Risky Business

Clifford and I rang in the New Year in a different way.

It was January 1st and I had just come downstairs dressed for lounging around with the hubs in my sweats and my socks for the day. I spotted him readying the fireplace for a nice cozy date at home. I sighed. What a nice way to spend the beginning of 2016.

Now, I may have been coordinated in certain sports back in the day, but when it comes to things like sliding, roller skating, spinning, dancing, etc. – I suck. I have no coordination and my lack of balance is absurd. So this next moment was me being brave yet unfortunately being me.

I smiled when I saw Clifford stacking the kindling onto the grate and like a 5 year old at a birthday party, I needed his attention – now. I actually said, “Hey Clifford! Look at me!!!” (seriously, I said that)

Whether inspired by a recent ep of The Goldbergs or Tom Cruise himself, I was going to attempt something I’d always wanted to do. As soon as the words escaped my mouth, I hummed the intro to Old Time Rock and Roll and attempted to slide across our hardwood floor.

I barely moved.

I shrugged it off. Clifford wasn’t looking anyway. I’m sure my socks just got stuck on something I didn’t see there. So I said again, “Hey! Watch me!!!”  I know I now sounded like a spoiled and demanding 5 year old at a birthday party.  I also know he heard me, and that he knew what I was trying to do. It was simple, though. Once I wanted his attention, he deliberately refused to look at me (it’s our dynamic – it’s what we do). So when he wouldn’t look again, I pleaded a third time, “Hey Clifford, I’m trying to show you something! Just watch me for a second!” He was smirking as he ignored me and continued placing the wood inside the fireplace.

I let out an exasperated grunt with my hands now firmly on my hips. Next level was stomping feet and throwing official tantrum. Dramatic, I know, but it drives me nuts when we do this dance. And perhaps going from an excited request to a childish whiney plea wasn’t exactly doing me any favors in the dramatic (or maturity) department, but I just wanted to show him my Tom Cruise. I’d waited years to attempt this; it deserved an audience.

Finally he turned to me and stated more than asked, “What.”

I had his attention and again, like that kid finally given his cake, I smiled brightly and said, “Ok. So watch this.”

I hummed the intro and tried to slide. I got a little further when my socks caught and I stopped abruptly, almost slamming head first into the fireplace wall.

He laughed at me. “That was terrible.”

“Let me try again! I think maybe the floors aren’t slick enough. I think I need a running start.”

Backed up. Running start. Intro. Slide. Stopped… What the hell?

Clifford was laughing pretty hard at this point. “That’s not how you do it. This is how you do it.” And suddenly my husband, a husband who is not apt to subjecting himself to public ridicule and humiliation nor physically goofy demands such as sliding across living room floors, took a few steps back , hummed THE INTRO, and skillfully skimmed across the hardwoods just like Tom Cruise. If you’ve ever seen my husband, you would think it was an impossible physical feat by the sheer size of him, let alone if you’ve actually met him and know Tom Cruising is one of the last things his personality would ever allow him to do – on principle.

One step further – he didn’t just show me, he offered a constructive criticism and direction on my technique. Who was this man suddenly the expert on Tom Cruising in my living room? Not my husband, I can tell you that.

“You are sliding across the grain. You need to slide with the grain. Like this…” and he demonstrated yet again his graceful skate along our hardwoods.

I changed positions, moving behind the couch and away from the fireplace so I had more room and could slide “with the grain” as Clifford put it.

Running start. Intro. Slide. It worked!!! I started jumping and cheering as I proudly puffed out my chest looking at my husband who was smiling back at me.


I ran back to my starting place and realized Clifford, on the other side of the couch, had done the same. We were about to Risky Business in TANDEM!!! This was unreal. I practically had tears in my eyes.

  1. We began our running start together.
  2. We hummed the intro together.
  3. We slid across the floor together.
  4. AND l fell flat on my ass – by myself. It was bound to happen.

Have fun and be risky this year, folks. Be Tom Cruise.



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