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like riding a bicycle

dancing-couple-vintage-GraphicsFairyCan two people who were married for many years, have three grown children, and have been divorced for ten years share a dance like it’s old times? (Cue The Odd Couple theme.)

In the movie It’s Complicated, Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin play such a couple (Jane and Jake Adler), who find themselves at a hotel bar while in New York for their son’s graduation. One drink leads to two leads to dancing and then to the rest of this terrific rom-com (if you haven’t seen it, Redbox it now). But it’s the dancing that really struck me.

If you’ve ever watched a long-married couple dance, you’ll see them just kind of melt into a rhythm and flow that’s indicative not just of their fancy (or not-so-fancy) footwork — it’s also indicative of a life lived together. It’s a familiarity that can’t be taught in dance class; an intimacy that comes from this not being their first dance; a certainty that’s not just romantic — it’s real. And remembered.

Watching Jane and Jake dance, you can see the years fall away (even if it’s just for a while). She fits just so into his arms, he holds her hand the same way he did at the beginning, and for a few minutes — and a few minutes more dancing to Wouldn’t It Be Nice? later in the movie — they’ve recaptured a piece of their life together.

Of course, marriage isn’t just about dancing — it’s also about finding your center, learning to balance, and continuing to pedal so you don’t fall off.

Quite simply, one hell of a ride.

© 2013 Claudia Grossman

One comment on “like riding a bicycle

  1. Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D

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