Monday, March 16, 2015
Small Kindnesses, Comfort, and There Are Things You May Never Know
I have a secret Tuesday night life.
Not many people know that I go dancing. I take a parks and rec department class--two of them, actually. Social dance, i.e. foxtrot, waltz, etc., back to back with Latin dancing. I have a partner. A hired gun of sorts, brought in by the instructor to dance with the single women in the class. Due to the fact that there is a very tall unaccompanied woman and a second very tall hired gun, the shorter guy is pretty much all mine.
There's a confluence of coincidences wrapped up in all this. My dance partner shares a name with the Someone and shares some physical characteristics with the man who loved me. The weird icing on this crazy cake is that we dance really well together. The guy is a really good dancer--or so it seems to me, but the instructor has commented more than once that I make the guy look good because I follow so well.
Can I tell you what a comfort and a relief it is not to be the boss of anything for two solid hours once a week? To place one hand in his hand and the other on his shoulder and move where he wants me to move. I'm not in charge of his meds, his bank account, his IRA. I don't cook for him or share a house with him. I don't take on his pain or his worries, ask him if he needs a hot pack or his coffee warmed up. We don't discuss the mortgage or taxes or if the trash cans got brought in or if should we get a dog.
I know very little about this guy. Almost nothing actually. His name. His first name. That he wants to become a really good social dancer. That he drives a Prius. That he also has a van in which he sometimes transports his bicycle around because he's a fairly serious biker. He works out at a gym. He goes east when he leaves the rec center parking lot.
I think the only thing he knows about me is that I'm the caregiver for my mother. That I drive a Prius. That I go west when I leave the rec center parking lot. What he doesn't know about me is the comfort he gives me.
What if each of us were that secret comfort giver to someone? What if some small kindness that's just a fraction of someone's day or week was really so important that they counted the days or the hours until it came by again, and you didn't even know it?