Sunday, May 10, 2009

dance like a fool and when you see something really cute, bite your own teeth.

I am of the opinion that everybody should dance.

I don't mean that everybody should take formal dance lessons, necessarily; and certainly not that, when pressed, everybody should be able to correctly identify the five positions of the feet in ballet or anything like that.

Though, let's face it, that wouldn't hurt. How many times would it have come in handy so far? Come on, be honest--I know in the state of Pennsylvania that it's a prerequisite to driving. It must be. How else did my genius older brother Jason fail to pass the test three times?

It must have come down to ballet positions.

And he just doesn't know his ballet positions.

And I don't mean to brag or anything, but I did pass it on my first try. And yeah, I know ballet.


There is something transcendent about losing yourself to the music. I totally get why so many religions make it a part of their ritual. Dancing is spiritual. It's basic in the sense that it's communion. With each other. With ourselves. It surpasses a need for words, for analyzation and criticism. You just let it happen and suddenly you've forgotten about yourself and it's always really nice to forget that for a moment.

None of us need that kind of awareness all of the time.

Of course, while dancing in a club and your friend suddenly asks you to do some African dance and you pull out what you remember from the one class you took maybe a hundred years ago and show it off, complete with arms flailing wildly, torso hunched over and knees in the air, and suddenly knock your friend's drink out of her hand and into her hair, you become instantly self-aware. Just as she became instantly wet.

At least, uh, that's what I've heard.

And if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose wet. Every time.

Unfortunately, we don't really get that choice, so most of the time I end up self-aware.

Tonight a group of us went to a club and we danced. I loved it. To be real, it does take some time to get past the painfully self-aware stage where at every turn you are wondering if you look stupid. But forging ahead past that is good, because then you just lose yourself to the music and there is nothing like it.

It's stupid. Stupid good, that is.

Shoot, but that is not what I meant to say tonight. So I am going to keep going until I do exactly what John Mayer has told us to do at least a thousand times on the radio (and that's just after listening to the song once) and say what I mean to say, say what I mean to say-a-a...

I got this overwhelming sense of well-being when I read an email from Drew this morning. He wrote me five random things that he loves about me, and once again I just knew.

He gets me.

To be understood, to be loved for who you are--is there anything better?

I am not going to go into exactly what he wrote, but I will mention number 3--

3. The way you stick out your jaw and bite down when you see something cute.

And it's true, I do that. I don't know why, exactly (just like I have no idea why this font on blogger suddenly changed...), but it's something I have to do. I usually get the impulse when it involves animals, my nieces and nephews, or Drew. But when I am overwhelmed by whatever form of cuteness that has presented itself, I set my jaw, tuck my upper teeth behind my lower teeth (effectively giving myself an underbite), and bite down.

I. Just. Have. To.

And funny enough, my mom captured it on film. Well on digital, I guess, since it was with a digital camera, but the point is it's documented.

See, here I am just doing a normal smile, enjoying this adorable puppy, Strider.

But, here I am with the grimacing, bite-down-on-your-own-teeth thing because he is just too cute. I guess the little rope he was tugging on set me over the edge, so to speak.
As you can see, it makes my chin look kind of weird, but I could stop doing it about as easily as I could stop my eyes from being brown. So why even bother trying?

But my question is, am I alone in this? Is there anything you guys do when you are overwhelmed by cuteness? Or overwhelmed by anything for that matter?

If I'm the only weirdo, it's okay.

I just wonder if I am going to have to get some kind of mouth guard for when I actually have babies of my own.


peaj said...

That's really cute.

You'd have to ask the missus about what my peccadilloes are - don't think I'm so self-aware of my reactions to cuteness that I could tell you myself. Would you have realized the jaw contortion thing if your guy hadn't pointed it out to you?

Anonymous said...

I think you got that bite thing from Caspian!

jason said...

I do the same thing when I'm overwhelmed by the cuteness / beauty of something. I clench my teeth. Between this and our pucker face, what's our problem? Did mom and pop submit us to some kind of secret government studies to help make the rent or something?

peaj said...

I talked to the secret government, and they have no comment.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Peaj-first of all, what are peccadilloes?!?! I have never, in all of the hundreds books I have read, come across that word before!

Anon--are you suggesting that perhaps Caspian the Dog is somehow related to me?

Jase--I didn't know you did that, too! That is so weird; I wonder who else in our family does that? How do you even get words out with Lyric and Ollie constantly around and you clenching your teeth like it's your job?!

peaj said...

Peccadillo - Literally, a minor sin or fault. Figuratively, a distinguishing (negative) characteristic.

It will be on the final.

Natalie said...

I'll vouch for peaj on this one--peccadillo was actually on my AP English exam last week!

Apparently I stick my tongue out when I'm really concentrating (which is a lot; I got back into both piano and dance recently and they both definitely take a LOT of concentration!) so just keep in mind that there are worse things than biting down on your own teeth. At least you can look mostly normal when doing that.

...or you could just wear your swine flu preventative mask all the time and no one would be able to tell what you were doing with your face.

jessica said...

I like the way you think, Natalie--that's a GREAT idea!!!