Dear Senator McConnell:
Dancing is something I know well, Senator McConnell. My body may have failed at being Betty but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten everything I knew about dancing. You see, dancing is almost as much a part of me as breathing, sleeping, eating, and being disgusted with you. I started dancing on my dad’s feet as a toddler and had my last dance with him on his death bed. Although I’m not able to go out and dance several nights a week any more, I will not stop dancing in my mind until I take my last breath.
To be honest, I was shocked to hear you mention dancing because it sounded so human. (How sad is it that you have been my Senator for twenty-eight years and I’m surprised to hear you say something that I can relate to?) For a brief (very brief) second, I almost felt a connection to you because I had smiled a hundred times in recent days over a stolen, heart-warming dance moment at my daughter’s house. As she was cooking Christmas dinner, I saw her step away from the stove and, spoon in hand, dance a few spontaneous steps. What melted my heart was the loving grin on her husband’s face as he caught it with me. The brief (very brief) belief that I had a bit of a connection with you ended when I realized you know nothing of what dancing means to people like me and my son-in-law.
My article, Love at First Dance, won special recognition in a writing class I took a few years ago. I’ve always believed I could learn everything I need to know about a man in one dance, and wrote about falling in love on a first dance. I’ll know what a man thinks of himself and me by his confidence, eye contact, the way he holds me, how he leads, whether or not he talks while we dance, how he reacts if he steps on my toe . . . So much is revealed in a simple dance.
Let’s use your analogy and pretend that you and I have been dancing these last four years. Here’s how it has been from my side.
You didn’t notice that I was fighting tears because my hip ached. My condition would not stand in the way of your goal, which was to knock one particular man off the dance floor. You jerked me out of my seat without looking me in the eye, speaking a word to me, or hearing a word I said to you. You didn’t lead and your timing was terrible. It was as though you couldn’t even hear the music and you didn’t know a single step or see any of the people you trampled.
Senator McConnell, it was not a dance by any sane person’s definition. You swung me around the floor, using me as a weapon against your target. When the night was over, I was bruised from head to toe. The only satisfaction I got from that dance was seeing that the man you tried to knock off the floor was still there, waltzing gracefully. And his partner wore a smile.
You should be more careful when choosing analogies.