The Dance by Marilyn Brant — 44 Comments

  1. Oh, Marilyn, that brought tears to my eyes … some people will always live in our hearts forever. Thank you for sharing such a lovely, but bittersweet tale from your youth.

  2. Oh, Marilyn, I am so sad for his loss and I’ve only known him through your words. He was much too young to die. I am glad you both pursued your dreams, and that you shared and cherished those magical moments. *HUGS*

    • June,
      Thank you! And I’ll take those sweet hugs 🙂 .
      Yeah, he was far too young…only 45. I know his family is devastated, which adds to my sadness. I wish I could be there in Australia for them right now.

  3. Such a beautiful story, Marilyn. I am so glad you were able to remain friends, but, I am so sorry for your loss. You asked us to share a romance so here goes. My grandfather (step) met my grandmother during World War 2. He was an American soldier she was a German citizen. He was a cook in the army. He gave her children the food that would’ve been thrown out. They met and he called on her. When he was to leave for the States he asked her to meet him at the train station to say good bye. She never showed up. He sent her letters which she never answered. Finally he sent her a letter with plane fare stating that she had better come or he was going to come get her. She did and they were marries for 51 years.

    • Deborah,
      Thank you for your kind comments on my post, and WOW, what an amazing story about your grandparents! I just love his confidence that the two of them were meant to be together, and that he absolutely insisted on her joining him… Thanks so much for sharing their romance — it really made me smile to read it! 🙂

  4. I too felt like crying. This was so sweet and puts “life” back in perspective. I think my parents had a great love story. It might not compare to Elizabeth and Darcy but the years of children, little money and illness never diminished the love they had for each other and for the 5 of us. They met in 1939, she was 26 and he was 43 and had been married before with 4 children. They both worked in a psych hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. It only took a few months and they married in November 1939. My father wrote such beautiful love letters to Mom and being together was all they wanted. When she died, 17 years after he had died I could hear him saying to her “What took you so long, Momma?” Now I will cry some more.

    • Oh, Maggie, I’m tearing up just reading about your parents… What a beautiful relationship they must have had, with hearts so full of love for each other and for their children — thank you for telling me their story! One of my favorite parts was the way you could hear your dad’s voice talking to you mom. You knew them well <3.

  5. I have no sweet stories to share. There are meet ups and broken hearts and mended hearts all over my world, but none are particularly romantic. Thanks for sharing that story, I’m glad you got to remain friends. You must have been a real charmer at 16 for his friends to have told him he hadn’t lived until he met you. LOL

    My only addition to this narrative is this: isn’t it incredible how perfect our vision is in retrospect? I have a “one that got away” that I had always *slightly* regretted (even though I have a fab hubby) until just a few years ago. Through the miracle of facebook I got to see exactly what I had “missed”. I can look back at relationships now and see what I absolutely could not see when I was present.

    Have a wonderful weekend Marilyn!

    • LOL, Stephanie!! I’m pretty sure *he* was the teen charmer to have come up with a line like that 😀 . He was so confident and at ease with people. I can’t imagine my son (who’s now 16) saying anything like this to a girl he just met at a party… Then again, kids in today’s world can be pretty witty with their texts — a form of flirting that I know I’d never master!

      Your comment about having 20/20 hindsight is right on target, IMO. And, yes! Social media can be such a godsend in helping us gain clearer vision. I’m so glad you got to peek in on that one that got away and see the reality… I’ve done that, too. Curiosity about what happened to a couple of old boyfriends led me to type in their names on FB. I was happy to see they were alive and well…and just as happy that I’d chosen the path I did. 😉


  6. Oh! I haven’t read your book yet. But now I need to do so! My girlfriends and I have always put our boys into JA character buckets. The Wickhams, the Wentworths, the Martins, the Bingleys, the Collins, the Eltons, the Brandons, the Willoughbys, the Ferrars… etc… of the world. It was always much fun! Also, glad I’m not the only one!

  7. Beautiful! Just don’t make this one into a Darcy and Lizzy. ODC always need HEA. You can give to to one of the other sisters. Sorry girls. Loved it. Jen Red

    • LOL, Jen!!
      No worries. I promise not to turn this particular memory into a “Darcy & Lizzy” tale 🙂 .
      He once informed me that I wasn’t allowed to use him as “a model of the Australian male…or anything else,” so I wouldn’t dare disobey, although I can’t help but think he’d be at least a little flattered to be compared to an Austen hero…

  8. Enjoyed this very much, Marilyn. I’ve been sorting through my parents’ house, and coming across lots of ‘ancient history’ has put me in a nostalgic mood too.
    I had an interesting relationship with my first boyfriend (which I plan to use as a plot line for a novel someday, although I’d have to change the ending). The first time we dated, he broke up with me and I was devastated. A couple of years later, after we started dating again, I ended up breaking up with him for another guy and it was his turn to suffer. We tried a third time later on and we both agreed our relationship was going nowhere, so we parted amicably. Not the happily-ever-after ending I would have written, but still satisfactory in many ways.

    • Shannon, there’s nothing like finding old relics from our past to bring back a flood of memories, is there?!
      I loved reading about your on again/off again relationship with your first boyfriend — thanks so much for sharing it! Yes, you’d have to rewrite the ending for a novel, but I can already sense the thrill of meeting someone you were so drawn to over the years and the conflict of whatever pulled you apart… It’d make a fabulous story.
      And as for the *real* one you shared with the not quite HEA but satisfactory ending, I think there will always be people we love but know we can’t live with. It’s got to be a sign of maturity when we’re able to recognize that. To still love the qualities that compel us to somebody and, yet, be able to let that person go when it’s time 😉 .

