Alex invented a dance move this summer.
The move resembles a happy dog climbing a fence, ultimately to pant his happy tongue at you while saying hello over the top of the fence.
So the dancer wanting to participate in this move makes her hands like paws and, to the beat of the music, taps them against the air, one hand over the other (i.e. "climbing a fence").
Once the fence has been summited, dancer bobs her head to the beat of the music, with happy dog tongue hanging out, as if to pant.
(If this is not readily clear to those readers trying to visualize this, let me know and I may have to make a video and post it).
Alex first whipped out this original move at his cousin's wedding in August, and it got me every time. At the time I actually thought he was going for a prairie-dog-climbing-out-of-a-hole, but the sentiment of a happy animal performed by a precious Alex was not lost on me.
Since then, I have come up with a cat-washing-its-face counter dance, and we have repeated the dog dance on numerous occasions. Really it's appropriate for most occasions, one will find.
Most recently Alex found an excuse to use the dance around 12 a.m. on a Sunday, in a bowling alley bar with (inexplicable) camouflage blankets Velcroed to its windows.
Someone who writes a blog that frequently mentions her cat and her love for writing decided she was going to participate in the raucous karaoke that was happening at the bar.
So she put her name in, and one very supportive dog impersonator came to the edge of the stage to cheer on her amateur rock starring.
It was quickly discovered by this singer, about two verses in, that
was paying any attention to her singing.
This was both good and bad, as the performance wasn't great, but the lack of fans was a little disheartening nonetheless.
It was also kind of comical, as the singer seemed to have taken the stage at the point in the night when people had had enough drinks that they no longer wanted to create conga lines* or dance romantically to the Celine Dion being sung to them*. Instead they stared at their cocktails and talked less animatedly amongst themselves, losing drunken steam.
*[Both things actually happened.]
I -- I mean, this mystery singer I am discussing -- actually said into the microphone at one point, "No one is paying attention."
Even this did not stir my inebriated "audience."
So there I was, channeling my inner Alanis, and save for one adorable blonde friend of mine and a table of strangers to my right who Alex tells me clapped for me, the only person cheering me on in my musical stylings was one very precious human puppy dog, his curly hair bobbing along with his panting tongue.
I tell you all this because the actual point of this post is to be gushy and romantic, so you're welcome and I'm sorry.
While I was crooning onstage, I actually didn't care that no one was listening. Because one guy was listening, and I really only cared that he was.
There I was, singing a somewhat racy song that I would never sing with my parents in the audience, and my sweet guy was there at my feet, encouraging me by pretending to be a puppy dog. It didn't match the song at all -- though, one must know, the tempo of the dog dance can be adjusted to "fit" any song -- but I just felt the reminder of how he fits with me.
I am one who enjoys lots of attention -- surprise -- but in that moment I just needed my man. Because somehow when I'm singing an inappropriate, angry song he can be doing a childish dance and it just works. We just work together.
Then on the way home I was telling him how I feel insecure about how I think a certain person thinks of me, and the way he said "Baby" to reassure me was just in the most tender voice.
Last weekend we went to see my all time favorite movie, which is, duh, When Harry Met Sally.
Alex had only seen parts of it (I know), so I told him that if he wanted a popcorn or drink refill during the film that I would be the designated runner, as he had some serious paying attention to do.
I fell in love with him again during the movie because not only did he heartily enjoy it -- AS ALL SHOULD -- but I didn't have to give him a precursory admonition to pay attention.
Because Alex pays attention. He always does.
He listens to me with kind affection, he asks people questions about themselves to a fault. I'm one who steers a conversation to meet my entertainment needs. Alex is entertained by the details of others; he makes them feel worthy and cared about by asking them who they are, what makes them tick.
And he knows about everything. Science, history, books, entertainment, building projects. You name it, he's read about it or listened about it on the radio.
Because he pays attention.
Now one more gushy anecdote and I'll let you go.
He watches the credits.
If there is a pet peeve of mine, it is rushing to turn off the DVD as soon as the closing credits begin to roll.
Shuffling out of your seat at the theater to make your way for the exit while the craft service people's names are scrolling on the screen before you. Tsk.
Let's have some RESPECT, people.
On one of my birthdays (24?) I went to see the film Is Anybody There? with my mom.
Michael Caine's character in the movie dies at the end of the film. But he dies, like, at the end -- and I mean the end -- of the film, so I didn't have time to process. Because I didn't have the credits to cushion me.
Let me explain.
When we went to see this, Michael Caine died, credits rolled about 30 seconds later, and then all these PEOPLE just started to usher us out of the row.
Which, clearly, led to me crying in the aisle and my mom giving me a hug because I WAS NOT THROUGH GRIEVING THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CAINE and these people were pushing by us.
Let's have some respect for the credits, people.
So point being, the credits are meant to be a time to ease out of the drama, the comedy, the romance, you just beheld back into life as you know it. The credits are not a time for chitchatting, for shuffling, for exiting. It is not a time to bus the empty pizza boxes to the trash chute.
It is a time to sit in your chair, and remain in the movie, for just a little bit longer.
I thought everyone understood this.
I thought everyone needed this.
I've told my therapist, among others, that I sometimes feel insecurely that I am the one among my friends who is last to check her watch, last to say, "I need to get going." I am first to say, "Yes, I'll have another cup of coffee," the one to let a lull in a conversation flow to another topic, rather than checking my phone and determining the conversation to be done.
I've always needed a little more time.
I hate feeling like friendships become short lunch dates. I always want more time with people who I love. And I want them to want to spend that much time with me.
Alex watches the credits.
He needs the time, and he gives me the time.
He is my love.
[Gushy anecdotes concluded for the time being. You may return to regularly scheduled programming.]