formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just One Dance...

It’s that time again! Kathy over at Mama's Losin' It has assigned her weekly writing prompts... I chose, I would walk a mile for…

A mile’s not very far, is it? I walk/wheeze a bunch of them every day… sometimes as many as 6… sometimes (like this week, when I’ve been feeling run-down) only 1 or 2. So I guess, since it seems a fairly insignificant distance, I’d walk a mile for just about anything.

As such, I’m going to change the prompt to this:

I would walk 1,000 miles for…

Now that’s more like it, don’t you think? A thousand miles… that’s a crapload. That would take effort… time… heart… commitment… really good shoes. Am I right? Yes, I am.

So… I’d walk 1,000 miles for… a dance. Yup… just one dance.

You see, when I was little, I used to stand on my dad’s feet and he’d dance me all around the living room to Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett or big band music. I can see us in my mind’s eye perfectly… arms outstretched, my little hands in his big ones, struggling to keep my balance, both of us laughing. When we danced, I felt special and loved. And I was. I was his girl. He was my hero.

I didn’t inherit my dad’s skills on the dance floor, however. It became painfully clear as I got older that I have no internal rhythm. My brother, who is completely deaf, moves better than I do. It’s sad, really. I couldn’t even take aerobics classes, as I couldn’t sort out the moves properly. When the instructor went one way, I invariably went the other, which caused me to bump into other students. Often. (They didn’t actually ask me not to come back… but they were thinking it, I know.) No rhythm, I tell you. So dancing is not something I do. Ever. And though I’m certainly not above making a fool of myself (and I do so with alarming regularity), I simply cannot bring myself to be that much of a fool.

All that being said, I did muddle through the father/daughter dance at my wedding. It’s tradition, after all. But my dad teased and laughed at me and how awkward I was. I (lovingly) told him to shut up… and then I stepped on his foot… again. So when he asked me to dance with him at another family wedding a few years later, I said no. He asked again. Again I refused. I wish I’d known that would be my last chance.

When my dad was very sick, with no chance of recovery, I saw the movie Hope Floats. There was a scene where Sandra Bullock’s character visits her father, who has Alzheimer’s, in his nursing home. He recognizes her briefly and holds his arms out, asking for a dance. She flashes back to when she’s a child, dancing on her daddy’s feet, just like I did… just like so many little girls do. At that very moment, as I sat there sobbing in the dark movie theatre, I realized I would never dance with my dad again. And my heart broke.

So, yes, I’d absolutely walk 1,000 (or 2,000… or 10,000) miles for one just dance. I’d forget that I have no rhythm… I’d ignore my lack of grace… I’d put my hands in his... I'd rest my head on his shoulder… and I’d dance with my daddy.

25 comments:

The Odd Duck said...

Dang it, now you've made me cry.

That was a beautiful post. Especially the ending.

Jenni said...

I love this. I had that kind of dad too. Still do. I need to remember these things now when it's not too late.

And I loved your story about the bikers and the rednecks. It's good to be out of your element occasionally. When I was in Mexico on vacation once I got so used to being stared at (being 5'10", very white and blond) that I missed it when I got home.

Protege said...

Diane, as usual, your writing is so eloquent. This brings back memories of when my dad danced with me. I was told that it was the ONLY thing that would make me stop crying!
To this day I love to dance. And my grandfather met my grandmother at a dance - he would step all over her feet at all times, but she kept telling him he was a great dancer and truly believed it as well.:)

Shanna said...

What a beautifully written story...and tear inducing too!

Heather said...

I love this...LOVE IT! First of all, I too am cursed with no rhythm. (Not to mention Hope Floats is one of my all time favorite movies.) I really connected with this. It's so important to make the most of every possible situation, you never know when (or if) you'll have the chance again. Thank you for such a valuable lesson and a beautiful blog.

Heather said...

