When I was a little girl, I hated to dry the dishes from the dishwasher. My parents refused to use the heated drying cycle of the dishwasher, so it was my job to wipe off each dish before putting it back. To make the task go faster, I’d put on “dish music” and sashay on the ceramic tile with my dish towel waving. Each season had its dish music: fall was Aaron Copland, winter was The Nutcracker, spring was Canadian Brass, and summer was the Boston Pops. In response to my parents’ puzzled glances, I’d say matter-of-factly, “Kitchens were made for dancing,” and spin more pirouettes in my socks.
When I moved into my first apartment, JG came over occasionally to have dinner and hang out away from his dorm. Sharing the scant countertop space, we tossed salads and cooked pasta as we slid over the worn linoleum. Because I was just out of school, I couldn’t afford cable or internet access, so my only form of entertainment was the radio. (When a friend visited me, she exclaimed, “What is this, 1925?”) Dinnertime was about the same time that Delilah came on, so “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Butterfly Kisses,” and “My Heart Will Go On” were usual audio fare during the meal preparations. If I heard the opening measures of a standard like, “The Way You Look Tonight,” I’d take up JG’s left hand in my right and sway to the beat of the music. At first, he was taken aback by the whole thing, but I’d just power through, saying firmly, “Kitchens are made for dancing!” The way I saw it, the other square footage of my apartment was a sea of tan carpet, but the kitchen gave us just enough room for a private dance floor. I’m sure Delilah would have approved.
When JG and I settled on our first house, where we live now, we decided to have dinner at the house that night. I packed a crate with the microwave, a plastic container of chili, a bag of baby carrots, two bowls, and two spoons, and we were off. We ceremoniously used our new key to get into the house, which turned out to be inhospitably cold because the heat had been off for the whole day. I plugged in the microwave and set up bowls of chili to warm up when JG swept me up and started spinning me around on the kitchen’s hardwood floor. Thrown off, I asked what he was doing. JG dipped me and said, “Kitchens were made for dancing, of course.” And we savored our first dance as homeowners until the microwave beep signaled that dinner was ready.