October 16, 2008

The Spin Cycle: The Rhythm is Gonna Get You

Here we are again people. The ever Eloquent Sprite’s Keeper has put forth another topic on The Spin Cycle for us to chew on and spit out at you. It’s fear. Yeah, fear. Gather round peeps, this week, I’m going to let you in on a little fear that Jeremy has. He’s desperately afraid of my dancing face. I’ll say it again. My dancing face. Let me walk you through the whole sorted story, folks.

When Jeremy and I decided to adopt, we were standing in the parking lot of an In Vitro Fertilization office. We had just left a lengthy consultation with the doctor. On the walk to the car, Jeremy and I both agreed that we’d rather be parents than pregnant. At last, a huge weight had been lifted from us.

As Jeremy and I stood there and embraced in the parking lot, ready to start our future, I took his face into my hands and looked him in the eyes and said, “At least if we adopt, our children won’t have your revolting feet.” Jeremy gently kissed me on the forehead and replied, “And they won’t inherit your hideous dancing face either.”

After that we got in our car, drove off and ate the most delicious burrito ever. The burrito has no relevance on this story, but it was just THAT GOOD.

I first became aware that I had a “dancing face” in 2000. Jeremy and I were at a big, fancy company party with a live band playing 70s funk. I was so excited. I bought myself the biggest ball gown ever and slipped on my highest pair of strappy Payless heels. (Right now Stiletto Mom is choking on her bagel while reading that I wore Payless shoes. In my defense, I was young and naive and the word Manalos wasn't yet a blip on my radar.)

Anyhoo, I couldn’t wait to shake my groove thang on that dance floor. We walked through the door and I made an immediate bee-line for the middle of the floor dragging Jeremy along with me. I proceeded to get down and jiggy with it. I was throwing down my best moves, The Cookie Jar, The Running Man. Hell, I even moon walked. In heels. No, I moon walked in CHEAP HEELS.

I was just wrapping up my best Bounce and Lean move when Jeremy grabbed me by the arm and pulled me behind two giant tower speakers in the corner. Had my wicked dance moves made me irresistible? Turns out, not so much. Jeremy pulled me aside because he had got his first whiff of my dancing face.

Jeremy: What are you doing with your face?

Me: What do you mean? (still dancing)

Jeremy: Are you doing that on purpose? It’s really freaking me out. Why do you frown and wince when you dance? Do you mean to stick your tongue out the far? Did you know that your eyes go all crossed when you dance?

I ignored him and just kept on hustling out there on the dance floor. Jeremy just backed away and stood, staring at me from the sidelines along with a small crowd of his co-workers gawking in my direction.

The next day, we had my parents over for brunch and I brought up the subject of my dancing face. My mom put her fork down and looked at me nervously. “Honey, I think the time has come that we have a little talk.”

My mom went on to explain that she and my father had discovered my dancing face “condition” at an early age. When I was three years old, my parents enrolled me in a beginners dance class. At the first recital, they noticed my face would contort into an odd expression when I performed on the stage with the other little girls. As I got older, it just got worse. My mom said that by age seven I had developed the most severe case of “white girl overbite” that anyone had ever seen. She even took me to a few specialists, professional choreographers of sorts, to see if they could help me. None could. They all felt my dancing face deformity had just progressed too far.

“Mom, what about the box full of ribbons I have for dance competitions?” I demanded.

“Those are Participant ribbons, honey,” she gently replied.

“Yeah, but they don’t just hand those out willy-nilly do they?” I asked.

Tears formed in my mom’s eyes as she explained to me that every little girl received a Participant ribbon with their registration packet.

“But remember how I won fifth place in the individual dance competition in grade school?” I protested. My mom explained that even though placing fifth was quite an achievement, only four little girls had entered.

My dad suddenly pulled a picture out of his coat pocket. He handed it to me across the table. “Here, sweetie, take a look at this,” he said. I looked down to see he was holding my prom picture from 1990. "Wow, my hair was really bad back then," was my first thought. But then I saw past the high bangs, past the bad perm and focused on my face. There it was, my ugly dancing face.

My dad has yet to offer a reasonable explanation as to why he carries my prom picture around in his pocket. But that's for another day.

