The "I'm Right" Dance

    My wife Susan & I get along really well, but from time to time we have little disagreements. They’re generally about insignificant questions—“Will it rain tomorrow?”, “Is that the same actor who played that dude in that movie?”, “What’s the capital of Uzbekistan?”---and when the answer becomes known, the one who was correct sometimes feels compelled to indulge in a bout of good-natured gloating. We realize it’s schoolyard behavior and utterly unbefitting an otherwise mature couple, but well, there ya go.

   Over time, this gloating has added a terpsichorean wrinkle, a sprightly little “I’m right” dance. The dance spontaneously manifested itself years ago after a particularly satisfying vindication in which Susan was proven to be categorically mistaken on some bit of minutia that was entirely too important to me. In its first incarnation the dance called to mind a coked-up marionette drum major, but in recent times it has, for better or worse, been refined from those initial flailings. On occasion I’ve even been known to perform a perfunctory from-the-waist-up-only version of the “I’m right” dance (It's been shorthanded to ‘IRD’ around these parts) while seated or lying in bed and not feeling motivated to actually stand and give a proper performance.

   Susan has largely copied the basic contours of my “I’m right” dance when she feels the need to highlight her rightness, but she’ll add a twitch or a kick of her own when inspiration hits. One Susan move of particular note is her Mussolini-like chin jut that, when employed, dictates in no uncertain terms that She Is Right.

   I suppose as a public service I could post a YouTube video of my IRD in all its juvenile glory, but I tend to think that everyone should have their own personalized version. Whatever movements evoke joyful taunting and celebratory smugness to you, whether that might be twerking, jazz hands, splits, or whatever—that’s your IRD.

   A word of caution: One member of a couple unilaterally adopting an IRD policy without the expressed agreement and participation of his or her partner can be toxic to the relationship…tread lightly!

  Over time and various evolutions of our respective dances, a new aspect of our adolescent ritual was introduced: the gloating party was granted the option of requiring that the gloatee do a slow, dejected “I’m Wrong” dance. The “I’m Wrong” dance features a head hung in shame, slumped shoulders, half-hearted shuffling of feet, and hapless dangling of arms. In all, very satisfying to watch, humiliating to perform. Sadly for me, I’ve become quite proficient at the “I’m Wrong” dance.

 

© 2018 Tom Manche