Thursday, February 07, 2008

Love Note to Craig

Those of you who know my husband need no explanation for this to be funny: He is now the faculty advisor for the Argentine Tango club on campus.

For those of you who do not have the pleasure of Craig's acquaintance, this picture should suffice.

Craig is an introverted, gruff, animal-shooting, hairy, sarcastic mathematician. But he is also a man with a well of kindness underneath it all. So when his colleague asked Craig if he could be the faculty advisor for this tango group, Craig couldn't say no. He told me that he made it very clear that he would not, under any circumstances, be doing any tango.

Craig's colleague, however, does not speak English very well. And Craig is sometimes--how shall I say it?--less gruff than he aspires to be. So I got a phone call on Friday from this professor, asking when we would be attending Tango lessons.

"Craig?" I asked in shock.

"You and Craig, I was assuming," said Craig's colleague.

"Well, we don't have a babysitter for the kids so I'm not sure," I stalled, not sure what Craig had said to him. Maybe Craig hadn't said no firmly enough, or had given the stock answer of, "I'll have to talk to my wife."

"I know," the professor offered helpfully, "You could come on Saturday nights, and Craig could come on Sunday nights! We are short a man on Sunday nights, and besides, learning to dance is kind of like learning a language."

At this point, I started to discreetly giggle, but the man went on. "If you learn while dancing together, you will only be able to speak the language of dance to one another. If you learn individually, when you come together in the tango it will be that much better."

"Well, yes," I said, "I'll mention that to Craig." I had some idea of what Craig might say if I used this as an argument in trying to convince him to tango. You see, there is some small possibility that I might be able to convince Craig to tango with me, but without me? Not a chance.

After I got off the phone, Luke asked, "Mom, what is the tango?" So we looked it up on YouTube. Not just tango, but Argentine tango. I wanted to know precisely what it was that my husband might be doing. I can't describe this dance very well in words, but let's just say that I'm still laughing, two days later, as I imagine Craig performing it.

But, really, I will have to discuss it with him more. Maybe he wants to dance. Craig has whole worlds inside of his head, of which I'm only acquainted with bits and pieces. When you look at his beard, hear him speak, you might not imagine that he was the guy in high school that danced with the awkward chubby girls in Russian class folk dance practice that everyone else avoided.

But he was that guy. And he danced well, and with joy. Oh, he'll mock me endlessly for writing this. He'll laugh at me in his sarcastic way and go down to his workshop to hammer something. But I know there is a tango going on somewhere inside of his head.


Beck said...

Oh, this was great.
My husband is very, very different then yours - but they're both profoundly kind men, which I find very moving in guys.
Tango, heh heh.

so yung said...

I instructed Troy to read your blog - at least the first two paragraphs - asap.

Craig passionately dancing the Argentine tango? That makes me smile. Maybe you could bribe him ... a bottle of Tullamore Dew after every lesson?

Why, oh why, did we have to leave Columbus just as you were arriving?!? I would love to see Craig speak the language of dance ...

Nancy said...

Tee hee! I love your faith in him, and one thing I have always enjoyed about watching you two together is summed up in your statement: "Craig has whole worlds inside of his head, of which I'm only acquainted with bits and pieces." I think this is definitely one of the keys to a really good marriage; trusting that there are lots of wonderful things going on in there, and that you have a whole lifetime to be pleasantly surprised by them.

Molly Sabourin said...

So adorable - the picture, the story, all of it!

Barb said...

Dear Ser, As the mother of the possible tango dancer, and the wife of one that I have given up on being any dancer, I have to say that I can really relate to this story. At one time Paul too danced, but I think it was more like "with the wolves". My hope for you is that you still have the dancing window open in your life-tango or otherwise. Love Barb

Paul said...

Ser- as the father of the said tango dancer I can identify with Criag's delimma fully. I use to dance, but only after consumption of copius amounts of alcohol. Once I even danced on a table, but after that gave it up completely- the dancing, not the alcohol.

As a father it is heart warming to see that part of my genome has been passed down to my son- the introverted, gruff, animal shooting, hairy, sarcastic part. As for the mathematician it must have skipped a generation as I barely made through college algebra. :-) Paul

Bethany Torode said...

Ser - this must be published! It is incredible! I was laughing and feeling mushy ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

(congrats on the Literary Mama piece too!!! YAYYYY!!!!!! Your first publication! so many more to come...)

Lucy said...

I read this post at work, where I should be, you know, working. But the post was so hilarious that I couldn't stop giggling. I had to stuff my scarf into my mouth to stop myself from breaking into full-blown laughter.

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
so yung said...

I need an update ... is Craig dancing or is he not dancing? Are you both attending on separate nights but coming together another time to speak the language of dance together? Your public needs to know!