July 9, 2011

“And here we have Couple Number-One with their version of ballroom hip-hop. Watch as he dips her until her head touches the floor. Ahhh…such grace, such precision! As he lifts her back up, they execute an outward 360-degree spin before facing each other and joining hands. For the big finish, she twirls around and around and…..whoops! There she goes! Somebody stop that woman!”

Yes, it was a YouTube moment-in-the-making. Immediately after I twirled under Von’s arm to finish off the dance, I teetered on my espadrilles, flailed around, and crash-landed on my lower back.

As I lay, stunned, I felt like I’d been head-butted in my solar plexus by an angry ram. When Von helped me to my feet, I tried to walk upright but I felt as hunched over as a Neanderthal!

Okay, I thought, returning to my seat. We’re done here. Dance over.

It all started three years ago, April 2008, when Von and I were introduced by a matchmaker named Zella Case, through Christian Single Adults. During the phone call that preceded our first date — a blind one — we had talked about things we liked to do.

“I love to dance!” I’d told him. “What about you?”

“I like to dance,” he admitted. “I just don’t dance well.”

So, on the first few dates, we went to the Main Street Arts Festival. And to movies. And museums.

In August 2008, we stepped out on the floor of Scat Jazz Lounge for the first time.

“You’ve been holding out on me!” I told him, as he whirled me around.

“You just make me look good,” he admitted, with a laugh.

Since August 16, 2008 — the night I fell in love with him — Von and I have danced nearly every weekend and have become so attuned to each other that people who, watching us dance, think we’re married.

What happened to me, last Saturday night, shocked both of us! We had done nothing out of the ordinary. We went to one of our favorite clubs, Reflections, to dance to music of the ’70’s and ’80’s. And we cut our usual “rusties”: a dip here, a twirl there.

After Von scraped me off the floor, our server brought me a bag of ice for my back with our tab. That night and for the rest of the weekend, my sweet fiance pampered me: dosing me with Tylenol, letting down the sofa bed because I was in no condition to climb the stairs to my bedroom, holding ice to my back…and, most important, staying by my side. The next day, he went one better: sharing one of his prepaid massages with me at Massage Envy.

I’ve always believed that hot is as hot does. With the loving care Von gave me, last weekend, he was smokin’ hot in my eyes!

Now, five days later, here I am. Having gone to Care Now for an x-ray, a shot, and enough meds to knock out a Clydesdale, I’m still in pain but feeling much better.

On my first day of school, I was half-a-heartbeat from calling in dead. I’d have gladly crawled under a rock and stayed there. Still, giving in to pain was no option. I had to work. Thankfully, not only did I make it through my first day back, I’ve also completed the first week!

You never appreciate how much you use a part of your body until you injure it. During my first week down, I have had to bend over more times than I ever realized: filling up Russet’s food and water, putting on my jeans, even applying a Band-Aid to my foot. Ad infinitum.

Today, I received an email from the Scat Jazz Lounge. Our favorite jazz singer, Tatiana Mayfield, is performing there, tomorrow night. Sorry, Tatiana, we’re going to have to sit this month out. But mark my words, we will return. To borrow the words of the spunky Unsinkable Molly Brown, “I ain’t down yet!”




  1. I so hear you! Once on my way out of the house, I tiptoed down a tile hallway that the maid had just mopped (this was back when I had a real job, now that I’m a writer, I’d the maid). One second I’m on my way to an appointment, the next I’m on my way to the chiropractor!

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