From then on, Jeremy ran our house like that mean dad in Footloose. Music was kept to a minimum at our place. If I wanted to dance he asked that I do so in the bedroom behind closed doors. Sometimes, when we was out of town, I would get in the car, turn the radio up really loud and just jam out. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

In 2004, we were blessed with the arrival of Henry in our lives. And as fate would have it, Henry came to us with superior dancing genes. His birth mother was a breakdancer. I’m. Not. Kidding. A breakdancer with very good-looking feet, I might add. Double jackpot! Jeremy and I were high fiving all over the joint.

At eighteen months, Henry could cut a serious rug. When he heard music, he was out on the dance floor shakin’ his little money maker. People would stop and comment on what a coordinated little boy we had. “He’s definitely got the rhythm!” Jeremy would respond. I, on the other hand, was quick to point out to total strangers how handsome Henry’s feet looked in open-toed sandals. We each had our own priorities.

About six months ago, I began spending a lot more time working on my dancing face in private. I would tell the kids, “Mommy’s going upstairs to rehearse! I’m locking the door.” Jeremy would just smile and nod. I was beginning to think my dancing face was improving with time. My white girl overbite had noticeably receded, my squinty eyes were definitely less prominent. I was ready to show Jeremy my progress.

A few nights ago, after both children were tucked away in bed, I pulled Jeremy and my portable boom box into the kitchen. I qued up Milkshake by Kelis’ (my practice song of choice) and launched into my self-choreographed routine that I had been perfecting over the past two years.


Before Kelis’ had even reached the first chorus about her milkshake bringing all the boys to the yard, Jeremy stopped me. “No, no, no! It’s all wrong, Jen! Your mouth contortions have grown worse. When did you add that wink? Why do you keep sticking your tongue out when you moon walk? And WHY do you think it’s still acceptable to moon walk?” He shouted.


I stood there, looking at him defeated. I thought I was doing so much better. I had been working hard, practicing nightly in front of our full-length mirror.

Just then, we heard a rustle from around the corner. Jeremy and I sneaked down the ahll to investigate. We found Henry huddled in a large box spying on us. He poked his head out from the top of the box and gave us a little grin.

“What are you doing up?” Jeremy quizzed him.

“I heard mommy’s dancing music and I wanted to come dance,” he answered.

Henry then began bouncing and clapping to the rhythm, even throwing in a bootie slap here and there. I was so caught up in the ease and grace of his movements that I totally overlooked his face at first. But eventually my eyes made their way upward and saw Henry making the very same dancing face that I have.


Jeremy and I shrieked at the same time and grabbed on to one another. Jeremy cried, “No, son, no! Not you too!”

Yes, it seems that Jeremy’s greatest fear had come true. The rhythm had gotten Henry. He had inherited my dancing face.

Jeremy turned to me and held my face in his hands. As tears rimmed his eyes he croaked, “Well, at least he still has good-looking feet.”

74 comments:

Jamie said...

I am so glad I read this right now. I was dreading going to work tonight and reading this just made me laugh. I, too suffer from dance face, although it's as serious a case as what you suffer from. I think tonight at work I will ignore my patients and just practice my moves to get ready for the up coming holiday parties. Thanks for the laugh!

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

I was reading this and thinking 'there is no way she's going to put a photo up of that' and then OMG there are photos of you doing that!
You go girl, I LOVE your dancing face!

Captain Dumbass said...

THIRD!!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Oh dear. What to say in the face of that... face? I'm dumbfounded, stunned, nay, I'm gobsmacked. I think I need to lay down with a cold cloth for awhile. Maybe a drink? Yes, definitely a drink.

Kat said...

OMG Jen! You and I suffer from the same affliction! I think it is much better than my husbands affliction though. Dance seizures. Seriously he looks like he is having a seizure when he is dancing. And his only "move" is the fake spanking the booty thing.

Sherendipity said...

omfg. i haven't even read this yet. I'm dying over here!!!

Momma Trish said...

You never fail to crack me right up. You're awesome!

And as I was reading this, all I could think of was the Seinfeld episode with Elaine and the thumbs and the bootlegged videos ... I clearly watch far too much TV.

HeatherPride said...

Well, I guess not everything is inherited genetically!!

