Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dance Like No One is Watching

This post is a little off topic from my normal thoughts.

Today, I'm celebrating twelve years of marriage.

My wife and I went to a fine dining Italian restaurant and splurged. We had antipasti, Veal Parmesan, and grilled salmon-- all made to perfection. We had cappuccino brownies and white chocolate covered pound cake for dessert.

We were going to hit the movies, but all the movies we wanted to see started at 9:45 or 10:00 PM. We didn't want to keep our baby sitter captive all night, so we looked for some other activity that would be fun, but not as time consuming as a two and a half hour movie (that we may not even like).

Then my big mouth got me into trouble. I was only joking, but my wife took my joke seriously. I joked that we needed to hit the dance floor at a club.

But . . . I never dance.


Never ever.

Not ever.

So, my wife knew my comment was only a joke.

But she became so excited and started calling people, asking for a cool place to go and dance.


But since it is our anniversary, I figured I should try.

We went to the club and found that nobody was dancing at all. People were just sitting around, looking sort of bored and vacant.

And while the music sounded really good, I figured I could by a bottle of beer, turn up my radio really loudly and create the same atmosphere at my kitchen table.


But my wife was still so excited. She was like a little kid. So, I tried to get into the scene.

Finally, a couple got out onto the dance floor. To me, the most unlikely couple.

The lady looked almost seven feet tall and the guy she danced with was just at five feet!

What a pair!

But they were having fun in spite of what anyone else thought.

I envied them.

Then a few more people eventually trickled onto the floor as the songs played on. Soon my wife asked me to dance with her.

With all the courage I could muster, I went out on the floor with her.

That was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But, it was worth it.

Something happened to me-- I think to both of us-- in that moment. We stepped out of our comfort zone together. And we found that it wasn't so bad to dance in front of others.

We ended up dancing to several songs throughout our stay at the club. Each time we danced became easier than the last.

Soon, I didn't care who was watching. No, I didn't get footloose or anything. But at least I got out there on the dance floor.

And something else happened. I was also reminded of why I married my wife.

After twelve years of marriage, times have come where my wife and I have said to each other that we only felt like we were roommates. Times have come where I felt like she may have regreted getting married to me. In those moments, I feel ashamed and wornder if I'm a sub par man. Times have come in our marriage where we become distant and perhaps I complain about things more than I should.

Funny that with marriage, you make an oath to stay with your spouse for life without ever realizing the challenges that will test the mettle of your union.

But dancing with my wife tonight allowed me to slow down and look her in the eyes and see that thing that captivated me. I remembered why I had fallen in love with her and why I aim to stay by her side through thick and thin.

I also realized that I allowed so many opportunities to enjoy myself slip away simply because of self consciousness. If I hadn't taken a chance, I might not have felt the renewed sense of commitment I feel towards my marriage, and to making myself a better person.

I don't want to live another day where I am ashamed of branching out.

I want to grow to the place where I dance like no one is watching. But not just at a club. I want this ideal to become a metaphor for all things in my life.

And as far as my closet atheism goes. I still don't want to tell my mother. But, I may start telling others who (think they) know me. I'm taking that idea more seriously now.

But, I'm going to sleep on it some. For now, I'm just going to concentrate on learning some new moves for when I go out again with my wife next weekend.
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