I sat next to her at a dinner party hosted by a mutual friend. She was young and beautiful. Her husband was old and rich. She loved ballroom dancing. He claimed two left feet. Her idea of a perfect night involved spinning around a dance floor until dawn. That was pretty much his definition of misery.
I like to think of myself as non-judgmental. But that night I might as well have worn a black robe and banged a gavel.
The woman leaned in to confide how they resolved their differences.
"I hired a contractor,” she said.
What? My mind immediately went to Godfather-style hitmen and interrogation room confessions. One glass of Chardonnay and the girl was good to blab.
Then she explained that when she and her husband looked more closely at exactly what it was they both liked and/or disliked about dancing, it came down to this: She liked the intimacy of being held, turned and dipped to music by her husband. He disliked the feeling of being on public display. So in one rarely used room of their house, they installed a dance floor. Every week, she said, they had a standing date in their own private ballroom where she surrendered into the arms of her husband as he turned and dipped her to the rhythm of the music.
My heart turned an absolute puddle of sweet gooey stuff. I quieted my fiction writer's imagination, and I listened.
(This is a true story or, more like a true vignette. It's one of those oddball memories from when I was a reporter that stuck with me. Image from @194angellstreet)