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Dancing in the Dark

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I’m not great with anniversaries.

I don’t mean my own wedding anniversary. I’m pretty good at remembering its date, including year, from which I can then figure out how many years it’s been.

But, like, work ones. I’m always amazed at people who can rattle off exactly how long they’ve been at a company. I had a big anniversary at work recently, so I’m good there for a bit, but I’ll forget the exact number soon enough. Just as I’m not sure how many years at I’ve lived at my current house, what year my car is, or how old the dress I wore yesterday is.

I was wearing a dress because we went out ballroom dancing. We were seated with a couple who have been dancing only a couple years longer than we have, and so we were trying to remember how long ago we had all started.

Of course, I was no help, but nobody was having much luck, until Jean had a flash of inspiration.

“How long ago was My So-Called Life on TV?”, he asked.

“20 years.” . (Why did I know that? Because I looked it up recently, when writing my Jared Leto blog post.) “But what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?”

Then I remembered: “Dancing in the Dark”.

No, not the Bruce Springsteen song. Episode 2, Season 1 of My So-Called Life, entitled “Dancing in the Dark.”. The one where Angela’s parents, Patty and Graham, try ballroom dance classes to “reconnect”. Only, they just end up arguing.

Patty and Graham ballroom dancing

Patty and Graham at dance class

Upon seeing that episode, Jean opined that he would most definitely be more open-minded to the whole dancing thing than Graham had been. Cut to a few weeks later, and Fred Astaire Studio called offering free ballroom dance lessons. Jean then felt obliged to agree and try it out. That’s how—and when—we started. ‘94.

I don’t know what’s weirder: That we were inspired by a TV show that made ballroom dance class look like no fun at all, or that Jean is the one who remembered that connection, when I am the one who was  particularly devoted to that show.

But now, I am happy to have now recollected that bit of information.

Unlike that 20 year thing… Knowing that is not making me particularly happy at all. Shouldn’t we better dancers than we are, having done it so long? But then again, we did have that break from dancing… Not just a few months or anything; we went years without taking dance classes, at one point.

In fact, how long was that break? And when was it? A seven year break, five years ago? A five-year break, seven years ago?

It’s hopeless. I can’t remember.




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