Today marks the start of new weekly feature here at “After I Quit My Day Job.” I’ve realized that despite my inability to forge a meaningful relationship with a member of the opposite sex, I do have a lot of single male friends and that these friends have some rather intelligent thoughts to offer on the subject of relationships.
So from now on, every Friday (or at least every Friday until I run out of willing participants), I’m going to feature one of my single male friends and let them share their take on the game of love. I’ll also tell you the story of how we met, and given my inability to engage in normal forms of social interaction, I can promise you there’s some good dirt there.
As an added bonus, I’ll even be posting a few pictures of my eligible bachelor friends (with their permission, of course) and if you like what they have to say, you can post a witty but appropriately flirtatious comment below. Who knows… it wouldn’t be the first time my blog has brought two people together!
And so, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Marshall.
Marshall is a phenomenal tap dancer who I had the good fortune to meet through a mutual friend when I lived in London (he’s from the States but he was touring at the time). No sooner had I asked for his autograph than I found myself bundled into a cab with a handful of dancers, headed for a club in Camden Market.
It was on the dance floor that we really hit it off. The DJ played Any Winehouse’s “Valerie” and Marshall and I, without saying a word to one another, broke into the Shim Sham. For all of you non tappers out there, the Shim Sham is essentially the national anthem of rhythm tap; it marks who’s in the know and who’s not and even though I wrote an 80-page dissertation on the subject, I’ll spare you the details of my academic analysis—just take my word for it.
Suffice it to say, it was with great pride that I took my students to see Marshall at the Kimmel Center here in Philadelphia two weeks ago. Although I hadn’t seen Marshall since we met in London, we kept in touch and arranged to meet up after the show.
I was standing in the lobby rehearsing recital numbers (and the Shim Sham) with my students when my phone rang. “Quiet, girls!” I commanded. “It’s Marshall.”
My announcement prompted an ear-splitting chorus of teenaged squeals. “OH MY GOD, Miss Kat, he has your PHONE NUMBER??? You’re talking to Marshall-the-famous-tap-dancer RIGHT NOW???”
“Of course!” I replied, snapping my fingers with such exaggerated nonchalance that I nearly tripped over the heel of my own shoe. Fortunately, Marshall wasn’t there to witness my faux pas and thankfully, he missed the equally conspicuous conduct of my students when I relayed his message (which, being “Bring your girls to the stage door and I’ll take you all backstage,” elicited another ear-splitting chorus).
Granted, there may have been a bit of flirtation involved on my part to secure this invitation but I consider flirtation for educational purposes beyond reproach. Plus, I’ve always liked Marshall and he could not have been more gracious with my girls; he signed all of their programs, posed for pictures and texted me the following day to wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day.
So, why is he still single? Good question. He’s cute, he’s talented and unlike most dancers, he actually makes a living through his art. As he tells it, “I was one of those men that turned down great women because I wasn’t ‘ready.’ Now that I’m ready, Karma is paying me back!”
During the course of the conversation which prompted this post, Marshall gave me his theory on online dating:
There are already more women than men. The men who are dating already (good or bad) won’t go on a dating site and most of the men on dating sites (not all of them) are the ones who women wouldn’t give the time of day to, period.
Hmmm… this certainly seems to be the case on eHarmony. But getting back to Marshall: he claims “It’s easier for a good man to find a good woman than it is for a good woman to find a good man.” Although my brother always argues the exact opposite, I’m inclined to agree with Marshall (plus, I have the “scientific proof” from my “experiment” to back it up!).
Marshall’s final words of wisdom were as follows:
Men and women have to understand our differences in order to understand our similarities. We’re opposites. That opposition is what allows us to balance each other out but we have to realize that opposites are designed to work together, not work against each other. [In relationships] opposition is like walking: opposite arm and leg, working together help maintain balance.
“Spoken like a true dancer!” I declared. But I’ve got to admit, I’d never thought about opposition in that way before (this is probably because I’m so damn stubborn that I’d rather pull my back out lifting my suitcase into an overhead compartment than let a man do it for me). Thanks, Marshall!
(And thanks to everyone for commenting on yesterday’s Freshly Pressed post! I’ve been responding to your anecdotes and advice slowly but surely and I think most of you will be pleasantly surprised by the date I’ve got lined up for Saturday night…)