I've been with Lou for more than 30 years, and I only went contra dancing with him once. He's a great dancer, and he loves traditional music, English folk dancing, Morris dancing, and contra. I, on the other hand, don't like to be told what to do. If I'm going to dance, I want to express myself, do it my way. Sure, the dancers at the Laurel Theatre are nice, kind, they pick you up and move you into the right position if you're a motor moron. I know this from experience.
When we were dating I thought I had to go contra dancing. The one time I went, I broke out in hives (I'd eaten some chicken an hour earlier and it must have been dosed with tetracycline). Soon as I started to sweat a little, broke out in huge red welts. "I'm allergic to contra dancing," I told Lou. So that was that.
When our daughter Heather was four, she came running to get me. "Mommy, Daddy's having an affair! And he's on T.V." I was impressed that a four-year old knew the word "affair." Indeed, Lou was on local T.V., contra dancing in Market Square Mall with an enormous woman in her forties. She was wearing a gingham dress and had huge braids plaited in circles near each ear. The other dancers were wearing overalls and had the innocent air of the home-schooled.
"Don't worry, Honey!" I told Heather, "he's just dancing."
He goes, he dances, and I stay home. Tonight I opened the 2009 Bordeaux and watched CSI New York. I've written one grant proposal, made up the schedule for my workshop in France, conquered my anxiety over flying and bought my plane ticket for the Auvillar workshop gig in May.
I've dealt briefly with my old Facebook stalker (He's loyal. He has news clippings of me from 1968) and my new Facebook stalker in India, who keeps asking me for books. He'll translate my poetry into major Indian dialects, he tells me, in broken English. I don't think he's found Red Room yet. I guess we'll find out.
Should I worry about Lou? Our daughter is 25 now, and the last time she watched the local contra dancers she made some negative comments about the gene pool. True, she was born in Tennessee, but she has the mouth of a New Yorker, and a watchful, protective eye.
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.