Cheryl Strayed on Dancing With the Stars?

The new season of Dancing With the Stars started this week. If you are new here, you might not know how much it means to us, so yes…I’m going to link to this post. I’ve linked to it a million times before and I don’t care who knows it. I love my Hot Toddy.

Anyway…our whole family loves DWTS. Ask us anything about the Rumba, the Cha-Cha, the Waltz, and now Contemporary. We’re experts, in our own minds. We’ll be walking through Target, and Riley will say of the music playing overhead, “This would be a good song for the Quick Step.” I’ll tilt my head, listen and nod. She’s right. She’s always right.

So at the dinner table last night we were talking about this first week of the new season. We all agreed the judges were too hard on Andy Dick. We all thought his dance was charming and entertaining. It was unexpected for me because I didn’t intend on liking him. I always unexpectedly like someone. Happens every season.

We discussed the other stars and the pros. No eye candy Maxim Chmerkovskiy this season. That’s okay, because his brother Val is there and he is not only dreamy…but sensitive. #iloveval

We discussed who we would want to see on the show in the future, and I said I would like to see a literary star. Wouldn’t that do great things for books? For literacy? Why are only athletes and actors and reality show people stars?

“Cheryl Strayed would be perfect,” I said.

And the kids wanted to know who Cheryl Strayed was. And so we had a nice discussion about Wild, and about The Pacific Crest Trail as we ate our tacos.

I don’t know Cheryl, but I have friends who know her. I’m wondering if she would be at all interested?

“I should start a Facebook page to campaign for Cheryl Strayed to be on Dancing With the Stars next year!” I say. “I want a writer to be a freaking star, and who’s hotter than Cheryl Strayed right now?”

Todd looks up from his plate, and says, “Of course, that might be borderline stalking.”

He can’t possibly get it.

He’s not that into books.

In My Mind We’re Fred and Ginger

Did I mention Hot Toddy and I are taking ballroom dance lessons?

For one hour on Wednesday evenings, we meet in the cafeteria of a local high school. Our instructor is Mitzi. She’s a senior citizen. She’s about five foot. She’s got an eastern European accent. She wears her hair in a bun at the top of her head, and a floral wreath encircles the bun. She often wears blue eye shadow. She wears sweat shirts and running shoes. She’s in better shape than any of the couples there. When Mitzi pulls you out of the group to demonstrate something, you discover she’s strong as an ox. When she leads, she leads. I adore her.

So far she’s taught us the basics to The Fox Trot, the Rumba (in which she complimented HT on his hip action…he beamed), The Cha Cha Cha, Swing, and The Waltz.

Since the class is in a cafeteria, and there are tables, and it’s only an hour, we bring the kids and let them sit at a table and play on their iPods.

I love dancing with Todd. We have so much fun. We have a long way to go before we aren’t looking down at our feet, or missing steps, or getting it wrong, but we are laughing. He doesn’t know this, but deep in concentration while we’re dancing, he presses his lips together and tilts his head. It’s cute. He’s discovered the secret of leading, which has a lot to do with a firm signal from his right hand on the back of my ribs. And oh…how I need someone to lead something. Someone, just tell me what to do, and don’t make me think, okay? I love it.

Every now and again, I look over Todd’s shoulder at the kids, and they are watching us. Riley smiles, Seth will give me a wink. On the ride home, they are still on their iPods and they are replaying “us” dancing. They weren’t playing games, they were recording. They’ve added special effects. They speed it up, and slow it down, and make us different colors, and they giggle. And I feel good about this family. I feel good about kids watching their parents dance. And mess up. And laugh. And love.