Dance

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Tonight I chaperoned a high school dance. The girls were glitzed and glammed, each out doing one another in the hair, makeup, and dress department.  The boys….well they were typical  teenage boys…nerdy, sweet, and 100 years behind the girls in just about every way imaginable. Most of them sat together and played video games while the girls stood around whispering to each other, laughing, and talking the talk. Meanwhile the boys who weren’t gaming, looked somewhat green around the gills, as if they were in intense pain trying to outdo one another to impress the girls with puffy-chest macho displays. Frankly, it’s a wonder that the two sexes ever come together at all.

After spending the first half of the evening checking the kids in (what do you mean you forgot your parental permission slip) I decided to head over to the dance floor in hopes picking up some new steps. Unfortunately, watching teenage boys move to the grove is like watching an elephant attempt to play the kazoo while dancing the lead in Swan Lake…there is NOTHING that can make it look pretty. Hips go one way while butts go another and I swear I saw a couple of heads do a 360 while sitting squarely on their shoulders. But the worst thing was the fact that not one of them could keep tempo to the music. It was like watching a little old man crossing the street using a walker…one speed only… with head bent and body stooped their bellies almost dragging on the ground. The ones still moving upright were sweating like Trump’s Communication Director when the President is in front of a microphone… never sure what ungodly thing might happen to destroy all their carefully laid plans.

Yet, with all the hormones on high alert things stayed sweaty but calm and everyone was having a good time, chaperones included. Something about the unchanging ways of nervous teens brings you back to your own school dance and you realize just how far you have come!

Of course, there is always some sort of drama. At our school dance this is the End Of The Night Song. It is the one and only slow dance that the deejay plays the entire night. Stomachs tense and butterflies alight and the girls begin to giggle as the time draws near. If the truth be told no one wants to dance the last dance and everyone is crushed if they don’t. As the first notes of Fade Into You began, I was surprised to feel a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around Paul was standing there.

“Would you like to dance, Mom?” he asked strong and sure in his choice.

“Me?” I asked.

“Sure. You’re the prettiest girl here.”

And as I stepped into his arms I knew without a doubt that all those years of hard work raising two children with autism had paid off.  I was obviously doing something right in this life and was finally reeping the rewards.

 

 

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Better Than A Shirt

Last Christmas, after a crack B made about all the shirts and ties he had received over the years for the holidays, I gave him a bathrobe instead. But after contemplating his “joke” I realized he was right. My present giving had gotten a little boring just like our marriage had been for several years. I decided right then and there that this year I would give him something he would never forget.

If you know B you also know that he has devoted the last several years to playing the bagpipes after a trip to Scotland got him hooked. His favorite band is The Red Hot Chili Pipers but unfortunately they only play on the East Coast when they tour away from their home base of Scotland. So what is a girl to do? She buys airline tickets to New York, calls son West to see if the folks can stay with him at his pad, and she buys tickets to see the band at B.B. King’s Bar and Grill. That is where we were last night and the blokey bagpipers were amazing! Watching B watching them was the best gift I could have given myself. The joy on his face and the challenge that stirred his soul brought tears to my eyes. It was in short…one of the best nights ever!!!

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We arrived in New York at 11:30 p.m. Friday. West was here to pick us up. It was great to see our son and also see how well he is doing for himself. The view of Manhattan from his condo is amazing and his home is sporty and chic like a young man’s pad should be. But hell, we are only here for 60 hours so we had to get the show on the road. So off to bed we went only to be greeted by the sun a few hours later.

The next morning we went to the City Diner. The food is amazing and my stuffed french toast was incredible.

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We visited Central Park where we embarrassed West by riding the carousel like a couple of kids. We stopped and talked to Big Bird, who was with Elmo, and posed for pictures with the two icons, while West tried his damnedest to disappear behind a tree. It’s nice to know we can still embarrass our children no matter what their age!

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We also visited the Plaza Hotel, went into the New World Trade Center, took the subway, gave the Trump Tower the finger, went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, saw Times Square and Broadway, had an amazing pub experience at The Dead Rabbit (voted one of the world’s best bars), ate New York pizza & cheesecake, while drinking just a wee too much.

