Craig received a surprise paycheck this week for a writing job he recently completed. We decided to take part of it and support a local business for dinner. Having no particular place in mind, we drove down a fairly major road looking for something new and interesting.
We found it. There’s a new place not too far from us called The Jive and Wail, a dueling piano bar. It was 6pm when we arrived, so we figured it would be more restaurant than bar, and we were right. But then we learned the two piano guys would come on at 7:30, so we slowed our evening way down to try to stretch the time so we could hear part of the show.
By 7:00, the lights dimmed and the people began streaming in – lots of couples and singles, no kids. Smoke filled the place and the volume steadily increased as inhibitions wore off drink after drink. We wondered if we should leave or not, but decided to stay for at least a few songs. When the two guys came out, one of them said, “Welcome to The Jive and Wail, where it’s Saturday night and the only things you want to do are get drunk and get l**d!”
Still, we stayed. It was definitely a lesson in culture. The songs were your typical everyman’s piano songs and the singing was fun because the crowd was half-drunk. Our whole family sang along with everyone else to John Mellencamp’s “Little Pink Houses,” and little by little the folks around us seemed to lose a bit of their non-verbal hostility towards us for bringing in kids to ruin their fun. Craig leaned over part-way through the second song and said, “Now we know how singles can feel in church.”
It was definitely an interesting experience. I can’t say we’ll never do it again, because the opportunity to discuss what we saw with the girls was pretty amazing and much better than we could have by simply telling them about something they’ve no frame of reference for, asking them to affirm certain things and challenge others. It won’t be something we make a consistent habit of, for sure, but for one night, our family bonded in a hip-ish club scene, and we won’t forget it.