I have learned to expect the unexpected from my wife, which is to say that I haven’t a clue about what she is planning to do next. I, on the other hand, am totally predictable, which is interesting in that my wife and I come from completely different backgrounds. I’m talking about one hundred and eighty degrees different.
We are both seventy-four years young and we’ve stayed married for the last forty-nine years. Our marriage has spanned two continents, three sons, and eight grandchildren.
There have been good surprises and bad surprises, but even the bad surprises usually turned out good in the end.
A couple months before my seventy-fourth birthday, my wife asked me what gift I would like. Of course, I had no idea. There was nothing I needed or wanted. I usually don’t have any ideas what gifts to buy anyone, including my wife. My taste in everything from flowers to dresses and jewelry leaves a lot to be desired. I can’t tell the difference between a twenty-carat diamond and zircon or cut glass unless I drop it on a hard surface.
So, my wife asked me how I’d like to have a dance with Anna A.
I remember learning to dance with Miss Nagy when I was thirteen or fourteen. I learned to waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha, rock-and-roll, and even to twist. I took dates dancing during my high school years and danced in discotheques with girls I met when I was stationed in Germany in the Army. But my wife, who loves me dearly (I never could figure out why), said I couldn’t dance. There were new dances, moves, whatever, that other people knew how to do, that I couldn’t do or felt ridiculous doing. So, other than occasional slow dancing, I haven’t danced for the last forty plus years.
We first saw Anna on a local television program called “Dancing with the Stars”. She was beautiful, she was graceful, she was exotic, she was … Anna came to Israel from the former Soviet Union. She was born in 1982. She could have been our daughter.
Then there was this thing that happened. Maybe you heard of it? It was a global pandemic called Corona (not the beer). Along with the Corona, came masks, social distancing, contact tracing, isolation, and frequent and prolonged lockdowns in Israel and other enlightened countries.
Actors, singers, dancers, musicians, entertainers, newscasters, producers, directors, along with restaurant owners, pub owners, café owners, hall owners, and just about every other business owner you could think of – were out of business for the lost year of Corona. In order to survive, put food on the table, and pay the rent singers, musicians, and entertainers were willing to perform in your living rooms or backyards. There were dancers who advertised that they were willing to give private dancing lessons in peoples’ homes.
So, when my wife asked me how I’d like to have a dance with Anna, I said yes, yes, YES! I think my wife was somewhat taken aback from my response. I thought to myself, wrong answer. I should have said no, of course not … me dance? Not with anyone but my wife. But my wife didn’t flinch, and she didn’t say, “Ha! I was only kidding.” I think I dreamed about dancing with Anna that night.
A month or so passed. Unfortunately for me, Corona vaccines were approved by regulators around the world, distributed to nursing stations, and jabbed into peoples’ arms. Covid infection rates dropped like lemmings off a cliff and tentatively, but rather quickly, people came out into the sunshine and went back to work, performers performed for big audiences, and tickets were sold out.
With all that, my chance to dance with Anna evaporated like a mirage in a desert.
And my wife told me she was only kidding.