A woman has come between me and my husband. More specifically, the artistic director at the ballet studio has separated me from my Nutcracker show husband of two years (first initial M.). My new partner (first initial J.) has never danced in the show (and possibly anywhere else) before. This is his first year learning the dances… so I was paired with him essentially to show him the ropes. Otherwise, he would have been paired with the new female dancer in this year’s show… which wouldn’t have worked because they’d both be in the dark.
So here’s how our first rehearsal (tonight) went: I arrived early and M’s real-life wife and I spent a little time chatting in the lobby waiting for rehearsal to begin. (She is not a dancer in the show.) Since I’ve been her husband’s show wife for two years, we had gotten to a point of referring to him as “our husband”. (Which… in case you don’t realize it… is hilarious.) This evening, she informed me that M. was running late because he was bringing dinner for their daughter (who was selected to play the role of Clara this year. Yay!) I hung out in the lobby as long as I could because I just had a feeling that M. and I would be split up this year if I made myself too available amongst the others… I thought that if I stayed out in the hallway until he arrived, we could walk into the studio together just like old times.
Nope. The artistic director came out looking for me and ushered me into the room, and then set about the work of casting couples for the dance.
“Let’s have Cathleen and J. over here…” she began, and immediately I knew my fate. Ordinarily, I might have been excited about trying something new… but I have gotten used to having a partner who knows when and how to catch me when I start to fall and who cracks jokes with me during rehearsals and the show. I am not even dancing in the same space on the stage where I’ve been for three years.
About 10 minutes later, M. finally walked in.
I was standing near my usual dance space by then, so he just presumed we were dancing together again. He walked up and stood beside me as if we were a couple. I frowned and shook my head at him. His mouth gaped open in confusion. Then I shifted my gaze toward my new dance partner and M. frowned. I told him, “I’m also now on the other side of the stage, directly opposite you and your… new partner.” He shook his head and sighed, just as perplexed as I was. (BTW, his new dance partner is one of the studio’s young teachers.)
As the evening went on, and the choreography led us around the room to the point in the dance where we cross each other’s paths again, M. reached out and grabbed me, hugging me in an I-miss-you kind of way, for just a moment. Then one of the other dancing moms told him, “She misses you, too. She’s been making frowny faces all night about it.”
I told M., “You never know how much you miss your husband until you get a new one.” He laughed… and we waved wistfully at each other from across the room throughout the night.
It’s just not the same dancing with some other man. (In fact, it’s a bit business-like… where I am the Regional Manager of Dance Moves and my partner is someone who simply had to take the job because he couldn’t find a more suitable one that more closely matches his skills and training.) This isn’t quite like Dancing with the Stars. (Which is funny… since it was the night of the Black Moon and I was purposefully wearing my moon-phase T-shirt for rehearsal.)
At the end of the night, a few of the dancers were shaking hands saying, “Nice to see you again at the holiday party.” M. laughed and extended his hand to me and said, “Nice divorcing you this year.” I backed away, “No! I am not going to shake on that.” He said, “Well, how do you think I feel? You’re the only wife I’ve ever had!” 🙂 So I hugged him again quickly and sighed, “Oh, well.”
Just when I had really gotten used to him.
Oh, and he’s wrong. I am not the only wife he’s ever had. The year prior to our initial pairing, we had both been assigned to other dance partners. But I do like the fact that I am more memorable than whoever that other woman was. (LOL)
Anyway… here is the bright side I am looking on: Perhaps this change is, somehow, only the mere start of something different… not only with my current dance partner J., but just in life in general.
Indicative of a new trend in a positive direction?