WHAT'S RHYTHM 
GOT TO DO WITH IT?

   I miss my mother. She died almost two years ago, and I miss her for a lot of reasons, but mostly because she thought I was a good dancer.
    Since she was the only person in the world who thought so, that makes her pretty special.
   Dancing was a major topic of discussion last weekend, when my oldest daughter got married. There was a band, there was the Father-Daughter Dance, and then there was more dancing, right up until midnight.    That's what you do at weddings.
     I didn't always hate to dance. There were moments when I had the energy flowing and the appropriate song came on, and I just let it go. That last happened in 1982, but I'm sure it will happen again. This wedding was not one of those times.
    First up was the Father-Daughter Dance. I was already upset that my song request was nixed. I had wanted Tower of Power's "You're Still a Young Man," (I was just kidding) but we settled for Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."
   After about three awkward turns, my daughter and I were both waving for other people to join us and take us out of the spotlight. But before others descended onto the dance floor to save us, we did manage to try one of those 360 degree spins. Unfortunately, I slammed my forearm into the side of her head while twirling her.
   I slinked back to the safety of my table as the music picked up steam and a steady flow of young people, along with a few of my generation, took over the floor. It was time to shake, rattle and roll.
   My wife grabbed me and pulled me back onto the floor. She loves to dance, and can rock it with the best of them. Girls, and some guys, were gyrating all around me. I tried to keep up, but it wasn't happening. It was much more fun to watch.
   When the song was mercifully over, I headed once again to the safety of my table. A good woman friend of mine greeted me.
   "I see you've invented a new dance," she said with a big grin.
   "And what would that be?" I asked.
   She imitated a 90 year old, hands out front, leaning on an apparatus, shuffling across the floor. "The Walker."
    That hurt, but it was so true. I wasn't feeling the music like I did in 1982, and my mother wasn't around to give me encouragement. I vowed to reject all invitations to dance for the rest of the night.
   That's when I looked back onto the dance floor and there was a circle formed. In the middle was a handsome 30 year old spinning and bending and shaking as the crowd clapped. And dancing with him, matching every move, was my wife.
   My competitive juices were suddenly flowing. I'd show this young whippersnapper what real dancing was all about. "The Walker" was in the past. I had moves that were about to be unveiled, some which had never been performed on a dance floor. Now was the time.
   I grabbed the woman who made "The Walker" comment and whisked her onto the floor. The beat of the music pulsated through my veins. I practically slid onto the hardwood and instantly began gyrating like no one has gyrated before.
   Laughter was not the reaction I was looking for, but that's what I got. And then everyone went back to watching my wife and that pathetic young stud.
   Meanwhile, I reverted back to "The Walker" and shuffled over to watch as well. My show was over for the night, and my wife and her Patrick Swayze wannabe were about to end as well. Thankfully.
   As the applause for my wife subsided and I walked back to the safety of my table, I thought about why most men don't like to dance. I'm not sure, but I could take a wild guess and say it's because most of us suck at it. And knowing that, it makes us uncomfortable.    That's certainly a possibility.
    It's all about confidence. It seems as though the men who like to dance are the ones who know, or think, they're good at it.
   So all it takes is for someone to say I'm a good dancer. That's why I miss my Mommy.






 

 

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