12/29/2014 10:54 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How A Night Of Ballroom Dancing Bruised More Than Just My Ego


Recovery from a crazy weekend used to symbolize too much drinking, eating, carousing and not enough sleep. Good times. Recovery in the baby boom lexicon foreshadows peculiar changes.

Last weekend my husband and I went to two dinner dances. We love to dance. In fact, we took three different ballroom dancing classes this year. Since ballroom dancing is one of the top five things you can do to stave off dementia, we figured a thrown hip or knee was a better choice than Alzheimer's. You wouldn't recognize ballroom dancing if you watched us, but it was a legit way to get off the couch, do something fun together and laugh at our mutual lack of skill. Eventually we did return to our super cool disco moves on the dance floor.

Two late nights of dancing in a row is pretty risqué. The problem is not the actual dancing -- it's the recovery. Saturday night's gala lasted until midnight. Traditionally, at this affair, we are the last couple on the dance floor with our best friends. This is a country club event, and if my husband is the recipient of an award (which he often is, because I married a winner in every sense of the word) then we dance more, he drinks more, we talk more and we recover more slowly.

Yes, he won.

Recovery now meant we were up too late (past midnight!), too much physical activity (dancing?), plenty of sleep (because we pass out in our bed as soon as we fall into it) and at least one person who was the designated driver and is only recovering from too much water. And yet, the morning after... the bones creak, the legs move slowly, napping is scheduled as a high priority the minute one wakes up, and the thought of grooming to a high level all over again the next night is daunting.

We tried to lay low and rest up for the next dance knowing full well our other set of best friends would expect dancing mania, especially since they just completed a course of ballroom dancing with us. We did not disappoint. Although, with 30 minutes of rumba left, I could see my intrepid husband slowing down.

"My legs are giving out," he whispered, as he twirled me in towards him.

"My feet are killing me," I said quietly, as I did the reverse cha-cha move close to his ear.

Now I know what Ginger Rogers meant when she said something like: "You try doing this in high heels and backwards... and Fred gets all the credit."

As we limped to the car, the second night in a row, I said to my dancing partner and life partner, "I don't think we can do this again."

He mumbled something back which was either, "sure we can, we love to dance," or "I think we can refinance."

Drinking coffee at the breakfast table the next morning, I hear my husband coming down the stairs mumbling, "Ow, ow, ow."

I would have gone to the bottom of the staircase to help him, but I had just crawled over to the coffee pot and wasn't about to do that again.

Our brains feel better but everything else is on lockdown for the duration.

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