And on the Seventh Day He…Danced?

The Curmudgeon does not dance.

Does not slow dance, does not fast dance, does not disco dance; does not do the hustle, the electric slide, the Dougie, or the frug; does not even do a hold-her-close-and-rub-against-her-like-it’s-dancing-but-it’s-really-more-like-foreplay dance.

He didn’t dance at his brother’s wedding, didn’t dance at his friends’ weddings, didn’t dance when he was dragged to dances by dancing women.

The last time The Curmudgeon recalls voluntarily dancing was when he was twelve years old and attending Steve Cohen’s bar mitzvah.  To this day The Curmudgeon has no idea why he was at Steve Cohen’s bar mitzvah, but there he was, in the spring of 1970, one of five or six undersized Jewish boys taking turns dancing with the lovely Cheryl Weiss, the only female classmate who was there, very accommodating and friendly and already self-possessed in an I’m-way-out-of-your-league-fellas-but-there’s-certainly-no-reason-I-can’t-dance-with-you way.

It was 1970 and the Beatles were still a band, and while the boys were taking turns dancing with Cheryl, The Curmudgeon, even then a planner, was thinking ahead and made a reservation:  when they played the Beatles “Something,” as he was certain they would, it would be his dance regardless of whether it was his turn.  He got that dance and then returned to his seat, happy, and looked up to watch other people dancing and decided that they all looked ridiculous and he was damned if he was going to dance and look ridiculous again.  Oh, he knew even then that he couldn’t possibly go through life without looking ridiculous on occasion, but he decided that he would let the ridicule happen on its own instead of doing something that would certainly invite it.

And he hasn’t.  Mind you, he doesn’t begrudge others their fun, if they find dancing fun, but he’s always said “thanks but no thanks” to any attempt to drag him onto a dance floor for a round of self-humiliation.

But yesterday afternoon The Curmudgeon was holding a cook-a-thon, wherein he cooks a lot of food in a very short period of time.  On this particular afternoon the menu included sweet-and-sour meatballs, spaghetti sauce (or gravy, for those of you who so insist), beef ribs, chicken, granola, and a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

To complete the experience, The Curmudgeon always cooks to music – music with some volume.  Often Tom Petty or Heart, the Pretenders or Bjork (or, when he’s baking, Richard Harris, because someone left the cake out in the rain, all the sweet green icing flowing down), but on this day he chose one of his own mixed collections.  The Curmudgeon has several mixed collections:  there’s the “Cover Me” collections – seven separate hour-long sets of well-known songs performed by the people who made them famous followed by multiple cover versions of the same song; six separate sets of “Soft Stuff,” the name self-explanatory, for seducing semi-suspecting females who could no doubt do much better or for relaxing at the end of the evening; six collections of classic rock; and eight collections that he calls “Soundtrack of a Life” that consist of favorite and familiar songs that don’t fit into any of the other themed collections.  (There’s also a “really annoying songs” collection and a “novelty songs” collection, but they’re more for talking about than listening to.)

It was somewhere around James singing “Laid” on the “Soundtrack of a Life, Volume 3” collection that The Curmudgeon noticed his feet moving – or what passes for feet moving when you’re wearing orthopedic shoes – and then accelerating into a little more motion with Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero.”  By “Come on Eileen” and Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold” he was practically doing Felicity Huffman’s Sports Night “Dance of Joy” when his inhibitions caught up to him.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, The Curmudgeon is one uptight white boy.

But then something miraculous happened – or, as Mr. McCoy would have said in his high school Latin class – mirabile dictu:  instead of calling a halt to the frivolity, The Curmudgeon closed the front door, shut the blinds, and resumed dancing!  And he danced and danced and danced, to the Three Degrees’ “When Will I See You Again” and “My Sharona” and the aforementioned Felicity Huffman-inspiring “Walking on Sunshine,” almost like those similarly rhythm-impaired chicks used to do on Grey’s Anatomy back in the days when the program’s characters had room for some joy in their lives.

And when he was finished – or, more precisely, when he needed to stop to tend to the sauce – he sat down and decided to share this with his six readers.

And to offer this revelation:  The Curmudgeon…danced!

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  • By About Dancing | The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon on October 26, 2018 at 6:05 am

    […] Curmudgeon has written about his antipathy toward dancing before; find it here. He knows he’s not alone in his unwillingness to take to the floor but still, it was heartening […]

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