I don’t dance with my wife often. There are many reasons for that, the least of which is that I hate to dance. There’s also the fact that as you get older you tend to go to a lot fewer places where dancing is acceptable. Oh, there’s the occasional wedding, maybe a banquet or two but that’s it really. It was easier to dance in years gone past. My grandparents danced together. They took ballroom dancing and won a bunch of competitions from what I understand. But there were places for them to dance—dinner clubs, formal parties, hell, back in their day when it rained you could just dance in the street. So, my wife and I don’t dance that often together.
Kim loves to dance. She dances all the time, whenever there’s a reason to make an excuse to dance she’ll find it. She dances with our son in the dining room or the bedroom. She’ll dance in the car, she’ll dance in a department store or check out line. As a result, our son, Jack, isn’t the bit self conscious about dancing in public. I have to be driven to whimsy or forced to dance in almost any situation that dancing isn’t acceptable and, in all honesty, even in those situations where dance is expected I avoid it like the plague. With Kim though, dancing is infectious. She makes you want to dance. There’s a freedom and joy in her eyes that makes everyone want to jump in and share a little of those feelings.
How far does my wife’s love of dancing extend you ask? When we first started dancing my wife taught me perhaps her favorite and the greatest way to dance. It’s called couch dancing. No, you freak, I’m not talking about whatever sick sexual perversion is running through your head. I’m talking about actual dancing, as in a waltz on a couch. Now, it requires a wide couch to be sure. Once you have the couch (go ahead get a wide one, I’ll wait) you simply lay down facing each other and then hold one another like you would in a formal dance on the dance floor and dance. You could certainly have music but in my opinion it’s always better when Kim sings or hums our music, you’ll find what works for you though.
So, at this point I’ll bet your wondering why in the name of all that is good and holy are you reading a column about dancing? We’re getting there I promise.
As I said, I don’t like to dance. I run from it. Except when it’s a slow song and I get to dance with my wife. There’s a simple joy an elegant form when we dance together. I love to spend those moments looking into her eyes and seeing that aforementioned joy and freedom. The world melts away when I’m dancing with my wife. Suddenly she’s not the woman who doesn’t take out the trash or forgets to close the counter doors, she’s not the person that gets mad at me for not wanting to give Jack a bath or teaching him inappropriate phrases—no, she’s the woman I married and so much more than that. She’s the ideal, the reason we all hunt for that reason to be married. And, now that we have a son and Jack joins us on the dance floor it’s as if the union is complete. Soon he won’t like dancing and won’t want to be in the middle of his mom and dad. He’ll be trying to get girls to dance with him by himself on the dance floor so one day he’ll have a girl to not dance with. Right now though, we all fit, we all dance in our rhythm and it just feels right. There’s nothing easier than the three of us dancing together. So I guess my point this week in this shorter than usual column (I have a cold that would kill a normal man but due to my amazing manliness has only knocked me to the sidelines for a short period of time) is that life really is so much better when you have someone to dance with, even if you don’t like to dance. As I get older and it becomes harder to remember the fool I was and even harder to find reasons to act like the fool I was, I appreciate more and more these simple moments like dancing with my wife. These are transcendental moments that make the whole trip worth it. Looking into her eyes when we dance is just one of those transcendental moments and, in the long run, one of the reasons I appreciate getting older. When you’re young you’re too big of an idiot to recognize when these moments happen. I appreciate every single one now. You’ll excuse me, I have to go couch dance with my wife now.