Twerk (n., v., adj.)

Tell me this: why do people get so perturbed about having to stand so close to strangers during their commute on the subway, but at bars they’ll willingly cram their bodies beside a hoard of people, while the sweat from some guy’s armpit practically drips into their summer pear martini? And they’ll act like it’s not a problem; not even a tiny bit of agitation creeps over them.

But here I am, at one of those bars, overcome with exhaustion trying to tell my friend a short story about how I saw a guy pee all over a rack of Citi Bikes this morning, and I’m getting nowhere. I’ve stopped using force behind my words and I’m just moving my mouth, hoping she’ll just read my lips. She mistakes pee for wee! and instantly thinks I’m just trying to tell her about how I’m so excited to be out with her on a Saturday night. But really, I’d rather be at home thumbing through an overdue paperback and seeing how deep of a dent I can make in my Carvel ice cream cake. I start to use my hands and suddenly we’re here, in the middle of this obnoxiously crowded bar, playing a game of charades.

People are starting to act like wild animals, flapping their paws and roaring out the lyrics to a repetitive song. Something about bandz that make her dance. I turn to my friend and scream in her ear, what does that even mean? She types the answer on her iPhone notepad and tilts it toward me, so she can roll her eyes while I read her explanation.

And then, the song changes, and the wild jiggling of people’s lower extremities begins to happen. They’re moving and shaking in a way that has them looking like a dog who is digging for treasures in the moist soil and lifting their butt up into the air. Before I could rummage up the strength to ask what was going on, my friend blurts out Jen, it’s called Twerking. And she says it as if it’s something I should know. Something I should have learned in college or read in a ‘How to look like a hip 20-something and not a miserable human being when out at bars” manual.

Since my friends have given up on me, I turned to to learn more about this crazy little thing called twerking. They define it as:

  1. The vigorously shaking of your Gluteus Maximus (Sounds a bit like Zumba class).
  2. A fancy word for “booty-poppin” (Oh, I’m so glad there’s an upscale word for this. I’ll be sure to use it while I’m shoving a giant silver spoon of escargot in my mouth at the Ritz Carlton).
  3. To watch someone make nachos (hmm, that can’t be right).

So, I’ve decided to come up with a short list of what Twerking must mean:

  1. One of Jay-Z’s 99 problems.
  2. The middle name of Kim and Kayne’s baby girl: North Twerk West.
  3. Another one of those made up words in a Missy Elliot song: Is it worth it, let me twerk it. I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.
  4. A slang term for being too tired to work.
  5. Amanda Byne’s recent behavior.
  6. A spelling error on a second grader’s test.
  7. An accidental dance move Miley Cyrus created when she was trying to shake hair lice out of her pixie cut.
  8. One of the many side effects that you hear on those pharmaceutical commercials. WARNING: Taking Xarelto may cause high blood pressure, an increased risk of paralysis, and the urge to twerk.
  9. Something that goes on only in Florida. TC Mark

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Jen Glantz is the world’s first professional bridesmaid and founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. Her new book, Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire) [Atria Books] is available now.

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