The Wiggles:A Guest Post by Nancy Roman

Posted on February 22, 2013


Nancy is the author of a blog called, NotQuiteOld, which is sort of how everyone of a certain age feels because old is something that those “other” people are, not us.  Old is like 20 years away.  Always. Right?  Right.  But it’s that pesky “notquiteold” dimension that we exist in that keeps reminding us that we may be notquiteold, but we are notquiteyoung, either.  And there is Nancy, notquite old and notquiteyoung, to put us all in our place, with grace and humor.  She makes it OK to be exactly where we are. 


Two months ago, my zumba teacher surprised us.

She turned on the music and tied on a coin scarf.

You know what I mean: the scarf that belly dancers wear around their hips – the kind with coins or bells that jangle when they swing their hips.

belly dancer

I thought it was odd – even a little silly. Zumba instructors are more likely to dress in hip-hop style than hip jangling style.

And the next week she wore it again.

And so did one of my Zumba-mates.

I love Zumba and my Zumba teacher and my Zumba-mates, so I did my best not to feel to superior.

But clearly: jangly scarves do not go with bike shorts and sneakers.

The following week there were five women a-jingling.

“You’ve got a hip-scarf,” I said to the woman standing to my left – just in case she was not aware of the multitude of shiny stuff shimmering from her shimmying hips.

“It makes me feel different. A little sexy. And they’re really cheap,” she said. “Amazon.”


A little sexy.

That’s not such a bad way to feel when you are dancing away to Latin music.

Later in the week, even though I was still snickering a little, I checked online. $2.99 for a belly-dancing scarf.

Hell, I just threw away ten times that much by stopping at the drugstore for ‘just’ dental floss. Even if I only used the scarf for Halloween (or for a cat toy, although in that case it would last about 23 seconds), it wasn’t much of a risk.

So I ordered one. They come in every neon color imaginable, but I ordered basic black. I wouldn’t want a $2.99 belly dancing scarf to look cheap.

And five days later it arrived:


I tied it around my jeans and sweater and modeled it for my husband.

“Is that to wear with your bikini at the beach?”

Yup. That’s it.

At my next Zumba class, I got a nice smile from the teacher when I whipped my scarf out of my gym bag and tied it around my hips at a charmingly rakish angle.

Even though I mention it as often as I can, I guess I momentarily forgot while tying my scarf that low – that my hips and my butt are quite a bit smaller than they used to be. When I started to dance my scarf fell down around my ankles – sort of like my garter belt when I was twelve. Unlike the garter belt incident, however, I was not mortified. I mean – being too skinny to keep your hip scarf in place is hardly a bad thing. I kicked it to the back of the room with a definite pride.

It was better than wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word SKINNY. (which I’ve thought about making.)

But I tried again the following week. I tied my scarf a bit higher – knotting it well and then giving it a good tug to make sure it would stay.

I was ready for some sexy dancing.

Nobody told my hips.

You need to wiggle your hips and fanny to get those coins to jingle.

And my hips don’t wiggle.

I thought they did. I thought my Zumba was already pretty sexy.

But that scarf was awfully quiet.

I think I will embroider that shirt after all.