Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Four Left Feet
Four Left Feet
I was actually scared to ask M, frightened that he would say that I have gone too far, exceeded his level of patience. Until now, M h as been far removed from the day-to-day wedding planning activities. I have only involved him where it was crucial, but now I needed him to participate in one last, small detail before the big day. I waited to ask him at a moment when I new his resistance would be down, when I had the best shot at getting a "yes" out of him. Sauced with sake from dinner, M poured over the weekend Wall Street Journal, groaning a noise of contentment as he leaned back into his pillow. “I love Sundays,” he muttered from underneath the comforter, a stack of papers next to him, the dog looking equally at peace laying on the floor by his side.
“Honey,” I said, my voice dripping with sweetness. “I was thinking….” M stopped me. No good conversation ever begins with ‘I was thinking’. “Oh no,” he said, “What am I in for now?”
“Well, I was talking to my girlfriend today and she mentioned that she and her husband took a few dance lessons before their wedding. And my bother did too. And I was just thinking how great it would be if we took our four left feet and learned one simple dance.” I waited for him to tell me I was crazy, that he sooner would take a crocheting class or aqua aerobics than waste time learning the intricacies of ballroom dance. “One class?” he asked. “I will take one class. And I am not wearing one of those moronic costumes. No tights, no fedora, none of that shit.”
I didn’t want to learn the Thriller routine or earn the nickname Fred and Ginger. I just wanted a fast tutorial on not making a fool of ourselves on our first dance. I knew M would refuse to take a group lesson and I thought it was in both of our best interests to have a private, one-on-one session where we could get some extra help.
M and I arrived at the dance studio, CD of our wedding song in hand to meet Kensera, our dance instructor. Earlier that day she emailed us a list of items to bring – wedding music, comfortable clothing and shoes which covered our toes – the later, I was quick to discover, was extremely important.
“Ouch,” I yelped as we took our first, far-from-graceful steps on he wood plank dance floor, a full wall of mirrors so we could watch our vanity disappear with each horrible step. “My toe!” M grunted an apology as Kensera realigned our hands. “You need to keep your arm up as a shelf,” she instructed M. “Make sure your arm is extended and your hand is on her scapula drawing her into your body." She pushed play on the CD and off we went. Step left. Step right. Backwards. Ouch. Step forward. Ouch!!!! “You are off the beat. This song is a six-count. Let’s take it from the top.” M rolled his eyes as our wedding song played for the umpteenth time.
Off the beat? We were nowhere near the beat. He was going in one direction, me in another direction. His arm kept drooping; I forgot to clasp his hand the right way. “Are we the worst you have ever seen?” I asked Kensera trying to make conversation. Since she does this for a living, I assumed many other dance-challenged people have made their way to her studio. “You’re pretty bad,” she plainly said. So much for small talk.
With 5 minutes left to go in our hour, Kensera had all but given up on us. “Are we going to do a flip or a dip or a twirl,” M asked as he kept doing “jazz hands” to entertain me. Watching the Simpsons or Will and Grace, M picked up “jazz hands’ – the shimmering splay of frenetic fingers outstretched and pulsating in a quick excited movement. He found it hysterical and if it kept him entertained, all the better. “I think it’s best if you two keep things on the ground,” Kensera warned. “For safety reasons”
“We suck,” I said to M as we walked home. “My dreams of being a back up dancer for Britney are gone.” We would have needed a year of lessons 5 X a week to show off at the wedding, an undertaking neither M nor I would have been willing to accept. “Maybe we should take one more lesson?” I suggested.
“Nope. I am done. I put in my hour – I didn’t complain, I didn’t check my Blackberry once. I left work early and I smiled the entire time. I am the best groom ever.” M patted himself on the back. “Besides, I know one dance that we both can do. The Hora! All we have to do is sit in a chair and not fall off. I’ll even do jazz hands for you.”
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