  9. Oh Marilyn! What a lovely and touching story! It’s amazing to look back on our younger selves to see all the bad decisions BUT also some of the really good ones that led to even better things in our lives. Your feelings and friendship with Mr. Aussie Rules sounds like it gave you both the courage to be open to new and interesting people. That’s a wonderful gift. I’m very sorry to hear that he’s passed away but I’m sure he’s somewhere smiling and thinking about all the great people he knew along the way–with your beautiful face included.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Pamala, thank you, my friend!
      I can’t speak for “Mr. Aussie Rules” (LOL! I love that 😉 ), but I agree that knowing him most definitely expanded my world and gave me a little extra courage at a time when I needed it…
      But then, there are wonderful people we meet at all stages of our lives. Thanks for being one such lovely person for me <3. xoxox

  10. Oh, Marilyn I am so sorry to hear about his passing away, especially at such a young age. I’m glad you kept a friendship over the years, though. That’s what I like to call an AU (Alternate Universe) relationship – if the planets had aligned just a *little* differently, you would’ve ended up together. 😉 But things tend to work out the way they’re supposed to (which puts me in mind of another Garth Brooks song, Unanswered Prayers).

    Several years ago I came across my journals and boxes of letters from my school days and I have a sneaking suspicion that I threw many of them out. (I know! dumb). I know I debated about it. I’ll never know for sure until I clean out my mom’s attic which had about 3,478 years worth of accumulated crap in it.

    None of the relationships that come to mind among my family and friends are particularly romantic, though I am in awe of my grandparents who’ve been together zillions of years. My brother proposed to my sister in law within a week of meeting her, and they’ve been married (*counts on fingers*) 13 years now. Most people I know subscribe to the “If at first you don’t succeed, try (marriage) again and again and again.” For real.

    • Monica,
      “Unanswered Prayers” might just be my favorite Garth Brooks song ever…and I love so many of his, but the message in that one always gets to me and rings true. For the longest time, it was my dearest wish that my Aussie guy and I would end up together — and, btw, I love your term “AU relationship” 😀 — but I knew too much about the reality, even back in the ’80s. Not only would the planets have had to align differently, the entire galaxy would have had to shift, LOL.
      Someday, over drinks and in person (!!), I’ll tell you all about it…and, in return, I’m going to want to hear about these boxes of old letters & journals of yours and the stories they contain 😉 .

  11. Oh Marilyn, i’m smiling through my tears at this wonderful, touching, absolutely “YOU” (caring,intriguing, heartfelt) post. I’m so sorry for your loss albeit across the miles and the years. But my gosh what a great memory to have and thank you for sharing it with us.
    <3 Deb

  12. I have a favourite story, and it happened in Madison, Wisconsin; a person doesn’t need to leave North America to run into romance. My sister’s friend K was invited to the senior prom by the class president. As his presidential status automatically made him prom king, she became the prom queen designate. However as the prom approached, she became more and more aware that he was a veritable Mr Collins and she was no Charlotte Lucas, and she put considerable effort into avoiding him. As a University freshman, she was sitting in a bar on State Street when she saw Mr Collins enter. She immediately turned to the man next to her, and quickly explained that her wish to escape the notice of the boy at the door. Rising to the occasion as perhaps Henry Tilney would have, the man next to her grabbed her and kissed her passionately. And (as one says in Madison) THAT was THAT. They were married for almost 30 years. And the night before her wedding, as she returned home from the rehearsal dinner, “Mr Collins” appeared in her driveway and asked her out. You can imagine how delighted she was to have the perfect excuse for refusing him.
    My own story was that I was in classes with someone that a friend admired from afar, so I had to spy on him and take notes on everything he said in class. After six months of my surveillance, he asked me out to a movie. I turned him down, but went to the movie by myself, then told him about it. The next time he suggested a date, he didn’t ask – he INFORMED me we were having lunch together. And we did. Our food came. I started to cut my meat, and the whole meal slide off the plate onto my lap. Without apparently noticing (much less commenting on it), he pushed his plate to the middle of the table and said, “Try this! It’s really good!”
    Gentle reader, I married him.

    • Oh, Beatrice! Two such wonderful stories!!
      I’m delighted to know that romance had such a fine moment in my hometown of Madison 😉 . Good for your sister’s friend to have, simultaneously, escaped the clutches of Mr. Collins AND met her very own Austen hero on the same night!
      And LOL about your persistent and very clever suitor. He’s a keeper!! Glad you married that wonderful man 🙂 .

  13. Marilyn, what a great story and great memory. So sad for his passing. (I teared up.)

    I remember my boyfriend from when I was fifteen. He loved me, and I liked him a lot – but not that way. It’s been many years, but I still think of him with fondness.

  14. Dearest Marilyn, I have set today aside to read unopened e-mailed blogs and yours is the first and here I am sobbing! I had to pull The Dance up on YouTube and then Unanswered Prayers came up next. I don’t have a romance to share…my husband was a charming jokester back when we met as waiter and waitress during college. December 27, 1965: he suggested we both break our dates for New Year’s Eve and go out together. We didn’t do that but we did start to date soon afterwards. Growing up poor I did meet a few guys, who like the first “Darcy” we meet in canon looked down their noses at me because of the “lack of a dowry”. But I see it as their loss. My husband and I will be married 49 years in August.
    Sorry to hear of your Aussie friend’s passing on. A Great Memory!

    • Sheila!!
      I just saw your comment on this older post of mine, and it brought a smile to my face to read about you and your hubby! Glad the two of you found each other and created such a beautiful happily ever after. He a lucky (and smart) gentleman!! Congrats on your many years together… 🙂 xoxo

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