How old is too old to be out dancing until 4 a.m.?
I am proof in the flesh that 48 is not too old. And we are not talking wimpy dancing, either. I got all sweaty and soaked, in my t-shirt and green suspenders, shaking every part of my body hard and fast.
We were just coming off of a dinner of saffron curry chicken and fried bread and homemade coconut ice cream with cardamom caramel sauce for dessert. Not so heavy going, despite the sound of it. The girl from L.A. had at last moved to Stockholm (well, not at last – she’d been here for a month but we were all absorbed in marrying off the children’s book author and the sea captain) so we were celebrating.
“Welcome,” the husband toasted to her and her boyfriend, and all 11 of us raised our glasses. "Here's to the first of many dinners."
Absolutely, I thought to myself.
So we talked and ate, each group having its own conversations, discussing everything from Maira Kalman - the girl from L.A. went to a knitted hat party at her house! - to getting lost in the Ikea at Kungens Kurva, and the insanity that is shopping at Ikea on a Saturday, to the stripey goodness of her boyfriend's socks (I forced him to come and look at all our stripey socks in the newly refurbished dressing room at the back of the apartment.)
Then, at about 12:30, we all put on our coats and trooped out to go to some club where the pop star was playing, except when we got there push had come to shove, shove, shove as we stood around listening to the tunes being spun, being so manhandled and elbowed by the crowd that our little group nearly imploded.
"Someone pinched my ass," the boyfriend of the girl from L.A. said.
"Was that you, Francis?" the children's book author said.
I denied it.
"Well, I wouldn't have minded if it was Francis, at least I know him," the boyfriend of the girl from L.A. said.
Then some girl tried to pick him up. That is totally un-Swedish I said. I told him it must be his naturally curly hair that was attracting all the attention. Then we left for some new gay club that's opened up, near Norrlandsgatan. Push had not come to shove there, thank goodness. Push hadn't even come to push yet, although at least one of the dance floors was pleasantly packed. It was there that we ended the night.
The Swedish phrase for the day is klockan fyra på morgonen. It means four in the morning.