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
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
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.