It takes two.. (Photo by Pat McDonald via CC)

File this week’s Modern Love, which was a sweet story, under “very obvious metaphors.”

In “Taking a Step Forward,” Deborah Derrickson Kossman writes about how a salsa dance class she took with her husband and how it helped her better understand her marriage, which had grown shakier as the two tried to have a child.

As she contemplated enrolling in a salsa class with her husband, she observed that they complemented each other perfectly, at least as it pertained to dance. He is coordinated and she has rhythm.

This was one of my favorite fantasies about marriage: the idea that it would complete you in a way no other relationship could. Not only would your partner always be present when you wanted him, he also would be able to read your mind and thus tend to every emotional burp. By completing each other this way, you would both be fulfilled.

A lovely thought but as she later realized, reality is much messier. Thankfully for the author that though she and her husband struggled to learn the steps and work in unison, they at least had fun.

I guess all Modern Loves can’t be as upsetting and wrenching as the story of a woman being disinherited by her father for being a lesbian.

I’ve been thinking about dancing and salsa long before I read this week’s column. I am quite a good dancer though not with others. The types that I tend to favor I’ve labeled “adversarial dance,” meaning that they are kinds where “battles” are possible and actually encouraged. (I’m referring primarily to break dancing.)

While the study of the past five years has left me with a good sense of rhythm, coordination and several interesting injuries (bone spurs on my shoulders anyone?), it hasn’t helped me in the “working with others” department. I’ve been accused of “back leading” by the few guys who were brave enough to try to show me what to do on the dance floor.

“I can’t partner dance. Ain’t that a fucking metaphor or something?” I joked nervously every time I missed a nonverbal cue.

Anyway, I plan to rectify this. I have purchased a 10 class salsa dance package. I am determined to learn how to dance with a partner, even if that means being led by him, and will blog the whole process.

But after we’re done salsa-ing, I think I’ll have to battle him.


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