Friday, November 30, 2007

Where have you gone, Fred and Ginger?

Spontaneity is the spice of life, and casting aside one's inhibitions from time to time can be a very good thing -- depending, of course, on the nature of the inhibition and the time and place where it is shed. Today I had a couple of moments of pure joy at work, and both involved something I would never have imagined myself doing at all as recently as a year ago. I have shared this in more detail in an e-mail sent to a few individuals, but to make a rather long story short, I danced a spontaneous waltz in front of the elevators in the court building, accompanied by a visibly delighted court interpreter, a 50-year-old Puerto Rican woman who has become a good friend of mine in recent months. Later in the afternoon, she was assigned to cover the default calendar in our courtroom, where I appeared at the end of the day to hand some paperwork to the commissioner. We mentioned the impromptu dance to her, whereupon Commissioner Harris asked us to perform it again, right there in that courtroom. We obliged her, and all present -- the commissioner, her clerk, a co-worker assigned to me that day for training, and both dancers -- ended our work week by sharing this amusing and happy moment, which still brings me a smile as I write about it several hours later.

I had not intended to mention this experience here in my blog, but felt a need to do so after I returned home and happened to read Betsy Hart's column in today's Jewish World Review. The disgusting and downright frightening story she relates stands in jarring contrast to the beauty and grace of real dancing, particularly something as elegant and dignified as the waltz. In addition to the disgust I share with the column's author, I wonder why, as it appears, nobody ever bothered to teach ballroom dancing to these kids -- and, even more, how any parent could ever stand aside, knowing that his or her children were openly and blatantly engaging in this particular variety of whoredom.

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