This might be my last blog before I end up in traction. Tonight I’m trying swing dancing, an activity that anyone who ever knew me in 7th grade would know is a major capital r Risk. Coordination and I? We’ve never quite teamed up. Whatever self-esteem I had heading into 7th grade was wiped out on the sidelines of Mr. and Mrs. Giordano’s Dance Experience.
The Experiences took place Thursday afternoons in the school cafeteria. Tables were pushed back. The floor cleared. Chairs were grouped together in what was called The Grand Stand, the area where anyone waiting for a dance partner was supposed to wait. They could have just named those chairs after me: Here Sits The Tallest Girl In Class. The boys had to do jump shots to snap my bra.
Petite Mrs. Giordano sometimes made the boys dance with me. I still cringe – really, I’m cringing and typing at the same time – just remembering my step-step-slide-together partner who called out to another boy: “Hey! Wanna trade?” only to have the other boy say, “No way!” How often can a girl get rejected by two guys within ten seconds?
Even if I weren’t the class giraffe, I definitely qualified as the class klutz. I trampled a lot of toes. And if class was short a few of those short boys – they were out playing baseball or stealing hubcaps – I was asked to switch-hit and lead a female partner. That was it for me. I’ve been confused on a dance floor ever since.
But tonight – maybe tonight will be different. I married a guy with a good three inches on me who’s a natural on a dance floor. And a good sport.
“Want to go to a swing dance class?” I asked. “There’s a coupon deal on Goldstar.”
“Okay,” he said. No protest. No hesitation. Just “okay.”
I might have mumbled the word swing. It might not have occurred to him yet that he’ll be doing the heavy lifting. But if I end up swinging my way into a hospital, at least I’ll have a cute guy to visit me.