I really admire my husband.
He’s brilliant and wise and athletic and better than me at everything.
Except maybe one thing.
When we were dating, we never danced. And when we got married we didn’t have dancing at our reception. And when we went to our first wedding reception as a married couple he didn’t ask me to dance and I cried and was sure he didn’t really love me.
I wrote recently that some friends and I have wrangled our husbands into taking dance lessons, and I’ve finally discovered why this has not been part of our life together up til now. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I’m no Ginger Rogers, but John is truly bad. I don’t understand it. How can someone who’s so coordinated in so many other areas be so…not…in this area? Sometimes we just have to stop trying because we’re laughing so hard.
It’s one thing to have a humility thrust upon you. You make a mistake and have to apologize. Like BP. Or the captain of the cruise ship in Italy. Or Lindsay Lohan. You’re given a job to do and things don’t go well. You’re humbled.
But to choose to step into a situation where you know you’re weak, vulnerable, open to ridicule? That takes love.
Doing this together with some of our closest friends has led me to another conclusion.
We all need friends who will dance with us. People with whom we feel safe enough to say “yes, we’ll join you” even when it makes us vulnerable, or it’s risky, or has the potential to be downright embarrassing.
These are the people who will always laugh along with you and defend you and pray for you and forgive you even when toes are getting stepped on or you’ve made a wrong turn and bumped into them.
These are the people you can call at midnight when your world seems to be falling apart, or you have exciting news. You help them carry their lamps and wine glasses to their new home and they help fix your leaky faucet.
They’re the ones who show up with chicken soup when you’re sick and light sparklers with you on holidays and stand at the graveside with you when your dad dies.
They write notes to your kids and you take theirs sailing. You’ve run out of gas together on vacation and you’ve prayed. Wow, have you prayed. Together and separately, through laughter and tears.
Waltz. Jitter bug. Fox trot.
They know all your weaknesses and how you miss the beat and can’t twirl, but they still love you.
These are our people and we’re theirs.
More than anything they have our back. And we have theirs. No matter what.
Like I said before, these humiliating dance lessons were a choice, but recently John has been in another situation that has required public apologies and explanations and some people have been really mad, and others have been really mean, but then…there are those we dance with. Recently, after a hard experience, a friend gave John a hug, and later he found that this note had been slipped into his pocket.
If you don’t have friends who will dance with you, find them. They’re out there. And if you do have friends who dance with you, maybe remind them you’ve got their back (or their toes).
Who’s dancing with you?