Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Now I was in my house Saturday evening minding my own business and watching my daughters make strawberry cupcakes for their little jewelry-making party when my BFF/sister-in-law Angelou sashayed her little fast behind into my kitchen talking about “It’s Saturday night! Let’s go out—it’ll be fun!” A friend of ours, you see, told Ang about this Old School Night party that blows into the ATL every month, and before her husband could object, girlfriend purchased tickets to the event, and told him, and later me and my husband/her brother, Nick, that we would be in the house for the jam.

Here’s what you should know about Angelou: She’s the young, hot thang in the family—couldn’t keep still if you super-glued her butt to a wooden stool. If there’s a party, she’s there. If a new restaurant is opening, she’s got a reservation. If there’s a class to take/festival in town/wind blowing, Angelou is in it.

Here’s what you should know about me: My idea of a hot Saturday night involves red wine, a roaring fire, and Netflix.

I’ve always been like this—the homebody who was quite content cooking dinner for friends and then turning in for the night. Even as a college student and a young journalist covering entertainment for the Daily News in New York, you’d more than likely find me sneaking a beer into an independent film or flipping through used CDs at Soundz over on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village before you’d see teetering in uncomfortable heels to a star-studded movie premier or a celebrity-filled set in a hot club. Oh, partying was always an option—just not one of my favs.

Maybe a part of this has to do with the ‘rents; to say they were homebodies would be the understatement of life. They went to work, came home, went to bed, woke up, went to work, came home, went back to bed. For kicks, they bowled on Saturdays, and went to church on Sundays, then we came home, ate dinner, and went to bed. And that was on the exciting weekends.

And the two of them, in their infinite wisdom, moved Heaven and high water to make sure their little girl’s social life was equally non-existent. The reason?

They didn’t want me bringing any babies to the house.

I their eyes, a teenage girl couldn't get knocked up if she spent Friday nights scrubbing the floors and dusting, and Saturday nights doing laundry and getting her clothes together for church the next day. Couple that with the fact that I spent the majority of the first half of my life ridiculously shy and socially awkward—being the popular guy’s little sister didn’t exactly help the situation—and it’s not hard to understand why, on a Saturday night, I still get a little stuck in homebody mode.

Anyhoo, fast forward to Saturday night, with Ang having to practically guilt me into going out for a grown-up date night. I agreed only after she took a pinky-swear oath to help me throw the girls’ party the next afternoon, and find me something to wear—stat. A few hours later, at 10 p.m.—10 PM!—we were in the car headed out to party.

Ha’ mercy, by the time we got there and found parking and wound our way though the ticket/coat check/security/drinks maze and got onto the dance floor, even Ang was rethinking the whole “let’s party” thing.

Until the deejay played my song. Or shall I say, songs.

We hit the floor to the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” Got to sweating to LL Cool J’s “Radio” and Rob Base’s “It Takes Two.” The spicy Cabernet I was drinking was tasting a lot like Red Kool-Aid when the dee-jay broke out “Before I Let Go,” “I Want Her,” and Teena Marie’s “Square Biz.” And by the time he started spinning the reggae and dancehall, my knee-high stiletto boots weren’t even squeezing my pinky toe anymore. Shoot, he could have put on the Star-Spangled Banner and I would have dropped it like it was hot.

It seemed like every last one of those “Old School” songs made the slightly more mature crowd dance a little harder, smile a little wider, reminisce a little more. I know every last one of those songs took Romy back—“Big Poppa” was bumping when my girls and I drove from New York to Martha’s Vineyard for a ridiculously fun 4th of July weekend; “Radio” was the big hit that had me and my high school homies parked outside LL Cool J’s house, giggling and hoping to get a glimpse of him when he was just starting to make it big; “I Want Her” is the song that was playing when I was lusting after ol’ what’s his name freshman year in college and hoping he would ask me to dance (I was too clueless to know the boy was gay); the reggae set reminded me on my days at Spectrum, where I worked as a waitress when I was a junior at Hofstra University, sloshing through the crowd with $4.50 drinks, fighting tooth and nail for my 50-cent tips (yes, broke asses had the nerve to ask for their change back!).

Each one of those songs at Old School night reminded me that A) I wasn’t as pathetic as I remembered when I was young—there were actual memories, a lot of them good, attached to those songs; B) I sure do miss good music—can someone give Plies and Pleasure-P some music history lessons? Please?! and C) I may not be a young hot thang anymore, but it sure did feel good to remember the good times and especially to make new memories with my husband, my BFF, my brother-in-law, and some new friends.

This is a GOOD thing.

Thanks, Ang, for dragging the old girl out. You were right: Old School Night was kinda the fire. Let’s do it again.

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  1. Dare I ask what time you all got home that night???

    Good you had fun cause there's nothing like some old school music to take you wayyyy back!

  2. Rob Base's It Takes Two-The Tunnel circa 1988 Freshman year at St. John's Univ that was the song I danced to with my now husband. He liked me because I was "smart". I still act like 10 fools when that song comes on-provided the fine lager is flowing in me.

    I'm with you, I'm a homebody. I think it makes those rare let-loose-act-a-fool-you-can-buy-a- new-pinkie-toe-tomorrow night's more memorable. I'm glad you all had a fun night! I enjoyed myself just reading about it. Go 'head Ang!