It's just a good thing you and my husband never hooked up. People would have gone blind after seeing that.

And the prom photo??? Are you serious??? I mean, that one is a classic. It's worse than my prom photo of my kickin' side ponytail (curled with a spiral curling iron) (because the perm was not enough) with the Quasimodo posture.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Oh my my my....there is just so much to comment on here!
First of all, don't be boxing me into your strange dancing corner with that Payless Shoes remark! True, I'm a snob...but I'm a sucker for a deal too. There is a store here that is actually cheaper than Payless (if you can believe!) which the entire Stiletto family frequents...of course then I go blow the savings somewhere else but still...
Secondly, we really need to talk about bringing the mullet back that your date was sporting at prom...FIERCE. Let's start a petition.
And your face? Well, I'd love it no matter how goofy you look.
In your honor, I'm shaking my money maker right now in Texas.
(thank god no can see my mad skillz...)

Maggie May said...

i just had a brain spasm!

when i reached the pictures of Henry i was laughing!

and you and i both put up posts that reference Footloose today. we must be mind melding.

TattooedMinivanMom said...

So much to say...

What's wrong with payless heels dammit? I wore payless heels to my sisters wedding. Damn chick got married outside with a cheap-ass white vinyl cloth as her aisle. Damn shoes kept popping holes in the damn vinyl and getting stuck in the damn grass.

I love your dancing face. I think you should bottle some thick, salty, white awesomesauce, smack a label with that oddly mysterious dancing face on it and sell that shit!

Racoleuse!

Tracy Lynn said...

At first I was all She can't be THAT bad, then I saw your prom picture and thought I wonder if she ripped out that guy's jugular, and then I get to the picture of Henners and thought That just looks so much cuter on that kid.

That's what I thought.

Sherendipity said...

when you emailed earlier in the week and said that you'd be posting sketchy pictures of yourself, i had no idea how delicious this post would truly be.
awesome.

Ann said...

You are so silly! I really like visiting your world.
I seem to dance and clap a lot when I do it. I don't know why. I really don't need the extra help keeping the rhythm. Why, oh why?
What happens to us?

Middle Aged Woman said...

Holy Crap! You went to prom with Bob Probert???

DeeMarie said...

How can any of the rest of us compete with your Spins?!?! Truly, mi hermana (that is your new name), you are fabulous. I love, love, love the dancing face! And I pray Henry grows out of it.
You just totally made my night. Without question. And I really hope you didn't start something with busting out the Prom pics (please don't become a Meme!!!)!!!

Sprite's Keeper said...

Go Jenbo, go Jenbo, go! Work it!
(I am a pretty crappy dancer who's married to a Latin lovah who knows how to move. It's sad. People have cut in on us so they could dance with John and remove me from the floor before I hurt someone.) You're linked and I love the facial gestures! (You even remind me of my cousin. Are you sure we're not related?)

Jenni Jiggety said...

Those pictures are CLASSIC...you should have them framed in one of those collage frames to hang over your fireplace. Do you have a fireplace? You need one. For these pictures to hang over.

Casey said...

You know how you're always telling me you think you're in love with me? Well sister, after seeing that face, I KNOW I'm in love with you. You know what? I make the same exact face when I dance. And when play drums. I think it might be my pooping face. Yes, I went there. I throw in some nice butt smacks in when I'm dancing and you know that's in style.

Lola said...

Oh, my, and I thought my prom pic was bad. I knew there was a reason why I never dance until midnight. My game plan is wait until everyone is good and loaded and looks just like you and Henry! That way, no one really notices my ugliness.

Heinous said...

Another great post. I love your dancing face. It looks just as good on Henry. I'm guessing Reese is next. Hey, at least you can groove. I'm limited to the white boy shuffle. Mostly through lack of motivation, but still.

Where DID you get that burrito?

Bee said...

Ha ha ha!! Your poor poor son!
The way I see it, if you can't see your face, it's not really happening. Just stay away from mirrors. And cameras. And sunlight. Oh maybe even candles.

Supervised Mama said...

Oh, my god I have tears in my eyes. You. Are. Too. Funny!!!

Seriously Mama said...

