My Man from the Midwest, R, is a major Seinfeld fan. He still tunes in old episodes many evenings, though they’re all pretty well known to him already. I enjoyed Seinfeld when it was originally on t.v. but am not generally someone who wants to see any show again and again…and again.
But Elaine came to my rescue the other day, bless her. So maybe all that viewing paid off. If you’re not familiar with Seinfeld, Elaine (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was one of the primary characters.
Some background and context is surely in order here. Elaine couldn’t dance. No, worse than that. Elaine’s dancing was like new age dance moves done by a Night of the Living Dead character. Just picture that for a moment. There was one episode in particular in which her frighteningly funny moves were the focus and Rod knows that episode well.
So, back to the present: I said something I shouldn’t have. To R. It was grumpy and mean-spirited. It came out of my mouth before I thought about it and hung there in the air, threatening to ruin a perfectly decent evening. Uh oh. Bad Tammy. Bad, bad Tammy.
R got that look on his face he gets when he doesn’t like the way I’ve said something. But, since he’s the Man from the Midwest, he naturally didn’t say anything. Just sat there with that look.
I considered trying to take it back. Nope, this called for something more drastic. I stood up.
I was going to go over and hug him. But for some reason, a vision of Elaine came into my head. So, I danced. I stood in the middle of the living room floor and did some stupid Elaine dance moves.
R recognized them immediately. And it was such an absurd act, he started to laugh. And then I started to laugh, because they felt as absurd to do as to see. As I danced, I told him this was my version of an apology. He just shook his head at my pathetic-ness. But he was grinning at the same time.
Apology and conflict resolution by channeling Elaine. Who knew? Sometimes, stupid verbal acts call for absurdist apologies to balance them. What have you done that’s absurd lately?