This post will most assuredly disrupt your picture of the behavior deemed acceptable by middle aged pastors and their wives. The information I'm preparing to share will undoubtedly shock and at the very least surprise some of my readers. Feel free to click out now.
I want to tell you what my husband gave to me as a birthday gift. Never in a million years would you guess this on your own. Not if I gave you each a week to come up with an answer would you find the correct one. This gift ranks so far out of the box that I gasped and tears sprang to my eyes when I opened it. It has even been requested by other husbands that he not share the identity of this gift.
Are you braced? (Consider this your last and final warning!)
My husband of thirty-three years; my ordained minister husband; married to his ordained minister wife; father of three ministry daughters and two ministry sons (in-law); my ultra-conservative husband purchased, for us as a couple,................................
BALL ROOM DANCE LESSONS!!
Shocker, right?! I tried to tell you!
While some of you are surprised, others wonder why I'm making such a big deal of this. Please allow me to explain. (After all, isn't the explaining the main purpose of blogging?)
I've mentioned before that we are part of a conservative denomination. Dancing is usually frowned upon in these circles.
When I was five, my dad found me hidden in our kitchen pantry. The transistor radio blaring the sweet sounds of Elvis while I did my best impression of the Twist! Dad helped bring understanding to me very quickly. Dancing was not encouraged nor tolerated in our home.
(Of course, the fact that I had hidden in the pantry reveals that I already knew this - even at five.)
As a teen-ager, I attended a conservative private high school that provided a Jr.-Sr. Banquet experience instead of a prom. Dangers of dancing dodged, yet again.
When we became pastors and young brides planned dancing as part of the weddings we performed, we always slipped away before the DJ could get rolling.
But genetic rhythm will not be denied!
You see, Mom Hawley is an incredible dancer! And she taught her young son (who became my minister husband) all the great dances of the forties and fifties. At holiday gatherings, it's been such fun to watch the two of them jitterbug or swing through several of Mom's favorite songs.
So when Joy married John, she insisted on a father-daughter dance. Definitely out of the comfort box for my parents. But her face just beamed as Daddy twirled her to the strains of "My Girl!" Who could possibly be offended by that?
Then came Meagan - who has never fit into any sort of box! Without question, she and Dad would dance to Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Dance with Cinderella." But she also requested that everyone come to the dance floor for almost an hour of fun, family-friendly dance songs.
I bravely joined my family on that dance floor. But due to the fact that I'm severely dance-challenged, I mostly swayed slowly from right to left. Frank attempted a couple of easy twirls while giving verbal cues through-out the dangerous exercise.
I can "put my right foot in" with the best of them. But my skills falter sharply when instruction stops.
Because music is lifeblood to her, Kristin has made no attempt to hide the fact that she plans on a full DJ experience for her wedding some day. So for years, I've bemoaned how embarrassed I'll be at her wedding. I mean, what if she marries into a family of dancing divas?
Can't you just see it? The entire wedding party, every guest, twirling and dipping and jiving and hopping and........... I don't know, what else do you do when you dance? And there I'll be. Sitting demurely on the sideline, clapping politely, smiling broadly, wishing I could join them.
Well, not any more!
At some point in the very near future, I will don my most comfortable Clark flats. I will stand close to the man I love most in all the world. And with professional instruction, I will finally live a dream I've had since I was five years old.
I will dance!