I stepped into the ballroom. I was as nervous as ever. My hands were shaking, my stomach was in knots, and my heart was pounding so hard and so fast, I thought it was going to explode. This was to be the night I was going to get to dance with my future husband. My eyes widened as I scanned the ballroom. I felt like a little kid in a candy store. There were so many men, and the mirrors on the walls seemed to make the number multiply.
I looked down at the bottom of the staircase, and a smile spread across my face. My father was standing at the bottom waiting for me. My nerves slowly faded as I made my way towards him. His eyes shined as bright as the stars, and his smile was as calming as still waters. All my fears had vanished by the time I had reached him. For what did I have to fear? My hands slid from the smooth wooden railing into his strong rough hands. “Shall we dance?” My Father asked. “Indeed” I replied as I pulled the edges of my ball gown to curtsy. My father took me by the arm and led the way out onto the dance floor.
I glanced around the enormous room. There were so many different types of men. Some of them had already found their true love, and they were dancing with them. They held each other close, and whispered their unconditional love for one another. There were also some men waiting eagerly on the edge of the dance floor with their fathers. They were waiting for the perfect girl to come along to have their first dance with. They were not going to dance with just anybody. As I continued to look about the room I noticed another type of man. Now these men, by worldly standards, would have been the best group by far. They were the most graceful and experienced dancers of all, but they kind of came with a catch. They kept constantly switching dancing partners. It seemed as if they couldn’t make it through a whole song without leaving someone with a broken heart, a shattered dream and a crushed hope. My father must have seen the look of hurt in my eyes as I watched another girl be left. He reached up and gently touched my soft cheek with his hand. Looking me straight in the eyes he said, “Keep dancing with me, and I’ll let the right guy cut in at the right time.”
Hours passed as I continued to dance with my daddy. I knew I didn’t need to venture off on my own, for here I was safe, and here I was happy. Every once in a while a young bachelor would come along and ask for a dance, but I quickly turned them down. Many just wanted to mark me off their list as one danced with, while others were attracted to my personality or style. However, those reasons were not why I wanted a guy to ask me to dance, even if they were really cute.
After what seemed like days of dancing a fine young man came along. He liked me for me, and how much I loved my dad. My heart jittered, and my eyes lit up. “Can I dance with him Daddy, please?” “No” my father replied. My face immediately filled with disappointment, and a tear began to roll down my cheek. I couldn’t understand why I shouldn’t dance with someone like this. I reached up and wiped the tears. “Why?” I dared to ask. My Father simply smiled and replied, “Keep dancing with me and I will let the perfect guy cut in at the perfect time.”
Time seemed to pass slowly as I waited for the right one to come and ask me to dance. As I waltzed with my dad I couldn’t help but overhear the snarls and snickers of girls dancing with their “bachelor of the song.” Even to this day I can still hear their comments, “You aren’t going to be experienced enough when it comes time for you to really start dancing”, “You won’t have any idea what type of dancer you want if you don’t try several out now.” And the one that stuck with me the most, “It’s so much fun, you have no idea what you are missing out on.” At times, I wondered if they could be right. After all, there were only a few girls left still dancing with their dad’s, and there were even fewer guys waiting on the side of the dance floor. Most of the girls had danced with at least ten other guys by now. Was I really so crazy to think that I could really only dance with just one other guy besides my Dad? Or, was that only something that happened in the movies? As I began to ponder all of these things my father leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Keep dancing with me, and I’ll let the right guy cut in at the right time.”
I tried as best as I could to forget what the other girls had said. I knew that they perfect guy was out there, and he would come… sooner or later. So until then, I decided I would put all of my energy and focus into dancing with my dad. Besides, I knew my dad was right and he would let the perfect guy cut in at the perfect time.
My Father led me over to a different part of the dance floor. It was there in the middle of a twirl our eyes met. I knew instantly he was “the one.” My face began to glow as I started to tell my dad about the one I had just seen. The smile that was quickly growing on my face spread to my Father’s face as I started to describe this fine young man. Then my dream actually started to come true. The young, inexperienced, bachelor made his way over to my Father and me. “May I have the honor of this dance with your daughter?”, he asked. His voice was deep and strong, but yet a little shaky. I think it had something to do with the fact that he was so nervous. I really didn’t think anything of it because I was just as nervous as him. Then, my Father finally said what I had been waiting so long to hear, “Yes, you can dance with my daughter.” I could hardly believe it, my father was letting a guy cut in.
My Daddy kissed me on the cheek and he loosened his grip. My hands slid from my father’s hands and into my new loves brawny hands where our fingers interlocked. Our bodies seemed to move as one as we danced together song after song. “Will you be my partner forever and always?” he finally asked “I do”, I replied, grinning from ear to ear. My dad came by, and whispered into my ear for the last time. “You kept dancing with me, and now I’ve let the right guy at the right time cut in.”