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So here it is early morning Monday and we are packing to return home to our “real” lives. We enjoyed each others company immensely, had great sex,  and got to see the things we enjoy most about the other. Divorce felt about as close to us as the sun as we spent our anniversary just being happy with the way things are…undefined.

In short, it was a weekend we will never forget, and if I do say so myself…it was much better than a shirt!!!!

Looking For The Good-Positive Post #2

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The other night B and I were out taking our usual late night walk. It was a beautiful evening, cool and crisp, for this area of the country. The moon shone bright and the stars were singing the Twinkle song. Everything was perfect…except… where was the sparkle between us?

About mid-way through this jaunt we stepped into a quiet and very dark place where I told B, “I think that instead of concentrating on all the characteristics I don’t possess or all the things you feel are missing from this relationship, perhaps it would make us happier if we both looked for the good in one another.”

“That’s funny,” replied B. “That is exactly what my therapist said tonight and she gave me some homework to do in this area.”

Instantly we reached for each others hand, reemerged, and continued walking along.  Immediately I got that sense that both of us realized that by looking for the best in each other, instead of the worst, things felt immediately different. Better. For while you are in the dark there is nothing to see, but when you change perspective and step into the moonlight, the sparkle returns, and you can begin to be able to shine once more.

The Dance Lesson- A Positive Post

The other night we took our first dance lesson. We had been looking for something fun to do and this just seemed to fit the bill. We picked something that was not fast or sassy like the Rumba or Salsa. The Slide didn’t generate much interest nor did the Polka.  We decided that the only prerequisite was that the music needed to be old and slow …just like me… and most of the other students who showed up. In short that left us only one dance…the Waltz.

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For those of us who know me and before you howl in laughter let me assure you that this waltzing stuff is hard work. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER:

Eyes up..keep looking over your partner’s left ear.

Left hand held high…but not too high…not too low either.

And keep in mind that your right hand must be seen at all times in order to prove you are not goosing your partner.

And those feet…keep them out from under your partner.

Make your steps smaller.

Make your steps bigger.

Go slower

Now faster

And ladies, to make this dancing stuff even harder… you will be moving BACKWARDS!

“Okay, I’ve got this,” I thought after doing the box step about a dozen times. By then, B and I had stopped fighting about who got to lead. But then, horrors of horrors, we were told to switch partners! It had the effect on me that an orgy would…get me the heck out of here!!!

Now I know I said for the next week I would only write positive things. So here goes: I am positive I have two left feet and should be banned for dancing forever. By the time we were done I think my other partners believed so too. I looked like a teenage boy at his first boy-girl dance in Junior High. Graceful was not in the cards but stress induced acne was.

My first partner smiled big as I slipped into his arms. His smiled disappeared the first of the seven times that I stepped on his toes. “Stop trying to lead,” was his helpful advice.

When I arrived before partner #2 I laughed wickedly and said, “I was a teenager of the 70’s. I either danced alone or did the BUMP.” I saw “CHALLENGE” flash through the man’s eyes. We had only gotten three steps into the box when he said in a superior and slightly uptight manner “Stop trying to lead.”

Partner #3 was obviously a professional dancer. I tried the BUMP conversation again at which point he said, “Hogwash, I can make any dancer look good.” Turns out he was wrong. He waved me on to the next man with a “Stop trying to lead” tripping off his tongue as I inadvertently did the same over my own foot.

Partners 4, 5,6, and 7 all had the same thoughts and “stop trying to lead” became the mantra of the day.  This dancing stuff was tough and not necessarily because of the movements and coordination that was involved. Truth be told it was the fighting each man to lead that was doing me in.

I think at this point I should confess that  I do like to lead in all areas of my life. Frankly, I am a natural born leader and a forward thinking kind of girl. I try not to look back in life with too many regrets and apparently this going backwards stuff while doing the waltz  didn’t leave me without regrets either.  I soon began to ask myself, “What am I doing here?”