Twenty Fourth!!!!! Oh God, I am such a dork. Twenty Fourth is exactly the reason I purchased a Blackberry today. I need to up my score. Loving the fact that you have dance parties late at night. We do the same thing. L#1 has no rhythm but thinks he does (just like hs daddy) L#2 has learned to shake her money maker just like her mommy. Kindred spirits, sista friend... ;-)

Now I'm probably twenty eighth...

goodfather said...

LAST! Heh. Well, probably not last. By a long shot.

'They all felt my dancing face deformity had just progressed too far.'

I actually snorted up one of my lungs when I read that line, and had to choke it back down.

Red Cup Mom said...

I can't stop laughing. This is freaking hilarious! Esp. that Henry has the same face! What a funny, super funny, majorly super funny post!

And you shared pictures? You have no shame, girl! Rock on, let that hubby enjoy you!

mongoliangirl said...

And YOU are beyond funny.
As far as teasing from ANY man about our dancing faces, just bring up their 'sex face'. It shuts the whole conversation down immediately.

mommypie said...

Dude. You have a dance face and I have a butt wipe face. I've thought about doing a post, but I don't think anyone would want to see the photos.

You CRACK me up.

gingela5 said...

Love the pics! hahaha Although I don't have a "dancing face" I have been referred to having a face "only a mother could love" (Ok, I'm lying but it's 2:30 in the am and I can't think of anything clever.

Khadra said...

LOL!! Love your dancing face!!

for a different kind of girl said...

OMG...I am speechless at your moonwalking feet at this! I am speechless because this is (A) awesome!! and (B) I just spit a big old chunk of peanut butter toast at my computer because I was laughing so hard while reading, and admitedly, that's kinda gross. The spitting peanut butter toast at my computer part, not the laughing part. The laughing part is awesome!!, too.

I suffer from dance ass. It apparently THINKS it can dance when music comes on, but it is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I've thought I was alone plenty of times when the ass starts dancing, only to turn around and find my family staring at me (and my dance ass) and the look on their face tells me everything I (and my ass) need to know. Even alone, I shouldn't be dancing.

Seriously, we need to bump up the timeframe for our most civil and unholy (in the eyes of some) union!

Deb said...

Your story reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when everyone first saw Elaine dance and it looked like she was having some sort of fit...

I would focus on being thankful that you had someone in your life who cared enough to SAY something! Nothing worse than walking around with the proverbial toilet paper on your shoe and no one bothering to tell you.

Thanks for the early-morning laugh!

Daddy Files said...

Great post. Thanks for a laugh while I start my morning!

And in your defense, I'd rather have a wife who had a crazy dance face than absolutely no rhythm at all. My wife is the whitest woman in the world and unfortunately she loves to dance.

But let's put it this way...my wife may be the only person who would lose to Helen Keller on Dancing With the Stars.

It's downright frightening...

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Call me crazy, but your boy looks like you. Or maybe he's just absorbed your, um, unique facial abilities. Love it.

Ellie

Krystal said...

ROFLMAO!!!! I have to go pee now!!

Sammanthia said...

I just peed a little... I thought you should know in case you wanted to send me a clean pair of pants.

JaxPop said...

Jen - This is one of THE funniest posts I've ever read. You guys are a trip & Henry looks like he's just oozing personality. Brought back memories of the disco days with my off-white suit, & black quianna (sp?)shirt with the top 3 buttons open revealing my 3 chest hairs. Ugh!! Honestly though, I wouldn't dance in those days, without sloshing down several large tumblers of scotch first. I knew I was bad. Geez - I'll be spending the rest of the day hearing the Bee Gees in my head. Thanks-a-bunch.

Robin said...

Woo! Wiping my eyes. Love it! Look at it this way... you could also have the dance moves like Elaine from Seinfeld. Then you'd have the dance face AND the heaving body moves! Talk about a knock out (for reals!) combo!
Great post!
:) Robin
cinnamon & honey

Ms. PH said...

So. Damn. Funny. I. Cried.

I love to dance with my kids. They think it is better when I make funny faces. Their favorite song is my version of Baby Got Back, which I changed to Bubble Got Back and I sing when we blow bubbles in the bathtub.

Jenni said...

cant breathe! laughing too hard!

Tuesday Girl said...

