Save the last dance for me


My kids got a disco strobe light recently. A friend decided it was just what we needed to christen a large space that we have that seems to scream, “Dance Party!”

We do dance. I dance, the kids dance, Big Man dances. Ok. Big Man dances in the I-am-a-fun-dad-and-won’t-be-a-stick-in-the-mud sort of way, but he does dance. However, he loves to exaggerate the white man’s overbite, and fluidity is not part of his game. Still…he dances.

When the kids were smaller and the death march was upon us (these are the hours between 4:00 p.m. and dinner for the uninformed-a time that can stretch out forever), we used to just head to the basement and dance through it. Spinning and twirling and improvised break dancing would get us all sweating and the death march eased into a pleasant stroll towards dinner.

Today, we continue to dance but less often. The new strobe light has prompted the kids to have other kids over to make up their own shows and routines. Only when no one is available do they call in parental troops.

Last weekend, Big Man felt like strolling down a musical memory lane and had the most eclectic mix blasting from his home computer. Lionel Richie, the Beastie Boys, White Stripe, and some heinous opera wafted through the rooms of our home and it was interesting to see what made the kids move. What was more interesting was this: Big Man asked me to dance.

I said yes and off we went twirling around the room. Thing 1 was grinning and Thing 2 alternated between giggling and gagging.

“You don’t look like you are having much fun,” said Big Man.

“Hey! It’s hard to look like you are having fun when you’re in shock!” I replied.

Many moons ago, Big Man and I won a free dance lesson three months before our wedding. We went thinking we might take a few more lessons to prep ourselves for our big day. They never asked us back. Even though Big Man is 6 feet 2 inches tall and I am not, the height difference was apparently the least of our problems. It still stings to think that we never got pimped to buy lessons for our own wedding.

And that was the last time we really danced together. There have been dance parties a’plenty since kids, but he and I just don’t take to the dance floor together.

Until this past weekend. Briefly, I did wonder what was going on in his head. But my experience with men in general and Big Man specifically suggests that complexity of thought isn’t usually part of the equation. I am sure it was something very simple like, “I like this song. I need to grab my girl and dance.” I am proud to know I have matured out of the “needing to know everything he is thinking” phase in our relationship. I have learned the hard way that more often than not, it just isn’t that complicated.

So he asked me to dance and I said yes. And while I don’t think it was our last dance, it was a good one…and I am glad he saved it for me.