Do You Swing?

Half an hour before The Wedding Date and I are due at my friend’s dinner party on Saturday night, my phone rings.  It’s him, and he’s stuck in traffic.

“Don’t worry,” I assure him, “we’ll get there when we get there.”

What he doesn’t know is that I myself am about half an hour behind schedule because I’ve spent all day cleaning and grocery shopping and trying to get caught up on my blog, no thanks to the two year old seated beside me in the coffee shop who saw fit to spend the entire morning espousing the virtues of chocolate milk…

At any rate, I’m glad he’s stuck in traffic because this means I’ll have time to, you know, actually get dressed before he arrives.  He promises to call me again when he’s five minutes away but not long thereafter, my phone rings again.

“I’m here!” he announces.

“Great!” I tell him, “I’ll be right down!”

Except it’s not great and I won’t be right down.  As luck would have it, I’ve just stepped out of the shower so I’m standing there completely naked trying to figure out what’s more important (makeup or clothing?) and my bathrobe, of course, is in the laundry.  Eventually, I grab my H&M beach cover up from my closet, fling it over my head and tumble downstairs, sans makeup.

It’s a bold move for a fifth date but The Wedding Date doesn’t seem to notice (or if he does, he doesn’t care because he kisses me hello before he’s even made it through the front door).

Fifteen minutes later, we’re finally on our way (and no, before you ask, we weren’t making out.  We were ironing, honest-to-God).

We take The Wedding Date’s car across town, by which I mean he drives and I spend the whole time offering handy navigational tips such as “Turn here.  No, not yet.  Up there.  No, here!  Turn HERE!”  Upon our arrival, he carries basically everything, opens every door we encounter and spends the remainder of the evening making small talk with our hosts and their guests.  At last, somewhere between dessert, Yankee Swap and a rather pitiful round of Charades, he excuses himself to use the bathroom.  I waste no time in sidling up to our hostess for the evening and whisper, “Okay, we’ve got about 30 seconds.  What do you think of him???”

I’d assured The Wedding Date that this wasn’t that kind of a party (the kind where you invent an excuse to get together with your friends so you can offer up your newest suitor for their approval) but what can I say?  After my ill-fated dalliance with Date #7, I want to make sure that I haven’t lost my mind.

“He seems really sweet” she replies.

“Yeah,” I smile.  “He is.”

The next morning I decide to him to Grindcore, my favorite vegan coffee shop, for breakfast.  I’m not sure that he’s terribly keen on vegan food so I wait until he’s taken a bite of his bagel to ask how he likes the cream cheese.

“It’s fantastic,” he tells me.

“Good.  I’m glad you like it.  It’s tofu.”

On our way back, we take a shortcut through the park.  With the holidays just around the corner, the sound system is set to play Christmas music 24/7.

“Do you swing?” The Wedding Date asks me.

“Of course!” I tell him.

“Single step or triple step?”

“Both.  I took ballroom lessons in high school.”

(That’s right: ballroom lessons.  What kind of swinging did you think I was talking about?)

“Really?” he asks.


Neither of us says anything further on the subject, and I can’t help but notice that “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is playing from a set of tiny speakers in the middle of the park.  “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” for those of you less familiar with your social dance forms, is perfect for swing dancing, but come on, what kind of man is going to stop in the middle of a park to swing dance?  That kind of stuff only happens in the movies… or, as it turns out, on cold Sunday mornings in South Philly.

Philadelphia park

Mind you, I haven’t even gotten to the truly cinematic part of the weekend—the part where an unexpected knock on the door puts an end to our impromptu dance lesson—but I know one thing for sure: there are romantic comedies and then there are dramas.  And frankly, I’ve had enough of the latter.

18 Responses to “Do You Swing?”

  1. Debbie

    Did Date #7 show up unexpectedly to beg and plead??? Oh Oh! I can’t wait for tomorrow!

  2. Zak

    Single step? Holy crap, now I have to go figure that out? I know east coast and west coast swing, but didn’t realize there was also single and triple step (I thought it was all triple, triple, rock). I suppose I can also say I know Charleston, Lindy and a little Balboa, but I think those are all “the same” in east.

    • Kat Richter

      If you can triple, you cans single. It’s just step, step, rock (single step is easier for super-fast songs). You’ve got me on the Balboa though– what the heck is that???

      • Zak

        Balboa, coincidentally, is easier for faster songs. I’m going to let Wikipedia describe, we can talk more in email if needed…

        It’s really quite fun to watch, and dancing it is great, too. It’s ideal for packed rooms and super fast music (think 120bpm or faster).

        I think, now that you explained it, I single step most of the time, since it’s easier. I can triple, but it’s better than single (hence, you’re right) for slower songs, with single being better for when you can’t triple fast enough to keep up.

        Wow, so, once day when I visit, we can go dancing and perhaps (maybe…) I’ll look like I know what I’m doing.

  3. stevesw

    “As luck would have it, I’ve just stepped out of the shower so I’m standing there completely naked..” From a man’s point of view, shame he was in the car, it would have been a wonderful way to answer the door. 😉

  4. Ronnie Libra

    I already think I know this will all turn out. I’m following the story, to see if I’m right. By the way, I always wanted to learn swing dancing. Seems like a cool thing to know how to do…

  5. Lost in France

    Not a clue about the dancing, thought perhaps there were some childrens swings to play on.

    The story just gets better.

    As to the knock at the door. Not a clue.

  6. dieta

    Sheesh—I can’t believe it’s been over two weeks since my last post. So much for coming back “regularly,” huh? Sorry about that. As it turns out, returning from one’s honeymoon right as the holiday season is getting into full swing is perhaps even more crazy-making than wedding planning.


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