Kissing and Clapping. I’m finding more and more that these two seemingly unrelated actions have more in common in my life than I ever would have thought.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After the first time Michael and I kissed — like really kissed — I started clapping and jumping up and down in my driveway (in front of him). Yep, I am that 16-year-old girl.
Well, I haven’t noticed until recently the K&C combo making a comeback in my life. Don’t worry. I haven’t taken to locking lips with anyone new. My marriage vows are in tact. It’s just that I started this new workout class at the Y and feel compelled to clap in it – a lot. My workout partner, Beth, is always smirking at me when I do it. That’s because I’m always the only one. You just can’t do a grapevine and not clap. It’s the curtsy, the bow — the finishing touch to the move, you know?
At first I felt embarassed about my clapping and kept it to a minimum. But lately I’ve just started to let loose. It’s kind of fun and liberating. I am confident enough to clap and enjoy myself even if no one else does. Now I clap when we step side to side and when we rotate corners (Don’t ask! You wouldn’t understand unless you’re an aspiring step professional like myself). I’ve noticed that the more I’ve been clapping, other people are joining in too. Beth can’t seem to help herself now either. Having fun and not taking yourself too seriously are contagious. I think everyone would clap if they felt comfortable enough.
A few weeks ago I went to a U2 concert — amazing. There was this lady a few rows ahead of us who was dancing like crazy. I saw people pointing at her and laughing. At first I thought she was a weirdo. But the more I watched her, the more I felt like, wow, I want to be free enough to dance like that. I want to be free of any insecurities that would hold me back from fully enjoying myself like she was. I figured deep down everyone in that arena wanted to just let go like her (Michael argued that point and said he had no desire to dance similar to her in any way. Whatev).
But it’s hard, awkward, embarrassing to let it all hang out, right? Who wants to look foolish? I finally did decide to take my cues from the “crazy” lady, much to the dismay of my self-conscious brain. I started dancing and screaming and waving my long gangly arms all over the place. It was so fun. I felt so free.
Now to the kiss part.
I rank average on the affectionate scale. I love hugs, cuddles and kisses, but I’m not known for that like some of my other friends. (One of my friends Andrea is the best and hardest hugger. She’s so small and cute. You would never expect her to dole out these amazing bear hugs. She is from Alaska though. Maybe she was actually instructed by a bear on how to be such a great embracer!!) Anyway.
Two of my very best friends, Matt and Laura, moved to Denver in April. It was such a difficult time for me. I seriously wore all black for a good week or two. Nothing else seemed right. While still recovering from the initial shock of their departure, Michael surprised me with a trip to meet up with our friends in Phoenix at a conference. Wahoo!
I was so excited when we finally arrived; I couldn’t wait for our reunion. When they finally pulled up at the airport to pick us up, I was so overcome with emotion that I told Laura, “I just have to kiss you … on the lips.” And I did. Normally I would feel so ridiculous about doing something like this, but I felt compelled to.
I’m telling you, it was way better than just a hug. It felt like a more complete and sweet greeting. I walked away feeling like I want to greet everyone that way. The dilemma I face is how to introduce that one to my circle of friends? Do I just start going in for the kiss? I’m not bold enough. Maybe I should start with an air kiss, progress to a cheek kiss, work my way to an eskimo kiss and then move in for the kill. Let me know if you have any thoughts on bringing the lip kiss back. I’m all in.
In the end, I have decided to start kissing and clapping more. Watch out world. I’m letting loose.
For more articles by Lauren Befus, visit her blog My Mom Badge.
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