Watching the CMA’s this past week reminded me of how much I love country music. Here’s how that love began…
Boring. Dull. Dowdy. Not the most flattering descriptions. A couple of years ago, that’s who I was. On a typical Friday night, clad in an oversized robe and sweatpants, trough-sized popcorn in hand, and mesmerized by some news drama, there I sat alone watching TV in our bedroom. I was about as sexy as a cafeteria lunch lady. Meanwhile, my husband, nearly as exciting, would be lying across our definitely inappropriately-named “loveseat”, watching one of his favorite manly shows, like Ice Road Truckers, mindlessly chomping on plastic-wrapped faux meat products he’d purchased at the convenience store on the way home from work. But something happened which disrupted our routine. My husband announced that he’d be working in another state for a few months, with few visits home. The first week, nothing much changed, and my normal Friday night routine continued except, I started to miss my husband. Then, I caught the CMA’s on TV. Those country girls with their perfect makeup, beautiful hair, and gorgeous dresses, were absolutely stunning. I started thinking, what if instead of lamenting my husband’s absence, I used this time to remake myself, and hopefully reignite the passion in our lackluster marriage.
Shortly after my epiphany, I received an e-mail about continuing ed classes at a nearby community college. Curious, I perused the offerings, and one in particular peaked my interest. Country Line Dancing. Sounded fun, no partner needed, and hopefully I’d benefit from some much-needed exercise. Please be kind, but the last time I danced, it was to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Disco helped me get in shape in my twenties. Perhaps, country line dancing would do the same for me in my fifties, albeit a little slower. Nervous and excited at the prospects, I signed up for the class. Before signing up, the only “country” I knew was gastronomically, as in chicken fried steak smothered in black pepper cream gravy. Delicious on the lips, not so much on the hips. Once I signed up for country line dancing, I not only ate all things country, I was into all things country, from purchasing a cowboy hat and boots, to listening to country music whenever I got the chance.
Walking into my first country line dance class, expecting more of a Blake Shelton look-a-like, white hair, sparkling blue bespectacled eyes, and slightly pudgy belly, my teacher looked more like a beardless version of a department store Santa. In fact, if he’d had on a red suit I might have jumped on his lap and given him my Christmas Wish list. However, his wife, also in the class, might have objected. Still, he had a friendly and warm presence, and once he began dancing, it was apparent that his talents were not limited to gift giving. This guy knew his stuff. And, it was actually comforting to see a “regular Joe”, or, Santa, in this case, who could dance. I figured if he could do it, so could I!
Twenty people showed up to the first class. Most were menopausal ladies, like me, along with a couple of brave men, one young, the other closer to my age. The young man, looking about my son’s age, wanted to learn how to dance to impress the young girls at the honky-tonk. The older gentleman, quite admirably, wanted to impress his wife with his new dance skills on their anniversary. Lucky girl. Class was only supposed to last an hour. But, we were having so much fun, we went over by thirty minutes. After a good deal of sweat, from rampant hot flashes and exercise, and tears– of laughter, we completed our first class learning two dances along the way.
What a blast! I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so invigorated. From that first class, I was hooked. Unlike some folks in my class, I didn’t pick up the dance steps so quickly. So, to prepare for my next class I’d practice–a lot. My instructor posted dance demonstrations on You Tube. Of course, the more I practiced the better I got, which gave me more confidence. And, my jeans, always tight, began to loosen. Yee Haw!
During the course of my lessons I learned a whole new vocabulary, too. Wobble and Tush Push held new meanings for me. For instance, I learned that Wobble was more than what a Weeble toy does, and Tush Push, unlike when you’re constipated, can actually be a fun activity– both providing great opportunities to shake my booty.
I was having so much fun that the time flew by. Soon, my prodigal husband would be returning. Wearing my new tighter fitting jeans, tucked into my tan, fringed cowboy boots, I welcomed my husband home with my best southern charm. My husband had left behind Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies, and come home to Elly May. Okay, maybe not exactly Elly May, I am in my fifties, after all. But, country line dancing had infused me with passion and excitement, and it showed in both my appearance and behavior. Noticing the change, my husband was eager to know what had happened to me. Instead of telling him, I let my feet do my talking, and demonstrated some of my best country moves. Well, one thing led to another, and let’s just say we ended up enjoying some long overdue southern comfort, if you know what I mean.
When my husband finally unpacked his bags, to my surprise, he pulled out a fairly new pair of size 14 black and red cowboy boots. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one learning country dancing while he was away. Turns out, my husband was learning, too! We’d become such different folks, that my husband said it felt like we were cheatin’. Oh, that’s another part of my countrification–a made-up word that fits. When you talk country, you lose the final “g” in words ending in “ing”. So, lying becomes “lyin'”, cheating becomes “cheatin'”, you get the idea. I highly recommend country line dancing. It’s cheaper than seeing a marriage counselor, and a lot more fun. And, if you’re lucky, you might just end up doin’ the Cupid Shuffle under the covers with your favorite cowboy.