  3. It sounds like you had a blast! I sure can use some of that. My husband and I were just talking about how we miss good music. Ain't nothin' like Old School.

  4. Mmpphh! I LOVE old school and sounds like the DJ had some great selections! And you, great memories.

  5. CC Daydreams: Girl, we poured ourselves into bed at about 4 a.m. Suffice to say, I'm going to need ALL 30 days between that night and the next Old School party to recover. LOL!

    T! 10 Fools?! ROFL!!!!!!

  6. Most of the time I am trying to convince myself that I can still hang! You know..as we were walking to our car at 3:30am tryin' to figure out where we can find some food (just like back in the day) and touching my fro' that got even tighter after hours of dance AND not being able to feel my toes anymore, I realized that moments like that are priceless. And....we can still drop it like it's hot!!!!

  7. Ahh....the good 'ol days! I'm a sucker for an 'ol skool par-tay. You have to tell me where yall went since I'm in the ATL too. I love going out, but my husband is the homebody. His idea of a fun Saturday night is eating smoked sausages, chips and dip, and sippin on some cognac while he watches Japanese cartoons. Yes, I know, sad.

  8. So funny and so right! My parents didn't think it was "right" for girls to go out of the house, much less out of the house to have fun! My sister and I would race home from school on Fridays so we could finish our chores just so we could ask if could go out with our friends. And if we asked to go out on Saturday night, my parents would say, "But didn't you go out last night? Why do you have to go out again?" UGH!

    So once I got to Syracuse my freshman year, I was like, "I can go out on Fridays AND Saturdays?!?! Whoo hoo!!" That was a good year.

    BTW: your sister-in-law is definitely NOT the only hottie in the family!! :)

  9. "I their eyes, a teenage girl couldn't get knocked up if she spent Friday nights scrubbing the floors and dusting, and Saturday nights doing laundry and getting her clothes together for church the next day."

    Now is this why I got knocked up as soon as I went away to college? LMAO!

    You sure did put a smile on my face with this tale. I could picture the whole thing. I am sooo YOU, lol. This is the story each time my bff asks me out. We leave much later than I would like and have to push our way through the crowded club, but... at the end of most nights, I can always say that "they played my jam, I sweated my fresh from the salon do all the way out (never fails), and that my feet didn't hurt until the walk back to the car =)

  10. "Before I Let Go" Now that's my JAM! Reading your story brought back fond memories. I absolutely love being a homebody...It keeps me out of trouble. I'm glad you had a wonderful time.

  11. Oh girl let me tell you. I have really great memories of Rob Base 'It Takes Two'. While I was a youngin at the time, I have memories of my older cousins teaching me to "thread the needle". I almost cracked my head open on an ancient dresser in my bedroom trying to practice in front of the mirror. Damn shame.

    Your bumping and grinding is not only hilarious but inspiriing. Thanks for sharing.

    ~ humps

  12. You don't have to apologize for being a homebody! I'm a homebody and I love it!

    Glad to hear about you having a great time...You seem like you'd be a lot of fun at a party! :)


  13. I went to Essence Music Festival one year to hear all the grown up Neo-soul stuff. I half-hearted went into the main hall to hear LL. I had kinda written him off as a young kids mc, until "I need a beat" came on. I jumped up like a crazy woman and almost blacked out, I had such a good time. I had forgotten, he was my MC too!

    Something about remembering the times before mortgages, cooking dinner every night, and rehearsing site words and multiplication tables with the babies. It was such a free time.

  14. As my Morman friends would say "Oh my heck!" you know I want to be down the next time. I have not been out dancing since, well, forever. The last time was probably at that New Year's Eve party two years ago at Ang's house. Damn. I am playing myself.

    I need to get back out on that dance floor and groove to those old school sounds like back in the day. I know that the dancing dynamo is still within me. Come out, come out, wherever you are! A girl needs to dance!

  15. I started LMAO when I read about how your parents kept your social life non-existent so that you "wouldn't bring any babies home!" Oh my word Denene...my parents were the exact same way and had the exact same reason for making our lives as boring as they could. So funny!

    Sounds like you all had a grand time. Your family is awesome!

  16. Girl, you crack me up when you write about Angelou! Sorry I am so behind on reading your posts...but you know I love ya! This was too funny and too cute! Things that just remind us that we are no longer youngsters!

  17. Denene:
    Hello, Ms. MBB...we are so glad to hear that you enjoyed our event. Angelou told us that you submitted this blogspot posting.

    We hope to see you at our events in the future. Our official name is "OLD SCHOOL SATURDAY" (commonly called "OSS"). We proudly deliver all the classics you know and love from the 1980s and 1990s. Our entertainment is often described as "The soundtrack of your life."

    More info: http://www.oldschoolsaturday.com

    Next Event: Feb.21.2009 @ Hyatt Regency Atlanta (Downtown on Peachtree)

    Best regards,


  18. Oh, the good 'ole days.

    I can't hang as well as I could a few years ago but... damn, it sure feels good while you're doing it. It's always the next day I have a hard time with.

    So, how did the party go the next afternoon?

  19. uhh...? watz this i was looking for a song and it lead me here....i got to admit it grabbed my attencion =] seems quite intresting

  20. OSA- Online School Admissions - A school directory for India where you can find all the schools which are making their admission forms online availablle for everyone.


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