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Watch Your Toes

I Say This Because I Can’t Dance … At All!

When I was born, for some reason I was lacking the gene for moving in time with the music. I discovered this failing when I took Hungarian folk dance lessons—in costume—when I was six years old. My partner was my cousin Peggy, who must have thought me an awful drip. I think I left my boot prints all over her pretty dancing shoes.

I never even went to our high school’s senior prom. (I have no idea who I would have invited.) Strangely, I got an invitation to another school’s prom, the one that our family friend’s daughter, Norma Gosner, was attending. Actually, I did all right, because everyone was dancing the twist back then. As you know, the twist is pretty much a no-contact dance in which the two participants merely gyrate in place. Or so it seemed to me.

Once, when I was in my thirties, I even went to a square dancing class in Santa Monica. It was a disaster, never to be repeated.

Except once, when I attended a wedding party held in my brother’s barn in Hackensack, Minnesota. My brother tells me I danced well, but I’ll never know because of all the Jack Daniels and Moonshine I had swilled preparatory to the event. I have no memory of that night.

So I suggest that if you want me to dance with you, you had better get me liquored up first.