Friday, February 6, 2009

He's got rhythm

Yesterday evening, Meelyn and I were sitting in front of the computer watching Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" video on YouTube when we were surprised by the sight of my husband sliding into the doorway between living and dining rooms, à la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. He entered the picture dancing with great fluidity, his head and shoulders going one way, his hips another, fingers snapping.

You think you would know someone well after nearly eighteen years of marriage, but who was this man dancing before me? I felt like I'd woken from a long, dull dream and found myself married to Michael Flatley or similar. I knew my husband could dance, of course -- Pat and Angie had the most fun wedding reception ever and we danced it up that night, even though I was pregnant with Meelyn and had to move very carefully, holding myself like a too-full glass of water in case I should suddenly need to vomit on the polished floor, which is never a crowd-pleaser -- but I guess that has been, well, nearly sixteen years and I suppose I figured that he'd got a bit rusty.

But no, there he was, swiveling. "Bille Jean is not my luh-vah!" He swayed and clicked in time to the music. "She's just a girl who claims that IIIIIIIIIIIII am the one, but the kiiiiid is nooot my son, woooo!!!!"

Meelyn and I were all crunched up with laughter, gasping and wheezing as he rocked it out, and I was reminded again how much fun it is to be married to someone who can make you laugh after nearly two decades. Besides, I am always mesmerized by people who can dance since my own sense of rhythm is so tragically attenuated.

Like when he asked me if composer Robert Schumann was from Jamaica after I told him about a music appreciation program I was pursuing with the girls.

"Jamaica?" I asked, puzzled. "No, not from Jamaica. He was German. Why did you think he was Jamaican?"

"Because of his name," my husband said blandly. "You know. Schu-mon. Like, 'Let's pley a little ro-mon-tic museek, mon.'"

I couldn't help but laugh at that, especially when considering the mental image of Robert Schumann, who affected a strange, over-the-ear hairstyle with little wings out to the sides, banging away on some steel drums.

I love it that he makes me laugh.

Michael Jackson's classic video, "Billie Jean"

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