My husband I were supposed to start ballroom dancing classes three weeks ago. But the building was out of power. Clearly, The Universe didn't want us to dance, but oh no, we didn't listen. Screw you, Universe, the rhythm in our hearts cannot be contained by a power station.
The next week, the building was dark once again. I was beginning to think the forces of nature were so horrified at the thought of us trying to dance that they were conspiring against us. Turns out it was closed for the Jewish holiday.
Last week was our most recent attempt at becoming graceful gazelles that float across the floor on a cloud of sexy chemistry and hardcore foreplay. Sorry, if that's TMI, folks, but we all know it's the only reason my husband agreed to this.
Fortunately, the building was lit up like a Christmas tree. This dance lesson was on like Donkey Kong in a tutu and tap shoes. Which, interestingly enough, was exactly what I was wearing. We proceeded to the basement, in a room with a low ceiling and five couples. The dance instructor separated us into boys on one side of the room, girls on the other. Like middle school, yes. Only this time one of the boys was actually taller than I was and he was obligated to dance with me.
If only my middle-school self could see me now.
I watched my husband's face as the dance teacher demonstrated how to walk, how to place your feet, move your hips and hold your arms. His face was a peculiar landscape of anxiety, dread, mystification and horror.
I almost felt bad for him but for the most part I was delighted. You see, it was clear to me that he was doing this entirely for me and me alone. His lighthearted and carefree "Yeah, sure" to my request to take dancing lessons belied his total and complete fear.
At one point, the dance instructor flat out called the class "foreplay." Of course I had to waggle my eyebrows at my husband across the room. He tried to keep a straight face because the instructor was facing the men. I was free to ape and ham it up while he was right in the spotlight.
When the instructor informed the men that they had to put their "finger in the hole" in their partner's back, next to the shoulder blade, I stared hard at my husband and opened my mouth wide in silent laughter.
No reaction. He was unmoved by my antics and I found this was wholly unacceptable.
When she went on to explain that they could probably fit "two fingers in the hole" I opened my mouth even wider and made bug eyes at him. This time he had to stifle a laugh and look down at his shoes.
My husband's pained expression really didn't leave his face for the duration of learning the steps. We were getting the basics of the Foxtrot, including "The Magic Step" and "The Box Step." I tried to use sign language to communicate to him, "I've got a magic box for you ... ha ha ha!" But sadly, that didn't work either.
The only time he looked like he was enjoying himself was when the instructor told the men that they'd have to push their women around in order to lead. She wasn't exaggerating. She showed us how the men actually have to push the woman to step backwards, or pull her forward, or pull/push her to the side.
"Like a horse!" my husband said. I narrowed my eyes.
When it was our turn to dance, he started forcefully shoving me around the dance floor. I had to follow his lead and do what he said.
"The man is always right," the dance teacher said. "The lead is never wrong."
I watched my husband's face light up as he pushed me and I went where he wanted me to go. Sure we stepped on each other's feet and neither of us knew which way to go on a few of the steps, but locked in each other's arms I was forced to follow his lead.
"I like pushing you around!" he said.
It was a little disturbing, frankly. But he felt strong and in charge, which was sort of hot. It really did end up being an awkward hour of foreplay set to music. I have no idea if we'll ever actually learn to dance, but pushing me around for an hour once a week seems to make my husband happy.
That wasn't my plan exactly, but I'm willing to follow his lead.