Step out of the ordinary is the slogan on the movie poster for the movie Shall We Dance. It is a good slogan to live by.
I have this movie poster framed and it hangs in my foyer to remind me that I must keep aiming to get back to my ballroom dance activities and also to step out of the ordinary things and do some extraordinary things.
I think I do that anyway and one of them is to write these columns and exposing my attitudes and views on life.
J. Umbridge, a Patch reader wrote to me in November 2012 the following about my articles. “In a brutal world, you make me happy. Thank you for your articles.”
Also “for me, your columns are like roaring fires that brings warmth to me.” These are very nice expressions on what my words mean to her.
The world is brutal, so very often, we hear about killings of children in college or just any killing that has happened here in our domain or anywhere else in the country. When I was a kid in the l940’s, this was rare. It was so rare, that the newspapers here put out a special edition describing the events. All delivery
paper men or boys of the daily paper route were notified to come forward
and to get the papers and to run through each neighborhood shouting “extra,
extra” which meant to the home owner, to run and get your five cents or ten
cents to buy this newspaper and to discover what had just happened.
There were no television sets in our home yet and therefore this was the way to notify the newspaper readers of this unusual bad thing that had happened a few hours earlier.
It did not happen that often, but when it did, it sure was newsworthy and worth the few coins to find out about it.
Most people who were counting their pennies had to choose whether to spend the coins or to wait for tomorrow morning’s edition that you
usually received on your doorstep to find out about the news.
Things were tight then and many people did not buy the additional paper, others did.
Now it is a common and everyday occurrence. The newscasters tell us that today there was the number one hundred new death toll number and
some cities have the distinction of being the top five murder cities in the country.
It is our duty and chore to try and make life happier, so we do not need these statistics to hear while we are eating dinner and listening
to the news of the day. It would be nicer, calmer and happier to hear about
good things as we ate our dinners after working all day long.
When I was twenty-three, I won a nineteen inch (wow, was that considered big) a colored (that was new too) television set for some
volunteer work I did for a religious organization. They surprised me with this
gift which was so overwhelmingly beautiful in the silver tone cabinet and the colored pictures that appeared on it.Then we only had three local stations
and they carried a lot of game shows, home shows and comedy situation shows. At dinner, we would watch Groucho Marx which was a silly quiz show. They practically gave you the answers like
“who is buried in Grant’s tomb”? Of course, the answer was Ulysses S. Grant, a general.
It made you laugh and it was better than listening to the current killings and
robberies now listed on the dinner time news.
It is a good thought to step out of the ordinary and the ordinary being doing something different than we usually do. Mom and Dad did
not go out for leisure or fun very often. One day Dad surprised Mom with
theater tickets for a live show and they cost five dollars each for a grand
total of ten dollars, which was a lot of money in those days, when the average
male made, if lucky, ten to fifteen thousand dollars. Mom was so excited; she
counted the days until the event would happen. It finally came and she dressed
up in her finest looking dress and Dad in his suit, necktie and good shoes.
They got in Dad’s newly bought for five hundred dollars wine colored Plymouth (
then called Used Car, now called Pre-own Car) and went out for an “out of the ordinary
“event. Wow, were they excited. It was some live show and it was lovely to see
them having great anticipation and fun for a change.
Now days, we treat ourselves to lots of out of the ordinary events with football games, theater plays, baseball games and also to other
sporting events. My out of the ordinary will be to get back to a Sunday
afternoon social dance. Hopefully, soon this will occur for me.
What Richard Gere did in the movie Shall We Dance, was to stop off one night to look over a dance studio that he saw from the bus he took
home from work, as the bus stopped for a light and he could see a tiny bit into
the studio for a few seconds.
He saw ordinary people learning to dance and when he got off one night to go in there; he was mesmerized as if a spell was cast on him, when
he saw the students learning to dance. There were all ages of people and he
decided to take some lessons and to keep it a secret from his family. Of course,
he was late coming home from work a lot now and his wife Susan Sarandon thought
he was having an affair. When she found out he was only taking ballroom
lessons, she was relieved, but a bit angry for him keeping it a secret. When she came and watched him
dance so beautifully when they had a showcase show of their students dancing
with their teachers; she too was enthralled with what he had accomplished,
because he had come out of the ordinary too.
The theme of this story is that every one of us is competent to do something out of the ordinary and that makes us extraordinary in bringing
to fruition something new in our life. We are never too old to try something
new. It can be anything like trying a new sport, learning to paint pictures, to
write stories or articles, to write poetry, to go to lectures, to go back to
school or to seminars, to do new exercising activities, to read some more books
and to try anything that makes our life out of the ordinary.
I have always written stories and rhyming poetry since I was twelve years old. I started again when I was fifty-six to write articles, when I was forty-three to ballroom dance and now at almost seventy-nine, to go back to dancing and maybe competing dancing too as soon as my aching right knee heals some. It is never too late to start anything that you truly wish for, yearn for, want, need and know you will do in an excellent and relevant manner to benefit your life.
So get out of the ordinary, become extraordinary and become distinguished, exceptional and prominent. The prominence can be only for
yourself and for your mind, heart and soul and you will be so happy, you will
wonder why you waited so long to do it.
The warmth you receive will be like a roaring fire and the world will no longer be brutal, it will be kind and humane, at least in your space.