Last night, the hubs and I went to a dinner dance at our church. It was Western theme and everyone showed up in their country-wear finest ready to feast on BBQ. It was an odd choice, since the date was February 14th, but I was still really excited. We made plans with some new friends to attend and get to know them better. I bought the hubs a new shirt for the occasion, since our home is lacking in western-wear. I had a shirt that was a dark blue with small brown and white hearts. I felt like this shirt was hanging in my closet with the tags on for months was made for a country dance on Valentine’s Day. The tags came off and shirt went on.
We arrived at the church and made our way to the gymnasium of the attached school, where the festivities were being held. Outside, there were a couple of huge smoker trucks parked emitting the most drool-inducing smells. We forced ourselves away from the wondrousness and went inside to find our friends. We thought we would be early, getting there 15 minutes or so after it started, but the place was already packed! Go figure that in a town where the median age is 53, people would show up early for an event. We located our friends and sat with them. They had the luck (or was it planned? I don’t even know!) of sitting at table 1. Why was that lucky? Because we were the closest to the BBQ buffet AND the first table released! Score!
Of course everyone offered to get my dinner for me. Come on, it’s a function for Catholics. Of course people are going to be nice. (Well, mostly. One lady rolled her eyes in dismay when she found out that I am a criminal defense lawyer. I guess some people’s Christian charity only goes so far….) I made my usual joke of “The hubs will get it. Isn’t that why I got married- to have someone to do things for me??!!” I got the usual polite laughter. Some people don’t get my humor. Or I’m just not as funny as I think I am.
The food was even better than it smelled. The pulled pork was pulled to perfection. The smokey brisket was smoked to perfection. The ribs were, um…ribbed to perfection? I don’t know what to say about them other than I heard that they were tender and the meat fell off the bone. I didn’t actually have any ribs. I try to not eat food in public that will get all over my face and the thought of using a fork and knife on a rib would never enter my brain. I’d be the laughing stock of Cowboy Land!
The night was absolutely perfect! Ok, well, maybe not 100% perfect. After dinner, the dancing started. They hired a woman to teach all different types of dances- line, 2-step, electric slide, etc. The majority of the 200 attendees filled the basketball court to engage in the festivities. It was so much fun to listen to all the cowboy hits (Willie, Waylon, Patsy, Johnny) and watch the mostly senior group dancing. But, part of me got really sad. I wanted to be out there so bad. I kept flashing back to high school dances where my friends and I would be dancing until sweat poured down our faces. Or in college and law school when my friends and I would get dressed all fancy and hit up the clubs. I was a regular at an amazing 80’s club in my early 20’s. There is nothing like flailing around to Cyndi Lauper or White Snake that makes one feel alive!
But here I was, the wallflower at this dance. Well, not entirely. I mean, the hubs stayed with me (though, I think he used me as an excuse to not have to dance…) and a few other people at our table sat the dancing out. But that was their choice. I was forced into not joining. I try to stay really positive about my situation. There is so much that I CAN do! Why would I ever feel sorry for myself? But, last night was hard. I instead focused on the music and enjoying watching all the people. But still…
The point is: I think I put up a pretty solid front of positivity. I try to stay really focus and motivated. But every now and then, I have to acknowledge that this situation sucks. It’s tough. I know I can do more than a lot of people. But sometimes I’m reminded of how much less I can do than others as well. Every now and then it hits me- like when I can’t follow my niece up a stair to play with her, or when I can’t join the octogenarians to line dance. The sadness won’t keep me down. I promise that. It won’t sideline me. It’s going to motivate me.