March 5th, 2016
Dear Jim and Kathy,
Today I missed lunch, got off of work late, and rushed home to prepare for tonight’s black tie event. I was attending at the request of work but also at the generous invitation of the three deserving beneficiaries. I chose a grey sleeveless dress along with shiny black heels. Three minutes past the time I was supposed to leave, I quickly touched up my make up and navigated my way into an awful pair of tights. I made record driving time and arrived fashionably late to cocktail hour.
I only knew a handful of people in the crowded room but not enough to feel completely at ease. Fidgeting with my tights, I slipped over to the bar and crossed my fingers for Moscato. I reluctantly settled for White Zinfandel and wandered over to the silent auction tables. Jewelry, gym memberships, margarita kits; it was quite the spread.
I eventually found my seat at table three where I met you two along with another couple who where, oddly enough, named Jim and Kathy. As if long lost friends, all four of your personalities blossomed instantaneously. A smile spread across my face. I knew I would be telling stories about this night.
Two courses, a few glasses of wine, and a small slice of cheesecake later we were the loudest table in the room. An improvisation group rallied on stage and the most outrageous suggestions arose from our table. Kathy number two was full of zest and made sure to show it. All in good taste, of course. Painted nails pointed past patrons to highlight handsome young men and long, revealing gowns. Stories were shared of cell phones the size of dinner plates and warm summer nights out dancing. Love stories were recalled with fondness, blushing, and winking eyes. It was turning out to be a truly wonderful evening.
As the winners of the silent auction retrieved their treasures, the lights turned down and Jim number two made a hasty b-line for the door. Saucy Kathy, rolled her eyes and called after him. His hearing aids weren’t in and, thus, he kept walking. The music grew louder at the DJ’s control and Kathy number two danced in her seat to the rhythm. “Chair dancing”, she called it. After a moment, she stood up, still swinging her hips, and I took the opportunity to thank her for such marvelous company. She smiled, said the same, and with a wink, mumbled something about never getting married. I watched her gold blouse glitter in the lights as she disappeared into the night.
At this point in the evening, I also began to entertain the idea of leaving. I’d had a long day and tomorrow morning would come soon enough. I gathered my things, took another sip of wine, and looked over my shoulder to the dance floor. It was in that moment I caught a glimpse of something I hope I never forget. I couldn’t tell you the song, even just an hour later, but the image of your dancing will be hard to forget.
Your hands clapped together to the music and your feet followed one another in sync. Jim, you grasped Kathy’s hand and swung her to the left and then to the right, once underneath your arm, and back again. Kathy, you rocked your shoulders back and forth like you were twenty two again. Heads bobbing side to side and fingers wagging in the air, you countered each other effortlessly. Another younger, brightly dressed couple tried to join the fun with quicker steps and updated movements but not thirty seconds into the song they simply faded into the distance, out done by age, class, and beauty.
What can I say? My heart swooned. It was like watching the noun of love become a verb right before my eyes. No words or vows, just pure freedom in dance, to move and have the other move with you, to be all of yourself all at once. Smiling eyes, white hair losing its place, Jim’s glasses glistening in the colored lights; I suddenly felt overcome by enough love and hope to fuel an entire lifetime. All the mire and muck of the day evaporated leaving the simplicity of this one moment, one I was lucky enough to be an audience to. In a single song, one three-minute decade old song, together, you sent off a mile high flare reminding the world that love is not dead.
Amidst a season of singleness, I cannot begin to tell you how refreshing it was to have shared such a unique evening with you. You reminded me that there is still such a virtue as faithfulness and chivalry and it is most certainly worth waiting for. Kathy, your grace and lady like charm was enchanting. Jim, your love for your wife was evident and your sophisticated humor and class, challenging. I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of your company and dance.
I send my warmest regards to you both as you continue to dance through this life together. You’re an incredible couple and it was an honor to have shared life with you if only for one night.
Wishing you endless love and laughter and, please, don’t ever stop dancing.
Girl at Table Three