home, but I did not. In that moment, I realized that my happiness is not dictated by someone else’s actions. So, I drove to the venue.
When I arrived, I noticed several groups of two or more females, couples, and unaccompanied men walking into the venue. That fear that had previously run through my body came back. I had hoped that my friend was already inside so I texted him to confirm. He was not, and I texted him again indicating my reluctance to go inside noting that I had not seen any unaccompanied women, only groups of women entering the venue. There was no doubt that he detected my hesitation. He texted that he was only 10 minutes away. He texted again that there was a bar inside; that way, I could go and get something to drink. While I really wanted to push against my insecurities, I did not want to put myself in an awkward situation. I finally left my car to enter the venue.
I anxiously entered Half Note, looking straight ahead without even noticing the doorperson who beckoned for me to pay the cover charge. I laughed, uneasily, paid and walked inside. I could hear the band playing and the crowd roaring – enthralled and fully entertained by the band. There were people (couples and single people) standing around, swaying and captivated by the music.
After entering, I immediately felt comfortable, walked over to the bar, and ordered a drink. After receiving my drink, I stood by an empty bar table, relaxed and was riveted by the music. While waiting for my friend to arrive, I conversed with several people. When my friend arrived, he found me a seat at the bar. He then introduced me to some of his friends and told me to go dance and have some fun. That was exactly what I did.
Still somewhat distressed with social stigmas regarding single, older women going out alone, I almost allowed my insecurities to get the best of me. That night confirmed to me that there are so many people in my age group that still enjoy listening to good music and being in the company of others that have that same interest. Don’t let anyone tell you that people 50 and over don’t go out. What are single people supposed to do – stay in the house and let life pass you by? Do you and enjoy your life, whatever that means to you. Personally, I am starting to feel like Stella – getting my groove back! Ugh, with a little assistance, but I’m getting there!