Friday, September 19, 2014

The Dance

My husband’s parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Amazing. May we be so fortunate.

Mister and his brother hosted a dinner at a local restaurant, and family and friends flew in from hundreds of miles away. The evening was a tremendous success, and the following day Mister and I extended the celebration by hosting a brunch at our home. I panicked when he told me a couple of weeks prior that he wanted to do this, but I knew it was a good thing. So we set to work.

Mister set the menu. I tweaked it. (Too much gluten, not enough vegetables.) He approved. We divvied up cooking duties. He wrote his grocery list. I added my items. He shopped. (Bless him.) We figured out what would be cooked where and when. For two days, we alternated our prep work and cooking. The morning of the brunch, we covered each other when one of us needed to sneak out of the kitchen to shower and dress for the event. As soon as guests started to arrive, the food began rolling out.

I would visit with family and return to the kitchen to take care of something, only to discover that Mister had already handled it. So I’d do something else. He’d return to the kitchen after chatting to find what he needed to do had been done. So he’d do something else.

He gave tours of our home. I answered the door. He brewed more coffee. I consolidated food. He washed dishes. I put dishes away. He gathered coffee cups. I gathered napkins.

By the time the last guest left, the kitchen was spotless.

Besides the compliments that the food was delicious, guests told us that we made the brunch look effortless. The truth is… it was.

My husband tells everyone that he has made a life choice to never dance. I disagree. This brunch was nothing short of a beautifully executed dance. There was never a sharp word spoken or an accusatory question asked. In fact, we hardly spoke at all, not about logistics. We didn’t need to.  We smiled. We winked. We complimented each other’s food.

I’ve experienced this dance before. On the occasions we stay in a hotel as a family, we have a rhythm. Mister supervises bath time, while I lay out pajamas and the next day’s clothes. I distribute various lovies into the correct beds. I dress the littlest. Mister brushes little teeth. (We both give lots of hugs and kisses.) The next morning, I shower while Mister gets the boys dressed. He showers while I finish getting ready. He gathers our things. I pack them up. He herds the boys out the door. I do a final sweep of the rooms.


I thought our hotel dance was the result of practicing it a few times a year. Maybe it is, in part, but I realize now, after the anniversary brunch, that there’s more to it. Thirteen years into this marriage, we know each other so well that we can anticipate what the other one is thinking, what he will say, what move I’ll make next.

Don’t misunderstand. There are plenty of times when Mister and I trip over each others’ feet, step on toes, and struggle with the give and take of leading and following. But when we remember to listen for the same music, the dance is fluid, flawless.

I treasure the comfort and familiarity and routine that are the result of nearly twenty years with Mister. I feel safe and known. Still, I have occasionally missed the thrill of the first year, of falling in love. But I’m beginning to realize that the thrill is still there; I just have to look for it in different places. Weeks later, I’m still smiling from our beautiful brunch dance. It’s surprisingly, sweetly reminiscent of how I felt after Mister kissed me for the first time. And it fills me with the tingly anticipation of a lifetime of dances with my partner.

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