Nothing worse than bad dance face.

blissfullycaffeinated said...

I. Love. You.

There's really no more that can be said. I just freakin' love you.

I am wondering why you keep Henry in a box.

But still. I seriously love you. I'll be laughing all day after this.

Oh ,and, 42ND!!! Suckas!

bessie.viola said...

I CANNOT stop laughing at this!! Hilarious Jen!!

mrsbear said...

That. Was. Awesome. Although I'm with your husband, I think your dancing face might scare all the boys from the yard, perhaps frighten them away for at least a five block radius. You are hilarious. You've heard that one before, right? Great spin.

Miss Grace said...

This is too good. I almost don't believe you! But it would be too hard to make that face on purpose.

ali said...

Dancing face! That's fuh--wait, did you say burrito?

Pamela said...

I think we were separated at birth. Except for the part where you were old enough for the prom in 1990, and I was in the eighth grade. Other than that? We are each other when we dance.

Cape Cod Gal said...

I have the dancing face as well. Unfortunately no one told me. I looked in the mirror on day at a club and saw myself.

I now stay away from mirrors at clubs.

Kirsty said...

LMAO at your post! Oooo girl you just got added to my blogroll. Very funny! Love that little one made them too.

Kirst

Jenni said...

Oh, and the fact that you were close enough to Cory Haim to smell him probably means you should go ahead and enter rehab. Dude is toxic.

Jennifer said...

LOL!!! I think we need video for the full impact!

I have visions of you going all "Kevin Bacon"--driving crazy-like, then pulling over and dancing with your dancing face in full force!

Marinka said...

A dancing face only a mother could love? A mother without her glasses on?

So, so funny!

I think you look fantastic!

Ringleader said...

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine dances at the company party- it's alright Jen- I'm willing to bet your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard regardless, now, "Go Jen, Go Jen, go-go-go Jen, It's ya birthday, it's ya birthday...."

Miss Jack said...

OMG! What a storyteller you are! I loved it! Histerical! How do come up with these?

Krystal said...

My turn to stalk you now!!! Where are you? Where did you go? what are you doing? Hello!! Answer me!!!! AHHHH!!!!

anymommy said...

Good thing I saved this one for last. Now I am leaving here laughing hysterically!

DeeMarie said...

I couldn't figure out why I'd been craving a burrito all day... And then I stopped back to visit (stalk) you and remembered. You're quite influential, you know. Let's go dancing when I come visit, kay?? We can have scary dance face together!

The Stiletto Mom said...

Um, were you talkin' some smack to me over at Clark Kent's today dancing girl? Huh? Yeah...thats what I thought... :)

Rhea said...

Oh, you kill me. This was HILARIOUS.

The facial expressions. I'm in love.

mae said...

i have pretty much been universally banned from dancing. ever. but on a more important note - i think we had the exact same prom backdrop! i'll have to go dig up the photos....

Ali-Pants said...

This was awesome. Thank you for sharing this "special" little moment. You're so brave!

For Myself said...

Look on the bright side, my foot stomping friend: Your family cared enough to stage an intervention complete with photographic evidence of you engaging in the behavior in question. That is love, twinkletoes.

Rachel said...

Ahahahahahaha. Sooooo funny! And good thing too, because I just finished being freaked out by HeatherPride's fear spin and you've cured me. Thank heavens, because now I can walk to the bathroom without taking my husband. Bless you!

Ron said...

Hmm? That's same face my wife made when I proposed... weird. Maybe it's something in the central nervous system.

beth said...

My first husband used to laugh at my dancing face when we'd be jitterbugging. That's grounds for divorce, isn't it?

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

And just like that, you became my friend for life.

Mama Dawg said...

That? That was effing BRILLIANT!

Zip n Tizzy said...

Brilliant!
You are SO funny.
Loved the prom picture.

Jozet at Halushki said...

ROFLOL!!!!!!!!

Karen Sugarpants said...

Ha ha ha...well as Gloria Estafan says, "The Rhythm is Gonna Get You!"
Great story!

GreenJello said...

:::giggles:::

What a way to start the day! :)

Eternal Sunshine said...

You RAWK!!!

This was terrific.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Self analysis is good.
And you are hilarious.

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