Thursday, February 6, 2014


My husband has an addiction. It’s not to alcohol, nicotine, or illegal drugs. Gambling is not the temptation. Fancy, fast sports cars or other women have no allure for him. He’s not a glutton, or a couch potato. He’s not even a workaholic, although he might be called a "responsibility-aholic" because he never fails to keep commitments he has made. He is, however, addicted.

He jumps up from his chair like a jack-in-the-box at the first strains of waltz music or a cha cha beat. He is eager to learn every new two step maneuver. He searches the internet for instruction videos of new dance steps. He’s the first on the dance floor at line dance time and the last to leave when the band is done playing. My husband is addicted to dancing!

As a growing boy, dancing was not part of his experience beyond the occasional square dance. But, in retirement, when he discovered that his feet and body could gracefully keep time and sing together, he got hooked. He is mesmerized by the sight of couples rhythmically swaying and stomping to Country-Western music.

At first, I didn’t really share his passion. I tried my best to break his chain of addiction before it got serious. I’m a clutz on my feet, but even my inability to learn new steps or my clumsy stepping all over his feet did not deter him. I don’t have the energy to dance three hours an evening six evenings a week, so he occasionally found a substitute for me. Smoky bars are not my favorite type of environment, but we went anyway because that's a place where people dance. I enjoy doing things other than dancing, but gradually our calender became built around dance schedules. I thought that the stiff muscles and painful joints he experiences after dance nights would discourage him, but he seems to forget them long before the next dance date arrives.

I must confess, that his dance addiction has not been all bad. Dancing has been more successful for him than Weight Watchers. It has helped him shed about 30 unnecessary pounds. Dancing weekly has given the two of us lots of quality-time together, and we’ve met so many wonderful new friends. Learning new steps together has kept our minds open to new ideas and new possibilities and the regular use of the muscles and joints of our bodies has slowed the aging process caused by arthritis and inactivity.

Oh my! I can’t believe what I just wrote! Am I getting addicted, too?