Finally after being paired with so many different partners, I arrived back into B’s arms. It felt good and comforting to be held by someone so familiar and suddenly I found myself moving backwards with ease. In retrospect, I think it has something to do with trust and for those few moments I had an abundance of it as B waltzed me across the ancient hardwood floor.

I wish it was that easy in real life. It must be amazing to just let go and get swept up in the moment, gracefully put one foot in front of the other, and in time to whatever life throws your way. It must feel marvelous being able to trust your partner and to know without a doubt that they won’t bang you into any walls or waltz you right off the stage. To know that your back is covered and your feet are too. And it must be awesome to move with your partner to life’s beat without constraint and without a care in the world.

I hope dancing will teach me all of those things and more. I am even more hopeful that dancing will allow me to finally recognize something even more important:

That following doesn’t mean giving up the lead…it only means you’ll tread on fewer toes!

 

 

 

Just Sit With It…Or What If I Just Shut Up?!

 

So I decided to try just sitting with it this weekend when B and I had 24 hours together. It is hard for me to do because I want answers now, but that said, for the most part I just sat with what is. Sure we had a small talk in which I told him he was damn lucky he had me and that he had better make sure that whatever was looking good on the other side of the fence better be because there were no second chance come backs. Once over it is over forever. His response, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.” So I didn’t, stopped talking, just sat with things and just had a wonderful 24 hours where we had sizzling sex, hiked in the mountains and visited an ancient Native American site along a creek.

I guess this picture looks like I am peeing a river but it really just me laying by it!

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Just sitting with something is difficult. It means not trying to force the issue. Not trying to make things the way you want at all costs. It means you just watch, wait and listen and see what comes to you without anyone involved in the equation while you are sitting. You take time to ponder, weigh all evidence and then don’t act. You just sit with it. For someone like me who takes the bull by the horns and goes into IEP’s and gets what my kids need, well, “inaction” is the opposite of everything I am.

One thing we have decided to do after this weekend is to try to find a different marriage counselor. B will stick with our present couples counselor and will start seeing her alone and I will continue with mine. And while I am pleased that he will be getting individual counseling sometimes I just think that things seem worse with all this counseling going on. Maybe we should just quit. But I don’t think that is an option at this point. I just wish it wasn’t all so hard and try to imagine a day when it isn’t.

Another thing we have done is signed up for a Marriage Encounter weekend in May. This is a Catholic retreat for couples whose relationships are challenged. I am not Catholic so this will be somewhat of a challenge to me. B was raised Catholic for the first 10 years of his life and when he parents were divorced they were forced to leave the church. He is still carrying some of the Catholic guilt with him today.

So all in all, I think sitting with it this weekend was a success. Of course, this means NOT talking about the nitty-gritty or getting into serious discussions. And it felt good not to do that as it feels like that is all we have been doing lately which is making things worse thanks to hurt feelings, sad conversations and misunderstandings. Just shutting up for a while and not saying what was on my mind seemed to help both of us have a lovely time with one another but does this mean I need to go get my jaw wired shut for us to be happy?

JUST SIT WITH IT…another ink perhaps..I think I will just sit with that one for a little while.

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Date Night…302 Days To Fix This

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Ever since B’s declaration that he was considering D.I.V.O.R.C.E. we have been making it a point to have a date night once a week. I can say it is the best thing we have done for ourselves in years.

Under the soft lights over dinner when I am on a date with him, once more I notice:

The soft sea foam blue/green of his eyes as they shine when he looks at me

His laugh, not too-loud, not too-soft, but just right. The kind that warms your heart.

How his smile starts in the left corner of his lip which curls slightly as the smile spreads out over his face.

How easy he is to be around. He brightens my world.

His butt, or lack there of. It still turns me on to watch him walk away from me.

Date night is serious, flirty (which my adult children would say was gross) and full of opportunity. It is a chance to explore the future both with and without each other and in doing so we are coming to think that perhaps the agony of being apart would be much greater than the thought of staying together.

I also notice:

How much time we spend laughing together. B has a sense of humor that slays me.

How B opens up more and shares at least a small part of himself

How much this man still turns me on

All I know for now is that I really enjoy Date Night..it sizzles…I just hope I don’t get burned.