Tuesday, November 22, 2005

On Missing Out

(This is a continuation of the previous post, "I Was Ten ..." Click here if you need to read it but don't see it directly below this entry.)

Over the long course, I have been able to put most of the Thou Shalt Not's where they belong — far behind me. I have even gambled once or twice: played the slots and lost about ten dollars and found it ever so silly, dull and not worth my time. I do buy a lottery ticket about once a month, or less or more, depending when it happens to cross my straying mind.

Dancing, however, has been more problematic, for I have never, or at least seldom, found myself in social situations where dancing was de rigueur. We and most of my friends got married in the church, so I didn't even need to bother with dancing then.

There was one time, way back in the shrouded mists of yesteryear, when I graduated from elementary school if you please, that I did dance. But the event was fraught with much angst. It took prayer, searching the scriptures, and much spiritual contemplation before I seemed to receive the Divine's approbation. As with everything else (that I mentioned in the previous blog), once I partook in this supposedly devilish pursuit, I couldn't see the harm in it. We sort of waltzed (or whatever) and sort of jitterbugged (or whatever), and I quite enjoyed the night.

But I never really got or made the opportunity to do it again because I went into my high-schoolish shell, not really knowing where I stood with my faith and the world. Aside from that, I have never been a groupie. I've generally had one or three good friends, and while they didn't necessarily suffer from religious proscriptions, they weren't particularly the dancing types either. So, I missed all of the sock hops and every other dance event that came along. I was barely even aware that they existed as a matter of fact.

When I say that I missed it, I don't mean it in the sense that I felt that was missing out, if you understand the distinction. There were always things to do. When you don't fill your life with events A and B, well, you busy yourself with C and D, or X and Y, or whatever. You go swimming with your best friend twice a week; you play road hockey; you play tennis; you just hang out the way that kids do. You fill your self with what presents itself; you have a good and satisfying time living life in the way that it comes to you.

I am endeavouring to say, as clearly as I can, that I never felt as though I had missed out by not going to dances, never felt cheated in any way, shape or form. Still don't. But! But ... there is a best time to learn skills in your life. I find that with cooking, for example. To a certain extent, I now enjoy cooking, but I came to it very late, and procedures tend not to stick in my head very well. Cuppa can remember how to cook something that she hasn't made for years; it's well recorded and readily accessible in her brain. But not in mine. On the other hand, I started using computers much earlier than she, and it has, therefore, become much more second nature to me than to her.

So it is with dancing. As the years went by, I got to the point that simply conjuring a fleeting vision of myself stumbling and bumbling about a dance floor sent me into cold paroxysms. Just the thought of dancing sent my body into a cadaver-like stiffness from my brain to my feet — almost a kind of rigor mortis setting in to a still-but-barely-breathing body. Hence, even when sporadic opportunities happened to present themselves, I would take all the necessary preventative steps to avoid the trauma of having to dance, for it's ruddy difficult for cadavers to dance, doncha know? It even looks awkward in the movie animations for goodness sakes!

A few years ago, however, we were attending the wedding party of a couple of my daughter's friends. The dancing commenced, and I began to regard the event with some interest. What I saw were a bunch of people just kind of moving their bodies; there weren't any pre-defined steps to follow. Everybody just got up and kind of shuffled their bodies around. I said to myself, "AC; you can do that. Get up and dance you old coot!"

I did, and I survived. Cuppa and I even plodded together through the slower dances — the waltz-like ones (except that nobody really knows the proper waltz steps any more), where you hold onto your partner and kind of sway and waddle about. Another wedding followed, my nephew's. I danced yet again and quite enjoyed myself. Then came my daughter's wedding where I managed to stumble my way through the traditional bride-father dance in front of the whole world — or at least thirty people.

I think that I have finally brought you, or brought myself really, up to present times and can next tell you about recent goings-on. I thought I would be able to do that in the previous blog and then surely in this one, but I have rambled on long enough for now. I'll catch you up real soon. Promise.



Dora said...

Not that you need my approval or encouragement but I am really impressed with your desire to live life with everything you have. Most people who are entering this phase of their life are confused and find themselves in front of the TV....not you and Cuppa.

What a wonderful example of vivacious living you two are :)

mreddie said...

Never went to a single high school dance. But this had more to do with the fact that I had a large AM paper route and rose at 4am every morning from age 12 until graduation. In fact, most everything I needed to know about business, I learned from that route - like slow payers, deadbeats and the like.

This molded me into not being very much of a night owl - plus most dances lasted past 9pm.

brought back memories - good post. ec

Gina said...

It is just so good when people try out positive new things. You should be proud of yourself for opening yourself up to the experience.

Paul said...

Sometimes, I think life begins, really begins, after we get older. There is so much to learn and try and appreciate and we can do it so much better now. Enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to the next part.

Christi said...

I need closure! I'm not good with suspense, so let's go...I want to hear what's been going on!

Lynn said...

My Mom and Dad were great dancers. Everybody on both sides of my family are great dancers. But not me.

I practiced all the rock dance steps back in the Sixties when I was in high school. When I went to the dance halls on the weekend I danced with girls who would not even talk to me at school just because I could dance better than the rest of the guys.

Just the other night I was dancing by myself at the local bar to a tune on jukebox. When the song was done I got some appreciative recognition from the twenty something waitresses.

Dancing is GOOD.

Meadow said...

That is so cute to me. I can't imagine a life of no dancing. :)

Anonymous said...

The wonder of dance is in the feeling and awareness of the beat. One does not always have to move the feet to experience being lost in the music.

Bonita said...

I'm ready to hear about the next step, and where it takes you. Sometimes these things open up whole new worlds.