Monday, January 11, 2010

My Brief History with Beyonce's Single Ladies

Dancing at The Chief's birthday party last May

Some time last year
it was my turn to stay the night in the hospital with Stephanie. I can't tell you it was a fine experience, because it was miserable. Lights were turned off at nine, Stephanie fell to sleep talking and mumbling, I had a smelly recliner next to the bed and machines beeped on-and-off all night. This was all made worse by the fact I had never left my baby overnight and was still breast feeding. My chest almost had to be air lifted out of that hospital by the time the night was over.

But have I mentioned? I love my little sister. Anything for her.

(I also had her children and husband living with me at the time, so extra kudos right?)

Some time in the very early morning, nurses came in to take Steph's vitals and ready her for the day. They turned on the tv so we could wake up to the fuzzy outlines of outdated tv shows.

"Would you turn the channel for me?" Steph asked.

And I clicked through until we found some channel playing music videos.

"Keep it here." Steph ordered.

So we sat there watching videos, something I hadn't done since college. It was then Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) first came to my soul. It was perfection: the dancing, the music, the lighting, the camera angles. I've never been so taken with anything on tv. After it was over I sat in the recliner paralyzed with the joy of it all.

"Awesome." I said slowly and whispery.

Steph rolled her head over in my direction, her eyes following.

"DO NOT show that to Claire and Jane."

"But did you . . . see that?" I asked her still staring at the tv with adoration in my eyes.

Steph raised a finger at me and shook it.

"Alright. Alright." I assured her.

On the way home I thought, "As soon as I am done breast feeding--and my chest isn't Texas--I am going to learn that dance."


When I was done breast feeding I tried to learn that dance.

I wanted to perform it at The Chief's One Year Dance Party in front of our family. In order to do this I called on two dancers in my family, both named Lindsay. One my niece, the other my sister-in-law, trained dancers each.

They taught me the first eight counts. Yikes. My body hadn't moved my hips in that sort of direction in a really long time. Maybe ever.

I had Lucy record our practices so I could privately go back and fix my faults. There were too many faults. By count 16 I plead mercy. MERCY!

Instead I asked my sister-in-law Lindsay to create an entirely new dance to go with EmilĂ­ana Torrini's Jungle Drum--a snappy song The Chief and I liked to dance to anyway. There was some definite shaking in the her choreography but I didn't have to rewrite my body's entire muscle system to figure it out.

I had my parents over for dinner tonight. Lucy and Ric came too. We ate Mexican Chili-- a recipe which called for cocoa powder and chili powder. My kinda spice.

When my parents come to dinner there is only a short amount of time post-dinner they will stay. Maybe twenty minutes. My dad will say to my mother, "Cindy, I think it is time for us to go home." Because that man loves his bed and a good book about some non-fictional subject.


Lucy and I had a little game going on tonight to see how long we could get my dad to stay. We tempted him with sugary fruit tarts, law-maker conversation and Ric's creamy hot chocolate. But it wasn't long before we heard the infamous line, "Cindy, I think . . ."

Which is when Lucy said to me (with a wink),

"Show him Beyonce's Single Ladies."

And I smiled back, knowing the joy it would give both of us to watch Dad watch that video. Though conservative in politics, my father has a liberal heart for R&B. We were raised on Whitney and Toni, so Beyonce is only inevitable.

As my parents sat on the couches in the den, I asked On Demand to show me the video. Up it popped and in no time the brilliance of that piece of work was displayed for all to see.

After it was over Dad got up and gave a hand to pull up my mom.

Then he turned to me.

"Darlin," he said kissing my cheek. "Thanks for having us over. Thanks for the chili. And thanks for the video. You just made my night."

On dear c jane today:
sugar cookies
(with glaze!)

On c jane's Guide to Provo today:
Run Kids Run!