Monastery Madness

Stepping into the Monastery on Friday night, I noticed that the venue has lots and lots of two things in particular. Over-sized speakers and skinny, pretty looking 18 year olds. Great – the two things in the world least conducive to conversation.

The night turned out to be quite an awkward yet rewarding experience…

Because I arrived at the venue a little early, and unfortunately a tad solo, I felt a tad out of place from the get-go. To avoid people picking up on this fact, I did what anyone that which any self-respecting marketer would do. I did my best to pretend the place was like a networking event.

So there I was, my hand shooting out in front of people I had never met with a congenial ‘Hi I’m Chris’. My approaches were met with either an affronted wariness or a hesitant friendliness.

My introductions did manage to spark up a few conversations. Only one of which (and there were many) was worth the time, the rest of them consisted of an over-zealous generic handshake with some dialogue about how loose they were going to get. To which I would respond by laughing and gesturing in a way that said ‘Yeah, I am getting loose too.’ I thought this was a better response than leaning over and shouting over the music into their ear;

‘I’m actually not drinking this evening for a psych-research project into youth binge drinking. By the way you are swaying, there is a good chance that you will feature in it tomorrow…Wanna be mates?’

After 30min of the meet and greet exercise and I had successfully exhausted the room of approachable people. I decide to make a move to the dance floor to see how I would go there. I start bobbing a little bit. Enough of a bob to plausibly be dancing but not so much as to make me wonder what my hands should and shouldn’t be doing. I try to think how Nick Cave or Julian Cassablancas might dance in this situation, some sort of nonchalant shuffle.

This experience brings up a few questions about dancing. Is it a learned skill? Or are people born with ‘it’? Am I a good dancer? What constitutes good dancing? Does anybody really care? This Melbourne shuffle thing, do these people practice at home or is it a genetic skill given to people around the age of 18?

I decide to try and mimic what a few of them were doing with their feet. I tragically lose the beat, get a little embarrassed and go back to bobbing. 

About 20 minutes pass and the dance floor fills up a bit. I get a little more comfortable and start getting some hand actions involved.  I try a few of my trademark, interpretive dance styles which could be described as someone that looks like they are in a bubble under the sea. I look around.  The rest of the d-floor is either engrossed in their own flippant dancing style or doing a similar bobbing action to what I started with.

I realise that this could well be a major turning point for me. After about 30minutes of dancing, I think I may have just let go of the crippling feeling that others are judging me when I dance.

‘OK’ I think. So that is dancing sober taken care of. I now know that I don’t need to drink to be comfortable on the dancefloor. Now on to hurdle number two. Tuning girls.

Two gorgeous (and quite tipsy) ladies, who tell me they have just broken up with their boyfriends get a photo with me.


I start to get confident that I might actually allay two of my fears in one night. I fail miserably and go home. On the way back to my car, I see a man dancing next to a street musician and think to myself, that probably would have been me


Poor fellow. 

11 thoughts on “Monastery Madness

  1. hey cuz,

    That just made my day, picturing how awkward you must of been. It was easier to picture because I would of been the same. Well done though getting up for a dance, kudos to you sir!

    It definetly gives us a clear indication that drinking is indeed part of the culture, otherwise there would be a WHOLE lot of guys not dancing in clubs. HOWEVER it shows with a little push and some perserverence, that dancing can indeed be undertaken whilst sober, even if you cant dance!

    Though I must add you are an exceptionally confident and naturally happy person… well it certainly seems that way to myself. Is this something that youve considered? I would assume something like a persons natural sober personality would be a massive consideration in a study such as this.

    STILL, Its great what your doing mate, will try and keep up with it all. Might even join you for a few sober nights out and help with the study! let me know whats on 🙂

    1. I think that alcohol has a place for some people relative to their personality. Ideally we should be able to do whatever we want without it however, like coffee or cigarettes, some people need it to function at their optimum level.

      What we are trying to identify is the personality types or schemas that drink because they have a deep underlying issue and drinking forms as a way to zone out or avoid what needs to be dealt with.

      I think a few sober nights out are essential to the growth of every 20 year old. Its a good litmus test. If you have fun anyway, then great. If you have a shit time and you need to go home early, then questions need to be asked.

      Will keep you posted.

  2. Kind of surprised you weren’t successful with your moves on the ladies Chris!!! From a girls perspective, and one that until only very recently has been single, it is much more fun having a conversation with a relatively sober person, as opposed to being groped on the d-floor by some drunken idiot. Being out in a pub/club where you can actually hear (and thus have) said conversation can often be an issue… then again, maybe it’s just that your sober small-talk needs some fine-tuning!!!

    1. Cheers Jules. Haha. Yeah it probably does need some fine tuning.

      I was talking to my sister the other day about it and she said that she will rarely talk to a guy that talks to her out unless she knows him through another person. I guess its an issue of trust when meeting new people. Everyone is different.

      Its all good fun though. 🙂

  3. I taught you everything you know. Especially the bits about dancing. I can’t believe you don’t recognise or acknowledge this. Think about. Just think about it. love me.

    1. I learnt all moves from Ricky Gervais. I credit him entirely and solely for any moves I may drop on the floor. banananananana

  4. Chrisso I have a strange feeling I know one of those girls you were trying to tune haha! not 100% because of the lighting, BUT, I do know she did break up with her boyfriend recently as well. nicee entry mr. monastery – were you wearing your oversized kicks? 🙂


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