We have attended a number of weddings this year. It has been a good year for weddings, but we may have to give up dancing.
Anniversary dances have just about done us in. The anniversary dance is where married couples are invited to begin dancing. The dance floor is jam-packed with couples bumping into one another, jostling each other and having a marvelous time.
Those married less than one year are asked to leave the dance floor.
The crowd laughs as the amateurs exit.
A little later, those married less than five years and ten years, respectively, are asked to leave. The dance floor opens up a little more.
Those married less than 15 and 20 years exit, and the remaining couples give them nods of respect as they return to their tables.
Those married less than 25 years are asked to leave, and we are suddenly conscious that we are now visible. Others may actually see our dance moves. Or lack thereof.
I am frozen in time at the 25-year mark. This is where I remember most often leaving the dance floor and thinking, “Wow, those people still out there dancing must be really old.”
And now we are still out here dancing, and I look around thinking, where are the old people? And then it hits me: We are the old people!
When did this happen?
They knock out those married less than 30 years, and only a dozen or so couples remain on the dance floor. This is what you get for attending a wedding where nearly all of the guests are under 40.
Couples eye each other trying to determine who is older. My crow’s feet look worse than hers, but she’s wearing comfort shoes. My husband has more hair than some of those guys, but some men go bald early.
I wonder why the bride and groom’s grandparents aren’t out here. I know for a fact they are considerably older than we are. Oh sure, they may have just had knee replacements, but they could two-step if they wanted to.
They knock out those married less than 35 years, and the dance floor is sparse. Very sparse. We’re talking blue-whale and Asian-elephant sparse.
The dance floor looks like the parking lot at the mall at 2 a.m.
Young people are back in their seats — the very seats we used to sit in — thinking, “Those people are really old.”
Some of the couples still dancing were married the same year we were. They had the same wedding cake with the plastic bride and groom on top and the punch fountain in the center of the cake. Don’t laugh. It was cool.
They release those married less than 40 years from the dance floor. We exhale and exit. Close call. For now.
The longest married couple on the dance floor has been wed for 57 years, and they glow.
The round of applause and gift bag is theirs. I don’t want them — the applause and the gift bag — but I’ll gladly take the older couple.
What I really want is to comprehend how the years go by so quickly. And to keep dancing.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.