Nightmares of Strange Men

Last night I had a series of nightmares.  Each of them featured a strange man rejecting me for spurious reasons.  A different strange man in each nightmare.

It was a full moon.  And I did drink a big, fat coffee at dinner time.  Yet I attribute the “strange man” dreams to swing dancing.  Because I spent the evening doing just that.  And before I was set free to relax and dance with my husband, we participated in a lesson for beginners, the format of which involved men moving around a circle from woman to woman to practice a few steps with each, as we learned a mini-routine of triple steps, rock-steps and Charleston moves.

And it was fascinating to encounter about 15 or 20 different men, of all shapes, sizes, colors and demeanors, in rapid succession, in — theoretically — the same exchange each time.  And to note “what worked” and what didn’t.

Mind you… I’m defining an exchange that “worked” as one in which I felt less awkward than in the other ones.  The whole moving-guys thing is awkward.  Grabbing hands with a new guy, sometimes being instructed to “lean into him,” deciding whether to make small talk… I’d rather not.  I’ve tried to avoid dancing with anyone but my husband for about 30 years now.  Nothing against other guys.  But I’ve picked mine, and I’m sticking with him.  

I preferred the guys who smiled, the ones who introduced themselves, the ones who led when they were supposed to.  The ones in saddle shoes or suspenders generally inspired confidence.  I didn’t like the pizza-breath guy or the body-odor guy so much, nor was I too confident with the limp-hand-grasp ones or the ones who made too much eye contact.  Somehow I felt responsible (an urge that probably requires psychoanalysis) to make each man feel that he had been a capable partner (which was true about 1/10th of the time).  I felt that I was in the presence of generally fragile male egos. Even the guys who gave me unsolicited dancing tips (which I needed and mostly appreciated).

Anyway… it was a fascinating exercise in the art (tragedy?) of “split-second sizing someone up.” 

And I wasn’t aware that I myself must have felt pretty sized-up until I went to bed and dreamed, all night, of a succession of men rejecting me.  

Which didn’t feel too good until I realized that most of all I like to “dance with the guy what brung me.”


~ by Cary on April 12, 2009.

One Response to “Nightmares of Strange Men”

  1. Good posting and story— you go girl!

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