I love this...LOVE IT! First of all, I too am cursed with no rhythm. (Not to mention Hope Floats is one of my all time favorite movies.) I really connected with this. It's so important to make the most of every possible situation, you never know when (or if) you'll have the chance again. Thank you for such a valuable lesson and a beautiful blog.

Melissa said...

Wow... you gave me the chills and the tears!!! Again, I am soooo sorry for this loss; I know how terribly hard it is to lose a parent... especially one you are close to!

Cari said...

I've got tears in my eyes. My song with my father was 'put your head on my shoulder' (I know its not a father daughter song, but those first few lines were to us) and I have vivid memories of him holding me and dancing around my grandmother's kitchen to that song. Makes all the frustrating moments I've had with him over the years just disappear..so thanks, it was a good memory/reminder for me!

Michelle said...

I love that story.....you could have been writing about me. I'd be the uncoordinated chick falling off her step in the back of the gym!

Carrin said...

Now, I'm crying! What a beautifully written memory.

Michelle said...

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Red Cup Mom said...

Thanks for sharing. Amazing what insights hindsight often gives us. It's hard to live your life to the fullest everyday and take in all the opportunities not knowing what you might miss.

Amy McMean a.k.a McSunshine said...

Your blog made me tear up the other week to. I danced with my dad when i was younger just like that. I have to say it's one of the things I'm looking forward to doing if I EVER get married, the daddy daughter dance. I'm pretty sure we will both be crying so much the actual dancing wont matter. I'm a horrible dancer, I can't completely relate to the aerobics story.

Heinous said...

I'm so sorry for that. I'm sure he knew why you didn't dance.

All these life lessons in one, little blog. You humble me sometimes, but that's a good thing.

Weeksie50 said...

Aw, that is beautiful.

Momma Trish said...

I'm with you. I didn't dance with my dad at my wedding. Idiot that I was, I never checked with him and I just assumed he wouldn't want to do a father/daughter dance, as he'd never been interested in dancing before. A couple of years later, at a different wedding, I realized that my dad is actually a rather gifted dancer. And I'll never get that daddy/daughter dance opportunity from my wedding again. I wish I could go back and do it differently.

Beautiful post.

Sometimes Sophia said...

What a bittersweet post. I'd love to be a dancing queen and I'm not. And the father thing... I'm with you 100%. Memorable post. Thanks for sharing.

hautepocket said...

That was so sweet.

Gwen said...

I am totally crying right now. What a sweet story. I lost my mother several years ago and there are things that happen that I really wish she could be here for also. I've only gotten to dance with my dad one (he was never a sentimental dad) and that was at my sister's wedding. I didn't have a real reception and she asked me to join in her father/daughter dance. I still remember the 3 of us dancing in a circle. That was also the first & last time I saw my parents dance. Touching story and bringing back memories.

Stu Pidasso said...

Fluck and Double Fluck!! I'd help carry you that far as long as you could have it. Shit, I'm crying.

LazyCrazyMama said...

That is so absolutely beautiful!! Awesome!

Kitty said...

I think that almost every little girl has that memory with their daddy, and it's no less special for anyone of them. I know that it is a cherished piece of my memory, and I will certainly take my opportunities to step on my daddy's feet after reading your story. I'm so sorry for your loss, but thank you for your sharing, it is beautiful.

Mel said...

I didn't know what to say to this. You know what's weird? I've never danced with my dad at all! And, me a so-called dancer! You know the scene in Hope Floats that I most identify with is when the little girl is crying because her dad was leaving because that's the way I felt every time my dad would leave me.

Mama's Losin' It said...

Dang it! You've made me cry too!!

I feel you on this one though. I need to re-watch Hope Floats. It's been so long since I've seen that movie I barely remember that part.

Doesn't Luther Vandross's "dance with my father" tear you up!?! That song always gets me.

NewlywedCentral said...

I love it -- I have chills from my head to my toes -- I feel your connection and emotions and as a writer, that's what I look for -- I wrote "Safety Zone" if you wanted to find it on my blog -- It's about my father...

Thank you for your comment -- I'll also be back --