I suppose I should add this to the “Upcoming Events”list, but I’m a little hesitant to invite more people to witness my humiliation: I agreed to perform in Camden, Maine’s “Dancing With The (Local) Stars” event on SPril 27th at the Camden Opera House. It is fundraiser for The Community School, a place for kids who, for whatever reason, don’t or can’t manage at the regular local high school (kids like me, come to think of it!). It’s a good cause, for which eight local worthies (fire chief, police officer, restauranteur, et al.) are paired with real dancers. THey are teaching us how to dance—more or less–and will perform with us so that, presumably, we don’t look completely ridiculous.
When asked what sort of dance I would like to perform, my mind went completely blank. “Salsa?” the instructor suggested, and I said sure, why not?
Here’s why not: The Salsa is a very sexy dance. And I am NOT a sexy person. (I’m a minister, for Christ’s sake!) So I did what I usually do in such circumstances: I complained. Christian Clayton, dance instructor at Swing-n- Sway dance studio in Rockland, had to listen to me whine as he commenced the mighty labor of creating a latin swan out of a teutonic, middle aged goose. Every week, I clomped grimly through my routine, an expression of acute disapproval on my face while Christian made encouraging noises in the sort of voice nurses use with the senile. From what I could see in Swing-n-Sway’s enormous, merciless mirror, the audience was in for a disappointing experience. (Fortunately, it will be brief: The whole dance only lasts a minute and thirteen seconds, and yes, I counted.) The spangled costume is not going to help.
Then, during an Easter lunch at which I was enlivening everyone’s holiday repast by complaining, my friend Lucinda said, with her usual perfect calm and dry accuracy: “Well, luckily, this isn’t about you.”
Ah! Right! It isn’t about me! Thank God! It’s about… love and service—and I can do love and service, even if I can’t do the salsa.
Attitude adjusted, more or less, I am now a somewhat better sport though not, alas, much of a dancer. Yet. But if anyone can manage to whip me into shape, it’s Christian.
Today is the sixteenth (!?!) anniversary of Drew’s death, I found a page on the web—and all sorts of lovely, kind messages I didn’t know were there. They’re very touching. (Viva Drewpy!)