One Step Up and Two Steps Back   Leave a comment

Last night I dreamed I held you in my arms/
The music was never ending/
We danced as the evening sky faded to black/
One step up and two steps back
– Bruce Springsteen

My ballroom dancing class started last week. The teacher was astonished to find thirty people had registered – almost exactly evenly split between men and women – for a class being offered for the first time. Apparently, most of the classes (even the ones that regularly appear on the schedule) only get between six to ten people signing up. To say she was both shocked and pleased is an understatement. She was blown away.

The class was fun, not as much fun as the one I took at the Y, but still enjoyable. One of the good things about having a large number of people in class is – when we finally get to do some real dancing – we will get practice in not crashing into people, which most smaller classes never get to learn. The downside? There is less actual dancing as there needs to be more instruction. Spending more time dancing was the reason I really liked the class at the Y.

And I’m discovering this new class kind of mirrors my life right now.

Okay, here’s where I have a confession to make. Despite my statement three months ago that I was pulling the plug on the whole dating thing until I could figure out who I am and what I want, I broke down and rejoined a dating site.

Why did I do this?

G-d knows. (At least I hope G-d does, as I have no idea why I chose to do this to myself again. I think I need to get my head examined. Or continue to get it examined. Good grief…)

In my own defense, the price was seriously discounted – once I did the math, it worked out to six months for the price of two. And the attention you get on dating sites is extremely flattering. Or at least it has been in the past. This time through – and it‘s most likely my choice of sites – I’m not getting much attention. I’ve been contacted by a few people, one or two whose emails came off as the opening foray of a scam, a couple who seem to send out blanket messages to every new woman who signs up and don’t appear to have actually read my profile before hitting the send button, and a couple of real seeming guys who said they wanted to get to know me.

One guy, who gives the impression of being very sweet, really wants to be in love again. Really. The problem I see – for me at least – is he lives in Brooklyn. He’s open to relocation, but I find it hard to get to know someone you only ‘meet’ on email. I know many others have fallen in love via messaging sessions, but I’m not feeling hugely confident about this. I am, however, willing to give the whole concept a chance because I’m trying to take more chances. You don’t know if you don’t try, right?

The second guy, lives in Boston (there don’t seem to be many local folks I match with on this site, which is yet another reason I am regretting questioning this decision), but has been in CA for business this past week. We emailed and texted a handful of times before he decided that since I couldn’t talk to him on the phone until Sunday – I have a kid whose welfare comes first, a fact that is stated right in my profile as I wanted it to be clear from the get-go (I’ll let you read it if you ask nicely) – I wasn’t ready for a relationship and disappeared. Using pretty much those exact words. Without ever having had an actual conversation with me. And after having told me he was going to wait to contact me about meeting until he got back on the east coast.

Am I arguing against that statement being true? No. Given the way I’ve been freezing up when someone expresses interest in me, it’s highly probable he is correct. (Conversely, it could be I’m not meeting the right people, which is also possible…) The thing is, I’m not sure how he came to that realization in the four minimally worded emails and three texts we shared. Unless…

<Slaps forehead> Oh, I get it. He must be psychic.

Which should impress the hell out of me. Although, if he is, he could have saved us the time and – mostly me – a whole lot of aggravation by simply not contacting me in the first place. Hmm…

Okay, less impressed now. Moving on.

The problem is the rejection, even as slight as it was, threw me for a loop. Again. And even though I know it shouldn’t. I’m working on letting it go, but it’s a lot harder than you would think. Well, at least for me it is. I just don’t seem to have any reserves for that sort of thing anymore. Not that I did to begin with… (Every time I get a notification that someone has sent me a message I suddenly become Sally Field giving her oft-misquoted Oscar speech from 1985 about people liking me. Sad, but true.)

I think what I need to do is look at this whole desperate process of ‘trying to meet someone’ like a ballroom dancing class. You dance a few steps with someone – if you’re lucky they’ve been paying attention to the teacher and have both a clue what they’re doing and a sense of rhythm, then back up to your starting position, change partners, and start over again. If you’re lucky, the music continues past the first two or three box steps and you get to continue. If you’re not, you wait on the sidelines like a wallflower until there someone is looking for a partner.

Or until you work up the courage to ask another wallflower to dance with you. (If you haven’t guessed, I’m not quite there yet.)

So, until I manage to get my head wrapped around that concept, I’m just going to continue as I am, practicing my box steps and envying those who came to class with a partner. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear the mellifluous feedback that comes from a sound system trying to talk to a CD player which means I need to change my shoes and get out on the dance floor.

Wish me luck.


Posted March 1, 2016 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

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