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I had the best time tonight going out to salsa night at a bar in Center City, Philly. The people were there to dance and have a good time. One of my friends, is a regular there and also happens to be a salsa instructor. It was so nice to hang out with strangers who could interact without booze being the main ingredient. I’ve also never latin danced besides zumba before, at least not with the real steps, and it was really fun. It was really just the great environment that made my night. My friend explained that a lot of the people who came didn’t drink at all or if they did it was just a little. It definitely wasn’t a crowd looking to pick people up for the night, and I have to say it was nice to meet a strange guy without having to wonder if he just wanted to have sex with me. And salsa dancing is easy and fun, not hard to pick up. Plus I got to go to a dance where people actually ask girls to dance (and thank them for it 😉 )- it was almost like Gone with the Wind but less drama!

I actually met a married dude travelling for business who said I was the first person I’d talked to outside his company in days. He said hello while I was trying to get some water and I was a little unsure at first, and he bought me a bottled water and said, “Don’t feel obligated to talk to me.” Then we talked about how Philly had exceeded his expectations and how much he loved the old churches, the Liberty Bell, and Reading Terminal Market. Coming from California, he just couldn’t get over the history. He traveled frequently and liked it, but said  “travelling is bad for relationships” (womp womp) and it was hard to have a social life spending a week here or there, only home on the weekends. I was happy to have someone outside my grad student posse to talk to as well and it was nice to see someone appreciate the aspects of the city I really like. It is also always nice to interact with a non-creepy guy especially since this weekend I was feeling down about guys who actually know you as a person treating you like a piece of ass [don’t want to dwell on the exact circumstances, but you know it when it happens. Not a happy feeling-I don’t like being objectified.] So between the totally respectful and fun salsa dancers and this slightly drunk but nice guy, I am feeling pretty good about the night.

It’s these little things that happen when you could use a lift that make a big difference in your outlook.  I’ve been feeling kind of cynical and jaded when it comes to the bar scene and it was nice to have a positive experience with people outside my grad program. Amazing how you meet nice people just when you need them.

Just wanted to share a happy story. Who doesn’t need a boost?