We retreated like whipped dogs to the wall. Mr. Amazing was shaking his head in disgust, and I was just trying to avoid eye contact. I did, however, staunchly refuse to bear the burden of the conversation. My mantra all along had been "if he doesn't pursue me, he's not worth having" and now, at last, came a moment of truth. What would he say?!
"Gosh darnit! Why did they go and play this song?" he grumbled.
"Hm... hardly Cyrano," I thought, "but it's a conversation starter."
"Oh, they have to. I suspect Cotton Eye Joe, the Chicken Dance, and the Electric Slide will be next," I said -- trying to appear well versed in the popular dance culture.
He nodded in resigned agreement, but didn't really look impressed. Drat.
Thinking back to all of the names of dances I knew and trying to deliver a cooth zinger, I backed myself into a sentence I couldn't get out of: "I wish we could dance a...," but in the heat of the moment I couldn't remember if it was "Fox Trot" or "Box Trot," so, after a pregnant pause, I finished, "...waltz."
I could feel the beads of perspiration forming on my forehead.
Again, I waited for him to resume the dialogue.
"Nice turnout tonight."
"Mm hm." "Oh no," I thought, "if the next topic is the weather we'll have nothing left to talk about!"
But the tune was droning its last insipid notes, thus ending our small talk as we nervously awaited the first tones of the next track.
Four clear saxophone notes rang out before the classic was recognized, but suddenly Mr. Amazing swooped down, did a fist pump and hollered "Yes!" Booming in surround sound was Glenn Miller's big band swing song, In the Mood.
He firmly grabbed my hand and back we went.
If you'll remember, I'd taken swing lessons for months and had been dreaming of this moment for a full year, since I'd seen him gliding effortlessly around the dance floor at Meg and Tim's wedding. This was going to be PERFECT, I tell you, PERFECT (by golly).
Right away I noticed something was wrong. We were out of sync. I tried to follow his lead but we were dancing at different tempos. Count four beats and try again. Still off. Wait another four beats. Nothin' doing. It took twenty beats for it to sink in -- he has NO RHYTHM!!
"Oh blast," I thought, "this is a really long song. I'll never make it through alive!
Of course at that moment I saw Meg and Miriam on the sidelines, Meg quietly beaming and Miriam all smiles and making wild "VICTORY!!" gestures.
Oh how I wished I could join them, but at the moment there was nothing I could do but concentrate on tactical maneuvers and try to figure out where and when he would
Mr. Amazing is a full 10" taller than me, and has an Albatrossian wingspan, so when he leaned in and said "Wanna do the Pretzel?" I started praying an Act of Contrition.
I closed my eyes (which was a big mistake) and when I emerged from the 1st half of the twisting twirling dance move, I was missing my left shoe. "Be calm, act normal, keep dancing," I coached myself. "Deep breath!" We finished the second half and I went sailing out of the orbit -- we missed the last connection and I kept spinning (sans left shoe) toward the wall.
I was relieved to have a breather. "At least I can retrieve my shoe," I thought.
As I picked up my black pump I finally hollered over my shoulder, "You're not dancing to the BEAT!"
He smiled and shrugged, oblivious and unconcerned.
I braced myself for the next round and went back into the ring to be jostled and spun.
"This is actually kinda fun," I tried to convince myself.
In one of the song's many interludes I repeated, "You don't dance to the beat. I can't possibly follow you." But the man was in denial.
The song ended at last: the bell rang, the match was over. He tried to dip me dramatically, but I didn't trust him and stiffened my back. "Denied," I thought, and I fear my eyes betrayed as my willful eyebrows arched defiantly.
It was over.
We departed the dance floor laughing, but I've never been more relieved than when he didn't ask me for the next dance.
To be continued...