dancing and dating

Last July, not long after I left my husband, some friends and I stopped for coffee at a place which happened to be hosting swing dancing that evening.  I hadn’t seen swing dancing for over ten years.  It was something I had dabbled in during high school and had always wanted to pursue further, but my spouse was never interested and excused himself with the two left feet argument.  It wouldn’t have been impossible to find another dance partner, but I ran up against my spouse’s jealousy and possessiveness.  He might not want to go with me, but in his eyes, that was no excuse for me to go with someone else.  I forgot about it eventually.

Until that evening in July.  I stared at the dance floor with my mouth wide open.  They were good dancers.  I would have been that good if I’d been dancing for ten years.  I’d taken jazz dance at community college, along with hiphop and ballet, which I loved, but no partner dancing.  So that night at the coffeeshop I felt my first tremors of anger– at what I’d missed during my 20s, anger for letting myself down by pushing aside my dreams, anger at my husband for stunting me and twisting me into his wife rather than encouraging me to be myself.

Back to the present: the next week, a friend promised to take me back there to go swing dancing.  I was really excited at first.  But as the day grew nearer, I got more and more nervous, and I couldn’t figure out why… until I realized I would be facing my past-that-could-have-been.  I remember lamely trying to put it off.  But my friend thought I was going to love it– hell, I was supposed to love it!– and he was excited about taking me out for some fun during a time of little-fun in my life.

We had tapas for dinner.  I remember bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese.  So far, so good.

Then we went over to the dance.  And I had to be dragged onto the floor.  I was miserable.  I didn’t want to be around all those people.  I should have been one of them, dancing my ass off, not the scared divorced woman in the corner.  I finally convinced my friend that I really really didn’t want to be there, but that was after he’d made me dance a little.  I felt bad, like I’d ruined his night, too.  He assured me I hadn’t, that he’d only wanted me to have fun.  I went home and cried.

So not ready for the world yet… but there was still time, and there still is time.  Still time to learn to dance, to try and remember what else I “always wanted” that I gave up for my marriage, to see what fits into my life now.

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2 Responses to “dancing and dating”

  1. Carol Says:

    Wow. It’s great that you’re able to recognize what’s happening though, even if you can’t yet control it.

  2. December 28, 2012 « Not really Alice Says:

    […] been going back over my old blog entries a little.  This post still makes me […]

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