Best Case Scenario
March 23rd, 2011

On Saturday night I teased my hair up into a high bun and twisted a silver ribbon around it.  I put on a grey jersey dress, grey patent stilettos, and some uncharacteristically funky silver jewelry.  My pink lips were the sole pop of color in a tone-on-tone ensemble.  We were headed to a wedding.

The wedding was lovely.  It was a perfect reflection of the bride and groom, and it brought together friends from all corners of their lives.  GAP and I had a good time sipping our drinks and chatting with old college friends.  And throughout the evening the dance floor was full, as the newlyweds are music lovers and put a great amount of effort into finding a great band.

It was a winning night all around, but the highlight for me was a six-year-old girl.

Once the bride-and-groom and parent dances wrapped up she took to the dance floor with her dad – he in a dark suit with a sunny yellow tie, and she in a pleated white chiffon dress with black sash and black cardigan.  He twirled her under his arm.  He held her wrists and spun her as her feet dangled beneath her.  I smiled at them and then turned back to my conversation.

At first it looked like any wedding dance floor where the child pulls the parent to the floor and the parent obliges until the song is over, and then returns to the table to reclaim a cocktail and an adult conversation.  But this was not that.  Four songs, five songs, six songs later – they were still at it.  The father’s shirt had come untucked and his temples shone with sweat.  His performance was not obligatory.  They bounced and boogied.  They did the twist, the mashed potato, and every other move in the book.  They were tireless.  It wasn’t until the dance floor had been open for more than an hour that they took a short break.  Moments later they returned to the floor, the dad without his jacket and the girl without her shoes.  The twirling and spinning resumed.

Then, as the father picked his girl up her pretty party dress shifted and that was when I saw them.  Underneath her dress she wore a pair of white bike shorts.  I beamed.

She knew.  She knew that she planned to spend the entire reception on the dance floor.  She knew that her father would swing her around.  She knew that she would twirl, and that her skirt might fly up.  Or at the very least she hoped for these things.  And so she came prepared.

Four days later I’m still thinking about her night on the dance floor.  I’m thinking about her frame of mind.  So often we prepare for the worst case scenario – the seatbelt, the bike helmet, the rainy day savings, the life insurance policy.  But how often do we set out to do something with a best case scenario in mind?  How often do make our plans expecting the best?  How often to we go to a wedding with bike shorts on under our dress?

I can’t speak for you, but I know that my own answer is “not often enough.”

To some extent we have to plan for the worst.  We have to know that when plans go awry we will withstand the challenge.  And I would argue that safety nets of this nature actually allow us to enjoy the here and now a bit more since we can relax knowing that a contingency plan is in place.  Nevertheless, I think most of us could stand to imagine the best case scenario a bit more often.

I may never actually wear bike shorts to a wedding, but I think the analogy could serve me well.

9 Responses to “Best Case Scenario”

  1. TheKitchenWitch Says:

    For some reason, I’m all weepy over here? It’s just so beautiful, the image of them dancing, and I love your reflective commentary re: the bike shorts. I’m amazed that you made that connection. But you are right. LOVED this.

  2. Laura H. Says:

    Love this post! Thanks for the little pick-me-up on this hump day!

  3. Anne Says:

    I love this!! As I prepare for the baby, I’m full of worst-case scenarios, and it gets exhausting. Bravo for that little girl and all her energy:)

  4. ayala Says:

    Love this! The image of them dancing…just sweet!

  5. Lori Says:

    I think this is a great thought for the way we live our day to day lives. I take some pride in trying to see the brighter side of life; expect good things instead of bad things. I think it is far too easy to not notice things like daddies dancing for hours with their daughters.

    As a parent, I love watching my 2 year old live every minute of his day excitedly. His world stop so he can search the sky for that airplane he hears, he laughs from his belly when he says something he deems hilarious, he notices what makes his 6 month old brother laugh and grins ear to ear when he succeeds in making him laugh.

    It’s not a new thought – kids know how to live, love, and learn. They always have their bike shorts on. As adults, we should strive to be more like our kids

  6. Amy Says:

    Or maybe bike shorts are indicative of planning for the 6 year-old’s version of the worst case scenario – your skirt flies up and your underwear shows! :)

  7. Eva Evolving Says:

    What a perfect metaphor for being ready to dance, to have fun, to embrace whatever presents itself. I’ve always been someone who was hesitant on the dance floor, worried about how I looked and what other people thought of me. But the truth is, nobody is paying as much attention to me as I think. Get out there and have some fun! (Dancing and otherwise – again, a great metaphor!)

  8. Ana Says:

    I think the grown up version of planning for the best case on a night out is shaving your legs and wearing nice underwear :)

  9. Cathy Says:

    This post has me smiling.