• Broadway Beat

OPINION: I Remember When Women Were Women and Men Were Tap Dancing in Slick Slacks and Dandy Hats

by Devin Wallace. @thedevinwallace.

I feel like I don’t recognize the world I live in. Everything seems upside down; everyone’s roles are reversed. It’s not like it was in my day, when women were women, and men were tap dancing in slick slacks and dandy hats, just like God intended.


Back when I was a dapper young fellow, things were clear. You knew a woman was a woman because she was performing a synchronized swimming number in the latest technicolor picture from MGM. As for the men, it was obvious: they were doing a double-ball shuffle into a shim sham shimmy that woulda knocked your socks off if they weren’t hoisted up by a quality pair of garters. Life made sense.


We learned how to be men from our own fathers. My Dad was typical of men in his day: long hours working as a choreographer on the Dizzy Dinkins Dancing Hour, a man who didn’t need to talk about his feelings (they were clear in his dance). Back then, if you were feeling blue, ya tossed a nickel to a valet and he’d song-and-dance you to a better tomorrow.


Even outside of the home, men had strong masculine figures to look up to. Real tough guys like Fred Astaire: five foot six, a hundred and fifty pounds when wet, absolutely swimming in a powder-blue tuxedo with tails that ran down Broadway.


Oh, how the times change. I’ve been “canceled” for suggesting men dress like men, and now I’m banned from selling my feathered derby hats on the promenade. Everyone today dresses like vagrants instead of fancy little butlers prancing down a marble staircase in a movie called Daddy Does the Diddy, Lady!


I suppose I need to change with the times, just like when they replaced my gramophone with “anything but a weirdly loud gramophone, Dad, it’s so ungodly loud.”


Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to greet the newspaper boy with an extremely choreographed routine down my front steps.