Last night found Joe and I amongst the stacks at Third Place Books searching for Christmas ideas (as well as a couple books for ourselves, I’ll admit), when the unmistakable sounds of a band setting up lifted our noses up from our respective books. We so often forget that it’s more than a book store, it’s a community center, with music and events scheduled every week. Their calendar told us the band was Moodswings, a swing and big band jazz ensemble, which also turned out to be all women. Great name, ladies!
Once they were set up and started to play, we sidled through the crowd and hung out on the edge listening and watching. My attention soon wandered to the couple standing near us, looking to be about my parents’ age, in their seventies, dressed nicely, but comfortably, timidly scanning the tables for seats. They soon gave up, shrugging off their coats, and slipping off their shoes, pulling different ones out of soft grey bags. Hers were black and glittery, with low, solid heels, his were shiny and black; dancing shoes. A woman at a table nearby offered to watch their things for them, (which I was about to do, but she beat me to it!) and they gratefully accepted, then headed off towards the crowded dance floor, hand in hand.
I don’t know what it is –the sign of enduring love, the romantic living large inside me– but any time I see an elderly couple holding hands I’m overcome with emotion. It’s high on the List-of-Things-That-Make-Me-Cry-Every-Time. (Add to that beautiful children I know bursting into Beatles song at Thanksgiving dinner.) As Joe stood grinning next to me all warm and fuzzy, I turned into a silently sobbing raccoon woman, rubbing mascara around my eyes as I tried to stealthily wipe my tears away. We tracked them as they wove expertly and with ease through the other dancers, many of them seniors as well, and every time we had a glimpse of the woman her face was lit up with a smile. I kept thinking of my parents, and how I wanted to call them right there and then, and let them know I love them, but I was just too weepy. Maybe I’ll send them a card. With some dancers on the front.