People who know me well know I love birds. This can be a good thing, in that I’m always easy to buy presents for. Every year I can count on getting several bird calendars for Christmas, and usually some other bird-related items, such as a figurine, jewelry, mugs or clothing with birds on it. My love of all things bird is second only to my love of all things chocolate.
People also post a lot of bird pictures and videos on my Facebook timeline. I’m not complaining. I never get tired of seeing all the dancing cockatoos. But today, as I watched an incredibly graceful cockatoo be-bopping in perfect timing to the beat, I was suddenly struck with a depressing thought. That bird dances better than I do. He was coordinated and had amazing rhythm, two qualities I lack.
I don’t know why this bird showing me up with his John Travolta moves was such a downer. It’s not as if I don’t know I have two left feet. I have always looked like an uptight spastic chicken on the dance floor, which is probably why I rarely attempt to dance—except for the uptight spastic chicken dance, which I can do fairly well at weddings when everyone has had too much to drink and people don’t care what I look like. I can’t even watch Dancing with the Stars, as I’m way too insecure and jealous. Still, it doesn’t mean I don’t dream. I have this fantasy that I am Baby in Dirty Dancing executing the perfect lift with Patrick Swayze. (Well, probably not now, since I’m a senior citizen and Patrick is dead.) But every time I watch that movie, I feel an envious pang of longing to look that good; and I think, there but for the grace of God go I. Yeah, about that. How come I didn’t get the dancing gene, huh? The closest I ever got to dancing professionally was being on the drill team in high school, and even then, I wasn’t all that good. It’s taken me almost fifty years and a lot of therapy to be able to admit that.
I even took disco lessons once in another life. But back then, I didn’t have a partner with whom to showcase my remarkable talent, so those moves kind of fell by the wayside, along with the whole disco era. Since then, my husband and I have discussed (not seriously) taking ballroom dance classes, but he’s more of a klutz than I am, so I can’t see that dream ever coming true. Then, again, I’m glad he’s not Fred Astaire, as he wouldn’t ever want to dance with me and I’d be left sitting alone while he scouted out a worthier partner.
I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if I haven’t been asked to dance the lead in The Nutcracker Suite by now, it probably ain’t gonna’ happen. It’s not even a “maybe someday.” But to be upstaged by a blasted dancing cockatoo is a huge slap in the face. Ten to one, the bird probably sings better than I do, too.