And Suddenly I Realized

There’s this family story that’s been told for years and years about my cousin, Tony — as a young boy he once cupped my mother’s face in his hands and said to her, very seriously, “And suddenly I realized: I am a really good singer.” D’aww. I know, right?

This isn’t really one of those stories.

Tonight I went to a wedding. The one on the Oregon coast, which spanned four days and had the best food I’ve ever eaten at a wedding ever. Seriously, like, eight courses that just kept appearing right when I thought, “I might be ready to try something new now.” My standards are unmistakably low, however, what with being a Mormon and generally attending wedding receptions in church gyms with Costco food and an ambiguous punch made from citrus, soda, sugar, and most likely sherbet.

I know you think I’m totally kidding right now but seriously I’m not.

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Time for a Mary aside moment: I put “Dancing will begin at 8:15” on our wedding reception invitations, and Husband and I did this super awesome dance (no, really, Youtube “our epic first dance” for total proof … and then Youtube “Weapon of Choice Fatboy Slim” to see how it should have looked … whatever, nbd.) And even after all that, only a smattering of people kind of danced and then even they eventually gave up. Later a friend’s father mentioned to me that there’s the whole “You gotta pump ’em full of alcohol to get them to dance” factor that clearly doesn’t exist at Mormon wedding receptions, and I realized he was absolutely right.

Sober people are inhibited people.

Except when it comes to me. And so we return to our regularly scheduled program (aka the remainder of this blog post).

When I discovered dancing was going to happen post-wedding and dinner and toasts and cake cutting, I realized there was really only one thing to do: come back to the house, change into comfortable clothes, and return to shake my milkshake. And that’s precisely what I did.

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I’d say my friend’s father was absolutely correct in his assessment of wedding dancing. And yet, even with that theory practically proven with hard science, one interesting factor threw a wrench into things: I was perfectly sober and was, quite possibly, the most flamboyant, spastic dancer in the room.

There comes a point in one’s life when time freezes. You know, like on tv shows — you hear the character’s voiceover talking about how time has frozen, etc. etc. Anyhow, time freezes, and you realize in that brief window that you actually look like a total idiot. That despite your best efforts, you are embarrassing yourself, your family, your spouse’s family, and the vast majority of all your associations.

The Low Point

Tonight I realized I am not really that good of a dancer at all.

In fact, it could be argued that, excellent rhythm, limber body, fast feet and enthusiasm aside, I am really, really terrible.

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I might even be this bad:

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Oh, sure, I’ve taken dance lessons. Oh, sure, I used to roller blade around the house in a flowy dress during the Winter Olympics figure skating competitions. Oh, sure, I know exactly what it takes to be, at the very least, a mediocre dancer. After all, I’ve seen “Hitch,” guys. 

Never mind all this.

I’m not quite sure when it was that I became such a terrible dancer; I distinctly recall a New Year’s Eve party/dance a few years back at which numerous people told me I was actually a really fabulous dancer, but I realize perhaps they were trying to snow me. Or perhaps they were actually convinced that I was somehow better than I actually was (bless their hearts). I shudder at the thought that I might have been awesome and over time lost the ability to look cool.

The upsides: no one called an ambulance, thinking I was having a seizure, and I didn’t hear any raucous laughter that appeared to be directed my way. And I take comfort in the sweet solace knowing that almost everyone there won’t remember a single thing tomorrow morning.

Plus I’m pretty sure what happens at the Oregon coast stays at the Oregon coast.

Or that might be another place.


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