I love to dance. Mostly I just wiggle around and smile because I have no clue what I’m doing. And if I tried to learn I’d probably kick someone I’m that bad. I once took a step aerobics class and after assaulting the people around me was asked to move to the back corner of the room. Seriously. I never went back. I was shamed into keeping my choreography to myself.
My dad though was great. He knew how to lead. He’d take me in his arms and my body became like a puppet. It went wherever he wanted it to go.
Men are supposed to know how to lead. Women are supposed to be willing for them to lead but this often does not happen. I think for two reasons. I think men lack confidence in this area for lots of reasons. They aren’t taught how to lead anymore by society. They are almost taught NOT TO – they hesitate and then I think women jump in and fill the void too quickly.
I’m not here to tell anyone they have to be that 1950’s couple where the man is always right and the women stays home, doesn’t use her brain and is only around to look pretty. NO. I’m saying find your roles that work for you. But don’t emasculate your man. Help him feel strong, confident, capable, respected, and loved. That IS your job. Don’t take the power just because you can. Trust me. It’s a recipe for disaster in marriage. Been there done that.
It’s the perfect picture of what happens when a couple who does not normally dance attempts it for the first time.
Our wedding was on New Years Eve. Our horn band who are also friends prepared a song for our first dance, it was “It Had to Be You”. It’s an old standard that was featured in the movie When Harry Met Sally. It’s near and dear to both Harry and I. We hadn’t practiced or anything, we were just winging it and we looked like it. He tried to dip me but I’m not sure how it actually looked. At one point I started spinning around him and basically took the lead as we danced. We bumped into each other a couple of times and we laughed when I did and kissed and it was fun. But it was a pretty pathetic attempt to anyone watching.
I really didn’t give it a second thought until we were enjoying the last night of our honeymoon. We were in a two room suite on the 27th floor at the Sheraton at Times Square. The view was amazing. Breathtaking. The club on the 44th level that served free food and beverages had a 365 degree view from Times Square all the way to Central Park. I loved staying there. We had two bathrooms, a bedroom and a living room. The weather was not great so I thought it might be fun to order in, listen to some music and have a quiet romantic night.
I spent the day preparing. I researched on yelp and found the perfect Italian kitchen that would give Harry the spaghetti and meatballs he was craving, Got a couple of nice bottles of wine from a wine shop, I found candles and a lighter at Duane Reade, I bought some appetizers at the local deli. Went up to the club and got some plates and silverware. I sent Harry a text to find out when he’d be “home” and the stage was set. Our maid was even in on it. I told her what I was planning and she had some fancy bottled water sent up with fruit and a sweet note.
It’s been kind of a dream of mine my whole life. To be in a New York City high rise, with jazz music playing and have a romantic night. Huge bucket list item. CHECK.
It was perfect. We sipped our wine, we talked about our day, we munched on the appetizers until the food came. The music was perfect. After dinner we moved to the couch and kissed and sang the songs and then “It Had to Be You” came on with Harry Connick Jr. singing. My Harry grabbed my hand, pulled me up and we began to dance.
And something extraordinary happened. We rocked it. I mean for real. He was spinning me, dipping me, our feet, our hands, everything was in sync. And I said, “Wow where is this coming from?” And he said, “I don’t know!” But we danced like that the entire song. Harry leading like he knew exactly what he was doing. And me following. There was no tug of war with one persons arm going one way and us stepping on each other’s feet. It was perfect. And it was much more fun!
After the dance we both were kind of like, “WOW.” The wine did help to loosen us up, but it was such a different experience. The biggest difference was that we were alone. No one was watching. Harry was just nervous before with all those eyes. He lacked a bit of confidence but he definitely had it in him! And I had been nervous too and I jumped in to try to lead too quickly before.
It got me thinking that perhaps as men try to lead during every day life that is all they need. They just need a little confidence and a women to stand back and have some faith in him. I know Harry and I were much more impressive as a couple dancing that night in New York than on our wedding night. And that is the whole point. Especially when you’re married. Make each other look good! Show yourself off as a team. You have to find your groove and then …go for it and dance away.