Introducing Sarah Steinberg

When I Said It’s Too Fast For Me, I Meant the Music

By Sarah Steinberg

Do you feel like dancing? As in, do you feel the urge to dance? As in, are you in the mood to get out there and cut a rug? As in, you look like the sort of person who needs reassuring that if you feel like dancing, it’s okay to do so. And that’s why I said, no, it’s too fast. And by ‘it’ I meant the music. Not like, I’m feeling like you’re moving too fast by suggesting we do this activity together.

I feel terrible. I should go tell him. I didn’t think you were asking me to dance with you. I mean, you’re 30 years older than me. You’re the father of the bride. It just didn’t occur to me. That’s a terrible thing to say.

Why would he ask me, anyway? I only met him the once. At Julie’s house. This is my dad, she said, rolling her eyes. He didn’t look up from his newspaper, but I guess he seemed nice. He was probably only asking to be nice. I bet I look sad. I should try to look more confident. I should keep my hands on my hips more. A whistle could help. Maybe if I wore one around my neck, blew it in time to the music.

I mean seriously, who stands around at the edge of a dance floor, staring wistfully at the dancers, and then doesn’t even want to dance? What kind of person says no to the father of the bride? This is a big day for him. He’s put so much work into this. He basically owns the tent I’m standing under. The wine I’m drinking. I’m such an ingrate. Not to mention that I might’ve actually learned something from him. How long has he been married? 40 years? This guy knows commitment. I can’t even commit to a dance. Oh lord, I’m never going to get hitched.

Am I making too much of this? Where is he? Oh, there he is. Standing by the punch bowl. Staring into the punch. Should I have some punch? I could say something. Buy you a drink? Then I could make myself laugh. But I don’t like punch. It’s sad, the way he’s standing there all alone next to the punch bowl. Maybe his life isn’t as great as it seems. His marriage is probably pretty stale. Poor man. I can see it in his eyes. He’s in a stale, loveless marriage. Hasn’t had sex in years.

Oh look! He’s starting to dance. By himself. What a brave soul! Look at him out there, doing his sad, lonely old man dance. That’s right, lift that leg up you good, kind soul! Shake those little balled up fists! Pat your pockets! Make sure you haven’t lost your car keys! Yeah, waggle that chin!

I should just go out there and dance with him. Sidle up to him. Hey stranger, I’ll shout over the music. I mean, come on. He deserves a little bit of joy in his miserable life. Wait a second. Is that… Hey! Is that Riva? Dancing up alongside him? Oh please, girl. Is she doing a shimmy? Who does a shimmy? I wonder what he’s saying to her. What could he be saying in her ear? She’s flirting with him! And he’s flirting back!

Well he is kind of handsome. Now I’d have to fight for him. But I could win. I think. Imagine if we ended up doing it? I don’t want to cheat on my friend’s mom with my friend’s dad. But that would be kind of hot. No! Terrible! That would be terrible! Oh my God is that what he thinks is going to happen? He probably does. And you can hardly blame him, considering what his lame life is like. But still — whoa Daddy-o. This is way too fast for me.